Posts Tagged ‘Kardashian’


Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

CEO-moneyPosted by Leonard Steinberg on May 28th, 2014

Todays revelation of executive pay shows how much top executives earn, and already the cries of outrage are being heard. The divide between the top earners and the average earners in a company is growing, yet the divide between those that are often responsible for the livelihoods of thousands and those that get married for publicity is growing too. The median annual pay of the top 300 largest publicly traded corporate bosses was $ 11.4million, certainly not a number to be sneezed at. Yet at the top, certain executives made in excess of $ 30m! Larry Ellison hit the jackpot with $ 76.9million, just shy of $ 1.5m per week, slightly less than Lady Gaga though. The top 10% by pay earned 23% of the total compensation, while the bottom 30% accounted for just 13% of the total.

Now compare these numbers to the payouts of celebrities:  Madonna earned $ 125m in 2013…..Lady Gaga $ 80m…..Dr. Dre $ 40m…..Tom Brady $ 38m……Glenn Beck $ 90m……Judge Judy $ 47m…..Tyler Perry $ 78m…..Tiger Woods $ 78m….the amazingly talented Kim Kardashian earns well over $10m per year…..Kanye West $ 20m…..all these figures should put executive pay into perspective for anyone outraged that corporate executives are overpaid. Some certainly are, but when compared to the world of celebrity, they are a relative bargain.



Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Posted by Leonard Steinberg on August 2nd, 2012

This week everyone seems to only want to talk to me about the $ 100 million listing at City Spire, the B-grade building at Columbus Circle where the penthouse is listed for an amount that as astounding as the views from its wrap terrace.

Personally, I believe this apartment to be absurdly over-priced….in fact I think its a price as believable as the Kardashian wedding…..and its getting about as much publicity. Is this the new world we live in where even the New York Times becomes party to a scenario as believable as the Hunphries-Kardashian wedding? Of course now every seller in New York is thinking the same strategy…..lets over-price for a headline! Lets price it soooooo high every Russian billionaire will think this is the prize property they MUST own. The reality is right now there is a good slew of properties that are over-priced and not selling. Nothing terribly new. Except their prices are.

Oh well. I guess we are all just one big reality TV show after all. Even in New York real estate.


Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Posted by Leonard Steinberg on April 8th, 2012

Is the media in its attempts to remain profitable in a digital world diminishing in accuracy? NBC highlighted this phenomenon this week with the Trayvon Martin shooting. With fewer staff and less time to report accurately and check facts, and with so much information out there, I feel the quality of reporting is slipping badly. Statements and claims are made, reports are posted, and they become ‘fact’ forever on the web…..regardless of their accuracy. Does no-one have the time to determine accuracy or question anything anymore? I see this rather consistently in real estate land: articles about celebrities buying and selling and living in apartments they have never visited; reports of market activity that while accurate, don’t reflect what is happening in the market currently yet are never explained; broker lies quoted and repeated; ‘half the story’ reporting. It’s bad. Really bad.

I understand there is romance in virtual reality….. Reality TV certainly has taken the meaning of the word ‘reality’ to an entirely new plateau. Was the motivation for this fun, or is reality TV just a means to create Jerry Springer-style cheap content? Politicians espouse claims that are not fact based all the time: but in our digital world, without much scrutiny, those claims become fact and a new reality is created, regardless of truth. Kim Kardashian’s marriage is another bad example of UNREALITY TV.

Last week, all the real estate companies released their first quarter reports: the press reported on them as if these reports were a clear indicator of what was going on in the market right now, even though any mildly informed person would know that these reports are based on closed sales…..or transactions that happened mostly in the fourth quarter of 2011. Now imagine if I tried to report on the price of Apple stock to-day (trading above $ 600) if I referred to the trades that happened in November 2011 ($ 400)? The reports are not to blame for this warped perspective: those reporting on the reports should be explaining what is really happening. Its just awful.

Rick Santorum rages against the wealthy Mitt Romney who he claims cannot understand the simple hard working folk like himself, yet he earns around $ 1million/year……is that so working class?  President Obama joked about Mitt Romney’s use of the word MARVELOUS as if to imply that Mitt’s aloof country-club culture could have absolutely no understanding of poor people like Obama……really? Obama earned over $ 5million in 2009. Yet Obama is the man for the common folks? In New York $ 1million does not buy you a mansion, yet you have to pay 1% in MANSION taxes when buying a $ 1million+ home?

NBC reported on the phone call made by George Zimmerman to police the night he fatally shot Trayvon Martin…..they played a version of this call that was edited in a manner to imply that Zimmerman purposefully killed Mr. Martin with racially biased motives. NBC is a major source of information to our planet: Fortunately, the outrage was loud enough to get this producer fired. Mis-information can be dangerous.

What is mostly missing from this new equation is PUBLIC OUTRAGE:  And this NBC story may just be the most effective opportunity for all to question everything they see and read just a little bit more, to return a bit of reality to this new virtual reality.

So when real estate brokers ask me if they have a future in a world where so much information is at the fingertips of the consumer, my response is that there will always be a place for an honest, informed broker who truly understands the market and gives opinions and summaries that are legitimate and well researched…..a broker who can sift through the maize of overwhelming information and identify the truth. These future ‘editors’ will be highly sought after, and will also be a very, very rare breed.


Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Posted by Leonard Steinberg on January 22, 2012

With Newt Gingrich’s remarkable surge in the South Carolina caucuses, I have to ask the following question:  did he win on substance, or on the soundbite mentality that has overtaken our society?

Is Newt really more qualified to be president than Mitt Romney? What exactly in Thursday’s CNN debate demonstrated his real abilities aside from his Jersey Shore-style attack on the media for making it difficult for politicians to lead sordid private lives…..the same media he encouraged to vilify Bill Clinton and John Edwards for equally bad behavior? Yet this new Kardashianist-soap-opera-esque tone of the debates fueled Newt’s popularity even though none of it made much sense in light of the great historian Newt’s personal and professional history. Just like Kim Kardashian’s marriage, isn’t Newts protests about the media exposing politicians private lives just as fake?

I often ask the same question about my fellow New York real estate brokers: sometimes I am saddened how some really, really good brokers suffer because they don’t participate in the loudness of our industry, choosing to focus on substance rather than noise. I don’t think there is any harm in a bit of both, but the noise without the substance is really painful. There are too many brokers who are truly incompetent, or worse….really corrupt: These super-stars are seen on television, quoted in some of the most prestigious publications and their word is perceived my most to be reality and the truth. Not too long ago, wasn’t Shvo the ‘it’ broker of Manhattan……to-day he has all but dissappeared. He is not alone, although a good number of this breed are around continuing bad traditions and inventing worse new ones.

One can only hope that the future of these Kardashianistas fades fast and is replaced by competent and smart brokers……and substantive presidential candidates.


Monday, November 15th, 2010

I just returned from a Real Estate Conference that addressed the future, existing technology, and new technology, and how all this will impact our lives as real estate brokers. About 500 people attended. So here I am blogging….

The most annoying aspect of this conference was the strong encouragement of that recent phenomenon called TWITTER. All of the (highly educated and successful) speakers proposed, encouraged, insisted that TWEETING was a critically important tool in becoming successful or remaining successful in the real estate industry.

My question, that I dared not ask:  Who on earth would care about what I am TWEETING? Does anyone really care that I just ate breakfast, got stuck in traffic, saw a great penthouse, had a problem at a closing, noticed too much Botox and filler amongst my peers (have you noticed the Madonna-esque FAT-FACE growing in popularity?), etc, etc. Who cares? Who wants to know this useless information? How would any of this help or inform someone of something useful? And who would buy or sell very expensive real estate because of my observations and reportage?

I know I probably sound really, really old, but I don’t care. It’s official: I HATE Twitter. I HATE Facebook. They are the digital DIY versions of reality TV, and quite frankly, if I am not as interesting as Trash-tart Snooki, The Kardashian’s or Desperate Danielle Staub (and hope I never will be), I feel certain the world does not need to know the ‘real’ intimacies/tweet nothings of my New York real estate brokerage life 24/7!

And if you question my intentions as I blog this rant, at least reading this opinion is entirely voluntary.                Leonard Steinberg