Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, December 24, 2021

street cred
Nearly a week after all the blizzard-like conditions, there’s still ample amounts of snow and slush in the streets of New York, and I’m still bitching about it.

But at least someone has a sense of whimsy about the lingering cold-and-wet stuff that’s impeding us pedestrians. I snapped the above photo today on Park Avenue, around 38th Street (bigger version on Flickr). Not even in a residential neighborhood, which was the biggest surprise of all. I’m sure it was quite a task to roll up the remnant sidewalk snow into an entire (if short) snowman, but the result was well worth it.

Judging from the melty halo surrounding him, I doubt this urban snowman will last more than a couple more days. Considering he’s fairly displaced in midtown Manhattan anyway, that he sprung up at all is remarkable enough.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/24/2009 08:14 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Photography, Weather
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After teetering on the brink of collapse a year ago, the big banks are suddenly coming up with billions of dollars to put toward TARP repayments.

And it’s not hard to figure out why:

Look what’s happened in the past two weeks. First, Bank of America agreed to pay back $45 billion in TARP funds. Bank of America found that the pay restrictions were complicating the search for a new boss to replace Ken Lewis. It raised $20 billion from the public and agreed to sell $3 billion in assets. The smaller, leaner, better-capitalized bank was able to hire a new CEO on Wednesday.

Citigroup, which is keeping its CEO but which wants to retain its legions of highly paid investment bankers, also sprang into action. Earlier this week, it announced it would pay back $20 billion in TARP funds and terminate an agreement under which taxpayers were guaranteeing losses on a big chunk of its loans. Citi raised $20.5 billion of capital, said it would give employees $1.7 billion in stock rather than cash for bonuses. Once the money was paid back to the Treasury, Citi noted, “it will no longer be deemed to be a beneficiary of “exceptional financial assistance” under TARP beginning in 2010.” Translation: [TARP executive pay czar] Ken Feinberg won’t be allowed to tell us how much to pay our folks.

In other words, the megabanks are paying back in order to pay out. That’s one way to maneuver around a salary cap — and it doesn’t even involve getting mired in some sort of messy financial-world caponomics.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/24/2009 10:27 AM
Category: Business, Politics
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I don’t know why the unremarkable square-blocked text logo for Bible Crusade caught my eye on the subway this morning. But it did, to the point that I’m compelled to jot down the three-line wording:

with Pastor Ock Soo Park
featuring Gracias Choir

It’s the seeming multiculturalness of the elements here: A Korean holy man with a Spanish-themed singing group in tow. Although it appears that the Gracias Choir is, improbably enough, composed of Korean singers.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/24/2009 09:26 AM
Category: Creative
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