Tag Archives: New York

Just what this country needs – Rich Frenchmen instead of poor kids from Latin America

Hi readers.  I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that I believe the belligerence, aggression and atrocities of Israel might bring a resurgence of violence directed at Jews living elsewhere.  A re-emergence of the brand of anti-Semitism that led to the German camps.  Maybe that’s what’s happening in Europe now.  A beginning wealthy French Jews are willing to leave the country to avoid.

Interestingly they didn’t choose Israel as their new home.  One can hope none who have Israeli citizenship will be allowed to settle here as US citizens with dual citizenship.  We sure as hell don’t need any more of those.

The bad news:  “While Israel feels more familiar to many of those seeking to migrate – it’s nearby and many already have Israeli passports”

http://observer.com/2014/09/wealthy-french-jews-are-fleeing-anti-semitism-and-bringing-their-money/

Wealthy French Jews Are Fleeing Anti-Semitism and Bringing Their Money

A “fixer” named Marlen Kruzhkov has helped dozens of rich guys move their families — and over $1 billion — to NYC

A French propaganda poster from 1942 asks “Who steals our North Africa? Roosevelt.” And blames the Jews. So, who steals Israel’s neighbor, Palestine?

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, reads Lady Liberty’s welcome. Every year since New York City’s founding, tens of thousands have crossed over the Atlantic to trade in their European chapeaux for American caps. This year, New York has increasingly become home to one particular population seeking American status: Jewish Frenchmen.

Marlen Kruzhkov, an attorney at New York’s Gusrae Kaplan, specializes in helping Jews make the move from France to the States. Mr. Kruzhkov explained to the Observer in a phone interview that this migration has increased massively since the beginning of 2014, spurred by a spate of anti-semitic incidents, which only worsened with the war between Israel and Hamas. While last year he helped a handful of families with legal arrangements, today he is handling the arrangements of several dozen families—parents with children—looking to make the move. The families Mr. Kruzhkov works with are predominantly well-off investors, with an average net worth of $50 to $70 million. These dollars come along for the all-American ride.

As any good lawyer does, Mr. Kruzhkov begins his conversations with the families he represents by asking, “Why this, why now? Why do you want to be here and invest here?” Unanimously, the answer is French anti-Semitism.

“The truth is, there has always been a large [amount of] anti-Semitism in Europe, and particularly in France,” explains Mr. Kruzhkov. “France is a weird country because it has a large Jewish and large Muslim population, so there is a real tension, a real undercurrent of hostility and a threat. Now, it has become a lot easier for people to become a lot more open about their anti-Semitism and hate. Even a year ago, they were shocked.” Jewish people account for one percent of France’s population, whereas Muslims make up five to ten percent. The vast majority of Frenchmen are Roman Catholics.

For this Jewish population, there are two main options when it comes to moving: the United States or Israel. While Israel feels more familiar to many of those seeking to migrate – it’s nearby and many already have Israeli passports — Mr. Kruzhkov notes that their businesses are often the key to determining a location.

“Israel is a small place, business opportunities are less, there is much more red tape.The US is easier; it’s a great place to do business, less red tape.” Nonetheless, it is anti-Semitism, not business opportunities, that is driving the Jewish population out of France. “It’s no question, the driving force is the anti-Semitism, but the reason they are choosing the US is due to sound business reasons.”

For some who are looking to move, their funds go first, and then the discussion of relocating the family begins. While their wealth often ends up in the United States, not all families choose to immigrate, at least not immediately. Almost all of Mr. Kruzhkov’s clients aim to move their wealth from France; 75 percent of them consider immigration. Fifty percent end up going through with the move. In some cases, investments head to the States while the family moves to Israel. From the roughly two-dozen families he has represented thus far this year, an estimated $1.44 billion in wealth has moved from France to New York as a result of the rising anti-Semitism in France.

A client of Mr. Kruzhkov who spoke with the Observer on the condition of anonymity offered his explanation for the move. “It was not an easy decision to move to Israel but I felt that France was not a long-term option for me and my family. There was never any question that a significant portion of our wealth was going to be invested in the US. The economic environment in the EU in general, and France specifica development.

As part of his business, Mr. Kruzhkov works to connect his clients with realtors who can provide off-the-market deals. Before a major commercial listing or development site hits the market, his clients have been given the opportunity to make a bid. In many cases, this helps secure their privacy, as many are looking to move from France quietly. “They are looking for help, A to Z, they don’t know who to trust, so they are looking to us for the entire buying process. We try to introduce them with whom we have a relationship, people we can trust. A lot of people go through third parties because they don’t want it known that they are the ones investing. They want to make sure that it is private, even though it is, of course, legal. They just don’t want it well known that they are buying.”

For now, the families seem quite pleased with this decision. They look forward to visiting France as tourists. A client recently explained to Mr. Kruzhkov, “The reason to stay is family tradition? Okay, come back and visit then. If I feel nostalgic, I will come back and stay in a hotel.”lly, is weak and I just do not see it getting any better soon. As for Israel, while we plan to reside there, the economic opportunities are limited. The US is stable and transparent with an economy that is broad-based and only getting better. We particularly liked the safety of New York real estate.”

For those seeking to secure their fortunes away from their homeland, real estate in Manhattan is often the most stable and reasonable investment. Mr. Kruzhkov’s clients often look into real estate in London and Hong Kong, which are considerably more expensive than New York. By comparison, they view New York’s diverse real estate scene as a reasonably priced. “What they are looking for is stability,” explained Mr. Kruzhkov. “When you buy a thirty million dollar building in Manhattan, it won’t be worth less than thirty in five years. It’s a unique animal. It has been historically stable with a nice growth rate over time. And if you’re buying something for cash, it’s very easy to sit there, even if there is a momentary dip.”

Reba Miller, owner and founder of RPMiller Realty Group, which has a number of French national clients, has also picked up on the buying trend within the French Jewish population. She told the Observer, “Political unrest in France has seen a spur of activity from French investors in the last few months. I would not be surprised to see many deals done in real estate over the next few months by French Jews who seek a safe haven for their money. While there’s anti-Semitism, many Jews do not feel safe – and NYC real estate is seen as a safe investment as it always has been and shall continue to be.”

As these families look to move their financial portfolios, they often diversify and reorganize them in the process. Many view real estate as a “hedge investment for diversification.” With this in mind, most seek “pre-existing income-producing properties.” However, Mr. Kruzhkov has found that some of his clients are willing to be “adventurous” in their move, and therefore are getting into

Ah well.   More Frenchmen, more multi-million dollar Israelis living in style to buy off politicians and make sure Israel gets enough weaponry to wipe out all the non-Jewish Palestinians.  Lucky they’ve got New York to hide in.  They’ll be safe there from all those French anti-Semites.

The coyotes bring Hispanica across the southern border and make a few thousand in advance for their trouble.  The Snakeheads gang bring Asians in from all directions and get $70,000 per capita.

So what’s the price for bringing in some French millioneer Israeli?  And what do you suppose this Snakehead Coyote calls himself as a job title?

Old Jules

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Hitch-hiking from Beatnik to Hippiedom

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

When I got out of the Army, summer 1964, I had a lot of ideas about my bright future.  Shopped around the Portales area for a while and found a quarter-section cotton farm I thought briefly I’d buy and become a starving-to-death farmer, which fell through.  Worked meanwhile, for Abe Ribble at his cement operation, and applied for the Peace Corps, knowing I wouldn’t hear from them for several months.

I was hanging out with a number of other young guys who were at loose ends, drinking coffee and walking around town, sitting on benches around the courthouse trying to figure out the meaning of life.  Going out with a waitress out at the truckstop when she got off work at midnight.  A young woman with goals, and confidence that no matter what a man might want for himself, she could mold him into something more to her liking.  Once she got him nailed down on all the corners.

The World Fair was going on in New York that year.  I could feel the walls of Portales trying to close in on me, and the guys I’d been spending spare time with were mostly thinking of themselves as beatniks, to the extend a person could be a beatnik in Portales.  A slight beard and a beret went a long way in that direction.  Sketchpad and a piece of charcoal, or a lot of free-verse poems jotted on cafe napkins were the tools.

So another aspiring beatnik, Stan Sexton, and I, decided to hitch to beatnik heaven.  Check out the World Fair.  Visit a couple of New Yorker weekend beatniks who went to Eastern New Mexico University, but were home in Westchester that summer.

I’ve told elsewhere on this blog about that summer, about sleeping on the Brooklyn Bridge, about catching the freight-train out late-August, jail in Rochester, and eventually hitching, driving the school bus to California, etc.  About all those would-be beatnik women and the “Eh?  YOU don’t believe in free love?” pickup line that always worked.

When I was accepted for Peace Corps Training and headed out of New York I had no idea I was seeing the dying gasp of the Beatnik phase everywhere.  That a year later everyone who was anyone would be Hippy.  That Greenwich Village would be replaced by San Francisco as the center of ‘what’s happening in America’.  Kids would be burning their draft-cards and taking acid trips.  Doing ‘Love-ins’ in the park.

By the time I got back to Portales to spend my time waiting for the Peace Corps India X training to begin in Hawaii the world had begun a sea-change, though it didn’t know it. 

But at least some of the pressure was off in Portales.  The waitress had found someone else with better prospects for a bright future.  Cotton farmer, he turned out to be, if I remember correctly.

Old Jules

Riding the Rap

One of the the ways youngsters in Portales, New Mexico, used to entertain themselves summer days was hopping a freight train for a ride to Clovis, twenty miles away.  We’d hang around a while doing nothing, then hop another back to Portales.

Bums hanging around the Clovis yard would tell us which trains not to catch.  A kid wouldn’t want to be on a mile-a-minute diesel locomotive as it went through Portales and end up in Roswell, 90 miles west, wondering how to get home without the war department discovering what he’d been doing.

It wasn’t quite a decade later, summer, 1964, I was in NYC hanging around Greenwich Village thinking I was a beatnik.  I decided to head back to the desert Southwest.  The easiest way of getting out of the city appeared to be to hop a freight.  Seemed logical that any train I caught ought to be going South, or West, or Southwest.

Sometime after dark the train stopped at Rochester and and two cops had their pistols pointed at me.  Handcuffs, fingerprints, paperwork, and off to the slammer.  Rochester, New York, awaiting an arraignment so’s they could decide whether to charge me with the NY felony of riding freight trains and send me off to the pen two-to-five years.

That Rochester jail was the first place I ever heard the phrase, ‘riding the rap’.  Prisoners used it to describe what happens when you’re caught (the rap) and sentenced (serving your time – riding it).

Considering how frequently we humans are wrong about almost everything, and how seldom we’re right, it’s a mystery.  We go to sooo much trouble convincing ourselves we’re right.  Once we adopt an opinion about how things are, we hang onto it with hair,  teeth, and toenails and ride it.

At the beginning of the 20th Century a consortium of top-scientists announced to that all the major discoveries science would ever make had already been made.  Human beings all over the world believed them.  They’ve continued patting themselves on the back from then until now.  The airplane, the atomic bombs, moon landings, plastic, computers, tubeless tires, television,  and quantum physics were just tying up loose ends.

In our personal lives this brave new century is a time to pick something safe, something that will stay on the rails.  Something that won’t provide us with any growth experiences.  Safety nets.  Insurance policies.  Spectator sports.  World news.

We might be bored to tears, but by damn we know who the Bulgarians ought to elect for their president, and by damn, we know who killed John Kennedy and what’s the best ball team.

The only rap we have to ride is knowing our lives are slipping away without our having done anything but a little flag-waving.  Whoopteedoo, watched the Super Bowl.  Whoopteedoo, went to a concert.  Whoopteedoo, got a car.  Whoopteedoo, died of cancer.

But by God, I was right.  Knew, by damn, who the Bulgarians should have elected for their prez.  Knew which ball club was best, win or lose.

Life flashing before the eyes during the last minute of life, I wonder if a person gets to thrill again to the 1999 Super Bowl.

Or whether he might wish he’d chosen some other rap to ride.  Chosen a life with more risk, more flair, so they wouldn’t write his epitaph, “He knew everything already and played it safe.  Sixty times around the sun and he never fixed a flat tire.”

Old Jules

Creedence Clearwater Revival- Midnight Special
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DksGi7B5BdM&feature=related