Into Antiques?

On ebay you'll find over 100 categories covering the Medieval and Renaissance periods, through Georgian, Regency and Victorian, to Edwardian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

Antique Dealers in California

Linda Stamberger

Linda Stamberger, author of "Antiquing In Florida", is a Florida expert and freelance writer of many genres. Visit this site to read her articles - some of which are available for purchase - as is her book.

Brooks Novelty Antiques and Records

Brooks Novelty is an all-vinyl record store. We specialize in: jukeboxes, vintage soda machines, antique slot machines, pin balls, arcade games, neon clocks and signs, rare concert posters, old advertising signs and much more!

The Antique Company

Established in the late 1900's, we occupy a huge corner building with a small garden area that leads to another 1000 sq foot store (called TAC) that contains our Mid Century collection.

Vintage Westclox

Westclox photo identification gallery and history and information of clocks, watches and other timepieces. This site primarily displays American clocks made by Westclox that were made from the early 1900's up to about the 1960's.

Antique Appraisals On-Line

We are one of the country's largest, oldest, most qualified and respected appraisal services. The majority of our appraisals are estate and personal property evaluations for valuation documentation purposes. However, we have evaluated goods and personal property for natural disaster losses (hurricanes), theft, fire, freight and shipping damage after the loss has occurred.

Connoisseur Antiques

Featuring fine antique furniture, Connoisseur Antiques is a Los Angeles Antique Furniture Showroom specializing in antique clocks and mirrors, European and French antiques, Antique Lighting, Chandeliers, Sconces, Armoires and much more.

Liz's Antique Hardware

Antique Hardware is the backbone of our business. We offer a complete selection of door, window and furniture hardware, lighting and accessories circa 1890 to 1970.

San Francisco Antique and Design Mall

San Francisco Antique and Design Mall is the largest antique mall in northern California. We opened our doors in October 1997 with 75 dealers and today we have over 200 of San Francisco's most professional antique specialists.

Ambiance Antiques

Importer of 18th and 19th Century French Antiques

C'est La Vie Antiques

European Antique and Accessories in San Diego, CA.

Lang Antiques

We carry a large selection of fine antique jewelry, antique rings & antique engagement rings. We also have vintage estate jewelry, vintage estate rings & vintage estate engagement rings from the Victorian, Art Nouveau, Edwardian & Art Deco style periods.

Once in a Blue Moon Online Thrift Store

We are an online thrift store featuring new, used, and unusual items.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

International super-rich target California property - Reuters UK

International super-rich target California property - Reuters UK

LONDON | Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:41am BST

LONDON (Reuters) - The super-rich investors responsible for London's prime property bubble are adding California to their wish lists, lured by bargains offering crisis-defying returns as an overdue churn in the United States property market finally gets under way.

Wealthy European and Asian investors who have dominated the market for addresses in London's most fashionable neighbourhoods are frequently outbidding locals for assets in the Golden State, U.S. real estate brokers report - and banks, long shackled by the volume of distressed property on their books, are in the mood to cut deals.

"It is now London and Los Angeles, not Shanghai or Moscow, that interests the cash-rich international investor," said Simon Lyons, managing director of global property group Enstar Capital, who is making regular trips to the U.S. in search of bargains.

As uncertainty stifles global financial markets, real estate with strong rental prospects in key cities across the United States is again becoming an asset of choice for the yield-hungry international investor.

Data released this week by the National Association of Realtors showed that international sales reached $82.4 billion (53.0 billion pounds) in the year to March 31, up from $66.4 billion in 2011.

The Chinese are now the second-largest foreign buyers of U.S. homes (behind Canadians), accounting for 11 percent of sales in the year to March 2012, up from 9 percent in the previous year. Cash purchases accounted for 62 percent of international sales and the average price paid by international buyers was $400,000, against the overall U.S. average of $212,000.

As the U.S. jobs market expands, there are signs that the worst may be over for the property market that spawned the sub-prime mortgage maelstrom and the world's deepest banking crisis since the Great Depression.

To capitalise on increasing confidence, Los Angeles-based asset manager TCW has unveiled plans to raise up to $250 million for a fund enabling wealthy investors to buy foreclosed homes from government agencies and lenders.

While lenders are still keen to avert foreclosures by extending loans, so-called distressed inventory is starting to sell because banks are now in a better position to absorb greater losses and free up capacity on their balance sheets.

David Parnes, a director at Bond Street Partners, a Los Angeles-based realtor specialising in high-end luxury and investment property, said that Los Angeles is enjoying its biggest influx of foreign capital for years.

"Investors are now snapping up foreclosures in greater numbers because comparatively low property prices mean they are able to achieve strong returns," he said. "Prices in L.A. are showing to 60 to 70 percent discounts against their equivalent in Manhattan."

Parnes points out many reasons to explain why the world's super-rich are making a beeline for California. The state is the financial hub of the U.S. West Coast, with Los Angeles already home to the highest number of foreign-born billionaires and Fortune 500 company CEOs outside New York.

The 2011 Wealth-X World Ultra Wealth Report said that Asia Pacific has an estimated 42,525 ultra-high-net-worth individuals with a combined wealth of $6.2 trillion, and many are looking to park wealth in key Western cities to diversify their holdings.

European ultra-high-net-worth entrepreneurs active in Asia's fast-growing economies are also acquiring bases on the U.S. West Coast to benefit from reduced travel times to the region and time zones better suited to those business interests.

In Silicon Valley, Russian billionaire and Facebook (FB.O) backer Yuri Milner shelled out $100 million in March 2011 on one of the most expensive single-family U.S. homes ever sold. Moscow-based Milner is expected to use the French Chateau-style mansion as his second home, Parnes said.

Adam Fenner, an executive at California's Skyline Wilshire Investment Partners, which sources overseas capital for high-quality US real estate operators and funds, said that overseas investors are again viewing the U.S. as "a safer haven".

"The very existence of the euro zone is now in doubt, whereas investors believe that the U.S. is fundamentally stable," he said.

Parnes agrees. "From an investment standpoint, the view is even more positive: people are searching for returns which aren't available with other investments, and real estate yields are now looking very attractive, given recent price adjustments."

(Editing by David Goodman)


California Democrats Say Brown’s Welfare Cuts Too Much - Bloomberg

Democrats who control California’s Legislature said they’ll stand their ground against some of the welfare cuts Governor Jerry Brown wants to close a $15.7 billion deficit as a deadline to pass a budget looms just days away.

The members of Brown’s own party propose an alternative to his budget that rejects about $1 billion of cuts in welfare, childcare subsidies, in-home health services and college grants for the poor. They’d pay for it by reducing reserves, shifting funds and making accounting changes.

“We are not looking for a fight with the governor,” Senate President Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat from Sacramento, told reporters at a Statehouse briefing yesterday. “But we will not shy from a fight if it is necessary to stand for the middle class, the poor and the struggling.”

Lawmakers in the most populous U.S. state must pass a budget no later than June 15 or lose their pay for each day they’re late. Democrats said they intend to vote before the deadline even if no deal with Brown is reached. That would allow them to keep their pay, notwithstanding a Brown veto of their plan.

The 74-year-old governor has been meeting in private with top Democrats to negotiate a compromise spending plan for the world’s ninth-biggest economy. In a June 12 statement, Brown said the Democrats’ plan would only worsen the spending gap in future years.

Few Differences

Democratic leaders sought to play down the differences, saying they and the governor agree on 99 percent of the budget.

“The differences between the governor’s proposal and our proposal are bridgeable,” Assembly Speaker John Perez, a Democrat from Los Angeles, told reporters yesterday. “We’re not only on the same page as the governor -- we’re in the same paragraph.”

Perez and other legislative leaders sued Controller John Chiang after he asserted that last year’s budget, while adopted by the deadline, wasn’t balanced and docked their pay. A court later said he didn’t have the authority to impose his judgment on when a budget is balanced.

An impasse over welfare might imperil the governor’s chances of persuading voters in November to temporarily raise income and sales taxes to prevent $5 billion in cuts to schools.

The ballot measure would boost income taxes on top earners to the most in the nation, and raise sales levies that are now the highest of any state. Without the revenue, Brown threatens to cut $6 billion, most of it from education.

Health-Care, Courts

The governor also wants to slice $1.2 billion from health- care for the poor, $1.1 billion from welfare and in-home help for the elderly and disabled, and $500 million from courts. He’s counting on lowering personnel costs by 5 percent, mainly by trimming workers’ hours.

The Democrats’ plan builds a $544 million rainy day reserve into the budget, about half of what Brown proposed. They would reduce school funding by $330 million by using a different method of calculating how much schools are due and take $250 million more than Brown from tax money that formerly flowed to the state’s now-abolished redevelopment agencies.

The Democrats reject half of the $880 million in cuts Brown proposed to the welfare-to-work program known as CalWorks. The governor would require those receiving welfare to find work within two years instead of four, or forgo the aid. He’d also reduce by almost 30 percent the amount of money provided to families with children who are no longer eligible for welfare payments because of the time limit.

Democrats want to exempt families with young children from some of the welfare-to-work rules.

‘Back to Work’

“We need additional structural reforms to cut spending on an ongoing basis, including welfare reform that’s built on President Clinton’s framework and focused on getting people back to work,” Brown said yesterday in a statement, referring to welfare changes under former President Bill Clinton. “Balancing the budget is critical to protecting education for the long term. We’re not there yet.”

The tug-of-war between Brown and his fellow Democrats over welfare cuts verses drawing down reserves isn’t of much concern to investors, said Eric Friedland, head of municipal credit research at Schroder Investment Management North America, which oversees about $2 billion in muni securities.

Friedland said the current budget cycle is notable for its lack of cliffhanger drama, which should restore investor confidence in a state that had to issue $2.6 billion in IOUs for cash flow in 2010.

“The state of California is not in a liquidity crisis,” Friedland said. “They’re not in danger of running out of cash as long as they can access the markets with revenue anticipation notes, which everybody anticipates they’ll be able to do.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael B. Marois in Sacramento at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at

Enlarge image Governor of California Jerry Brown

Governor of California Jerry Brown

Governor of California Jerry Brown

Ken James/Bloomberg

Governor of California Jerry Brown has been meeting in private with top Democrats to negotiate a compromise spending plan for the world’s ninth-biggest economy.

Governor of California Jerry Brown has been meeting in private with top Democrats to negotiate a compromise spending plan for the world’s ninth-biggest economy. Photographer: Ken James/Bloomberg


California reports 4,000 drop in new jobless claims - The Business Journal

California saw a large drop in new jobless claims, 4,168. It attributed the change to fewer layoffs in the service and retail industries.

The number of people filing new jobless claims across the country increased by 6,000 to 386,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 380,000, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Labor  . California reported the largest drop in new claims.

The four-week moving average was 328,000, or an increase of 3,500 from the previous week.

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits stayed below the 6 million mark, dropping by 145,900 to 5,824,739.

The Golden State saw a large drop in new claims, 4,168. It attributed the change to fewer layoffs in the service and retail industries.

Other states reporting significant drops in new claims: North Carolina (2,683), Texas (1,854), Massachusetts (1,373) and Georgia (1,367).

States reporting large increases in claims include: Oregon (975), Virginia (838), New Mexico (531), Wisconsin (213) and Nevada (189).

Click here for the full unemployment claims report from the Department of Labor.

Melissa Wiese oversees the Sacramento Business Journal's website.

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Southern California rattled by small earthquake - CBS News
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