Thursday, March 19, 2009

Another Behemoth Beverly Hills Beast Hits the Market

SELLER: Lou Gonda
LOCATION: Lexington Road, Beverly Hills, CA
PRICE: $35,000,000
SIZE: 16,733 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms (as per assessor)
DESCRIPTION: ...Situated behind the Beverly Hills Hotel on over 1.5 acres of finely manicured grounds, complete with salt water, mosaic tiled pool, n/s championship tennis court, complete guest house, flat grass pad with meandering pathways, streams, waterfalls and creek. This Georgian-style traditional estate was built using the finest materials and craftsmanship of unparalleled quality. Large-scale rooms with an intimate feel create an inviting home of magnificent proportions...

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A couple of weeks ago, Your Mama discussed a number of mega-mansions currently for sale in Los Angeles wherein we briefly mentioned the Beverly Hills home of aircraft leasing billionaire Lou Gonda. At the time, we were not aware of the house being on the open market, but thanks to Snooping Sebastian, it's come to our attention that Mister Gonda's Lexington Road residence has arrived on the open market with an asking price of $35,000,000, reduced from it's original (off-market) asking price of $42,000,000.

According to an earlier report in The Wall Street Journal, much of Mister Gonda's mountain of money came from his huge holdings in a little company called American International Group, Inc., otherwise known as AIG. We all know what's happened to AIG, right? When AIG's share prices plummeted from $60 to $2, Mister Gonda lost untold millions of dollars.

Your Mama don't know nuthin' from nuthin' about Mister Gonda's personal finances, but this severe drop in net worth may have something to do with the little known bizness man putting his big Beverly Hills house on the market. Of course, it should be no surprise that Mr. Gonda told the good people at The Wall Street Journal that his children are grown, he and the wifey want to travel more and therefore no longer need such a significantly sized home and also that the family began diversifying there assets away from AIG six years ago which he said "has served us well." We'll let the children decide what they think is truth and what is fiction in all that.

Records on file with the County of Los Angeles show the Georgian-style pile's taxable square footage is 16,733, but we'd bet our long bodied bitches Linda and Beverly that number does not account for all the interior spaces because children, this house is a monster. Records also show there are 6 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms and listing information indicates there is also a guest house.

The meticulously maintained 1.5 acre estate includes a 5-car garage, a properly aligned north/south tennis court separated from the mosaic tiled salt water swimming pool by a long pavilion, enough lawn to pitch a large tent for philanthropic functions, meandering paths, waterfalls and creeks.

The interior spaces are, according to listing information, both "large-scale...with an intimate feel." We'll just have to take the listing agent's word on that since there are not currently any photos of the interior spaces that we were able to locate in our pre-caffeinated state. However, we'd imagine they are as opulent and lavish in that special way that only billionaires and Beverly Park residents do up their day-core.

Given that there are a butt-load of behemoth mansions with $20+ million price tags currently on the market in Los Angeles, Your Mama fears Mister Gonda faces some stiff real estate competition for the small pool of qualified buyers who are still looking to spend the big bucks for a house in which they can live like pashas and Gilded Age robber barons.

111 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice.
I wonder who is going to buy all of these houses?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where the listing for this place is?

angeleyes said...

Nice real estate sleuthing Mama. Speaking of AIG, since the economic collapse, neither greed nor conspicuous consumption are cool anymore, as the public outrage over the AIG bonuses clearly shows. The party the super rich threw at the expense of honest working people who are now losing everything is over. It will be interesting to monitor how long these embassy sized homes stay on the market, and what they eventually sell for.

Hmmmmm said...

I hope evyone of these gets a 75% haircut at final sale.

Miami Beach Homes said...

Amazing residences. Best wishes to the person(s) fortunate enough to purchase it.

Anonymous said...

If all of the AIG execs would pool their $165,000,000.00 bonuses together, they could easily buy 5 or 6 of these estates that are currently for sale. I'm sure they could / would convince themselves that would be a way to help the real estate market!!!

Anonymous said...

When I first looked at the close up picture of the front of the house, my first thought was that it looked like Graceland--which is NOT a compliment--hopefully the interior doesn't!! Does anyone know when this house was built--or did I miss that in Mama's message?

Anonymous said...

When a number of these Bev Park mega mansions sit vacant or go into foreclosure, what do you think the still standing neighbors will do? It isn't good to have vacant foreclosed houses in an area, is it? By the way, what it the law in CA? Are mortgages there non-recourse or can they come after the personal assets of the guy who defaults?

angeleyes said...

I forgot to mention how pleased I am that at least this behemoth isn't yet another California tuscan. I've always liked Georgian architecture, and particularly appreciate the bay windows flanking the front door. The Clintons have a Georgian home in the Georgetown area of Washington D.C. that I absolutely love. I wish I could say the same about this home, but it's way too big for my taste.

Anonymous said...

For Reply #2:

http://www.hiltonhyland.com/address.php?property_ID=1072

Anonymous said...

I don't know why I assumed this was in Bev Park. I realize now that it is not and that it is thus probably not in any "community" that could get upset if it falls vacant or into foreclosure. Mea culpa.

Anonymous said...

Mr Lou Gonda is not very lucky but this not new as you can read down there : In April of 2000, the American billionaire from Los Angeles , Lou Gonda, bought out OFUP, a French society specializing in the sale of press subscriptions to students, for 35 million dollars. Lou Gonda partnered in this endeavour with Jean-Christophe Chopin, a former ski instructor who had captivated the billionaire and his family during a stay in Courchevel. Seven years after this investment, Lou Gonda had to withdraw with a loss cumulating to more than 100 million dollars. This deal and the subsequent bankruptcy were widely taken up by the French press who couldn’t understand how Lou Gonda and his questionable associate could have so completely destroyed a company that had otherwise been flourishing before its takeover in 2000. The articles concerning this bankruptcy are numerous on Google france, found by typing the keywords “ofup lou gonda”. The smell of scandal re-emerges with this economic failure resulting in a total of more than 100 unemployed. Lou Gonda got rid of OFUP in September 2006 for 1 symbolic dollar. French fiscal authorities are currently conducting an investigation as to why this investment was such a loss. The investigation has become difficult since Lou Gonda’s associate, Jean-Christophe Chopin, found refuge in Switzerland . The smell of scandal is in the air!

Anonymous said...

The address I believe is 1506 Lexington Rd. I checked it on Zillow where it is estimated to be worth 9 million. So....what does Zillow know?

Anonymous said...

Here is the Forbes listing of Gonda:

Louis Gonda
Forbes 400 2007 Net worth: $1.7 billion

2008: Off list

Source of loss: AIG

Louis dropped off the Forbes 400 list because of a massive hit to the value of his AIG holdings. With father and friend Steven Udvar-Hazy, started International Lease Finance 1973; acquired and rented airplanes. Public 1983; sold to American International Group seven years later for stock. Retired from AIG 1995; now makes venture capital investments via Lexington Commercial Holdings.

I also read numerous French articles about his operations selling this and that to students in French universities. Apparently this got very bad publicity and the company has disappeared. It was headquartered in Switzerland that made it difficult for French authorities to investigate it.

Anonymous said...

Are there any millionaires on the Forbes 400 list of richest people?I ask this of course because in 2007 there were no millionaires-just billionaires!!!It should be an interesting list this year or even the 2008 list.Look at a person like Sheldon Adelson who was No 3 richest in 2007 with 30 billion.But that was when his net worth was wrapped up in his company stock(las vegas Sands/venetian hotel).The stock was at 145$ in 2007 but in less than a year dropped to 2$!!!!He is close to wiped out.I know many of these movers and shakers have suffered the same unbeleivable implosion.A few years ago these same mansions were selling for no more than 3-6million around the bh hotel.I think we will be seeing those prices again.

Anonymous said...

8:44 - It's not in a *gated* community but to be certain the neighbors would be upset if a house of this stature were a forclosure. It is in a nice pocket of houses behind the Beverly Hills Hotel. I don't believe it will fall to foreclosure. Might be discounted further before finds a buyer...

9:02 - I believe Gonda built the house and original owner so the house has never been sold on the open market. The best Zillow can estimate is running calculations on what little data is public information. This is why one always has to take Zillow with a large grain of salt.

Anonymous said...

In Aug / Sept of 2008 when Forbes compiled its 400 List, the worst hadn't hit Wall Street yet. There were no millionares on the list. The entry price was like $1.2 b (somehwere in that ball park)

It should be interested later in this year when they release the 2009 list to see how far some of the mighty have fallen. However, I think some out there are in for a big surprise that not everyone is being ravished like the children like to think.

Anonymous said...

Yes.
Most of the prices of these bh mansions were pumped up by people who made a lot of funny money through highly leveraged assets like real estate,mortgage biz,construction and energy.As well people in high finance made a killing.
But take a look at the implosion of banks and investment banks and you know that all these players have been completely removed from the pool of buyers...ex:bank america,citi,wamu,lehman,bear stearns,ge...these are just a small example of companies that have been completely wiped out or close to it.These happen to be the titans of american finance...Its astonishing.Hedge fund guys are cooked as well.A lot of the bh buyers were tied up in finance.Forget that source of buyers.Look at vegas people like adelson or kirkorian(mgm).Their companies are bust and on life support at best.Lexington and all those streets behind the bh hotel are amazing but the prices kind of went irrational.I remember seeing prices no greater than 8 million and then in the last few years you see 15-50 million as average.As crazy as 400k shacks in compton.

The Mighty Trev said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Gonda is also selling his commercial mid-rise properties along Wilshire. Between AIG and the money he lost building the Montage in BH with JH Snyder, he has fallen from mega-rich to low 9 digit wealth. That hurts. You can't live like a billionaire on $100 million!

Anonymous said...

The real losers are the charities and hospitals that got millions from the Gonda family. If they lost a billion dollars, that's hundreds of millons that would have been donated....based on their past history of giving.

Anonymous said...

While I am certain Louis Gonda is very charitable, I believe the large donations you may be thinking of were made by his father Leslie Gonda.

Anonymous said...

By the way, what it the law in CA? Are mortgages there non-recourse or can they come after the personal assets of the guy who defaults?

First mortgages are non-recourse, seconds and home equity loans are recourse but in practice most banks haven't been pursuing the defaulters. I read somewhere, but don't know for sure, that refi's are recourse loans too.

:{} avg joe said...

good point

funny money is what propped up these prices to ridiculous levels

but.........

I am now beginning to highly doubt if they will ever come down to realistic levels

then again ?

this mansion would have been listed for 5MM in 1999 now listing is at 35MM ??? that is a 7000% price increase

we have such a long long long way to go......

:{} avg joe said...

excuse me a 700% price increase

but still from 5MM to 35MM ???

this market will have a very interesting run in the next 5 years

Kieran said...

Are you kidding me?? This house has been on the hilton and hyland website for a very long time. I think this is a bit late.

Nice satillite shot though

Anonymous said...

Ignore Beetlejuice everyone. Hopefully it will crawl back into it's hole.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I think this house is really ugly looking from the outside. Also, $35 Million for a house that close to the street? I can take my $35 Million somewhere else in Beverly Hills and do much better.

Anonymous said...

Never heard of Lou Gonad.

Leases jets you say? Does he own NetJets with Warren Buffet???

Must have one heck of a carbon footprint leasing out to all the celebrities needing G5s, Lears, and Citations.

Anonymous said...

5:00 - Wrong kind of jet leasing. And Gonda got out of that business a long time ago. He has a number of smaller business ventures now.

The major airlines don't actually own their jets (or didn't back then). They leased them. Gonda's company was one of the largest commercial airliner leasing companies.

Parantar said...

wow. beautiful place!

a_word_in_your_ear said...

I heard from my good sources in the Hills that Mariah Carey just bought Fleur de Lys...this ought to send mama running for the nerve tonic!

Anonymous said...

I'll admit the place is huge but the facade is just ugly. At a glance, I thought I was looking at Graceland...and like the previous poster, I agree it's not a compliment. There are too many lovely homes out there to spend that much money on this one.

pch said...

I've never liked this house. It isn't an eyesore like some in the 'hood, but it seems uncomfortably bulky and top-heavy. There's a lot of roof. Everywhere.

It would work much better if the architect had left the grander proportions to the main block (where I'd still love to do something about the Houston 1985 details) and taken a less heavy-handed approach with the wings.

On the plus side, it's a huge lot for the neighborhood.

Kissyface said...

How big is the market for this house? Well, smaller than it was two years ago .... but bigger than many will think!

Derivatives (or "synthetic securities") - where many of the biggest reported losses have occurred - are generally "zero sum games." That means that for every loss there is, somewhere in the market, an equal and opposite GAIN. Yes, trillions have been lost through derivatives, but that means trillions have been made, too ... if those losses were realized just through derivatives. The winners generally (but not universally) are wisely keeping quiet. Paulson & Co., a hedge fund that made billions betting the housing market would go to exactly the hell it's in right now, is a vocal exception. But there are lots more winners out there. Very Big Winners.

It's true that financial losses have been very big and very real even in the aggregate. And in some forms other than derivatives losses, such as declines in the stock market and losses from actual credit defaults (as opposed to derivative bets on mortgage defaults), very much dead weight losses resulting in a generally poorer society ... and no winners. But finance normally includes a lot of nuance, and the current troubles are no exception.

Markets are amazing. Yes, the society has got poorer, but there are still people who have been big winners betting that exactly that impoverishment would occur. Those winners could buy this pile. Indeed, purchases of such piles will be one way we can determine who those private, quiet winners have been!

FUN!

avg joe said...

it says on perez hilton that mariah carey is buying or maybe it is leasing that palace on carolwood drive

Anonymous said...

see above, av-jo

Anonymous said...

8:07 should really learn more about the derivatives market.

FUN!

Anonymous said...

Salt Water Pool!!! What does he do, raise sharks and saltwater crocodiles?

I keep thinking of the movie "Chinatown"

The Japanese gardener saying "Saltwater is very bad for the gwass"

:{} avg joe said...

Here you go from Big Time Listings

Film producer Lawrence Kuppin lists his 11,166-square-foot Mediterranean-style mansion in the Bird Streets area of Los Angeles’ Hollywood Hills for $29.5M

Babe Parish said...

f*ck AIG, they should be known as PIG.

"they can live like pashas and Gilded Age robber barons", Mama, you said it!

Anonymous said...

listing's been on hilton&hyland website for months

Anonymous said...

8:43 needs to learn what a saltwater pool is. Hint: It has more in common with a whole house water softener system than an ocean.

FUN!

poster who thinks anon 8:42 is an a** said...

anon 8:42 and 2:42, you're annoying...people are being informative and funny. get with it, or go post on tmz or people.com
BYE!

Anonymous said...

Surprising as it may seem, some of Mama's springoffs are connected, however humbly, to the NY thee-ayter... where the Gondas are much tittered-at... oh, I remember, for instance, their behavior as producers of Grey Gardens... ridiculously lavish & useless cast & crew presents when all anyone wanted was better light over the mirrors etc... oh the stories. Anyway, as for this architectural mess--there is Georgian and then there is Beverly Hills Georgian. We have the latter here (well, ok, I know, natch). This is definitely subdivision Georgian--not Staub or Bottomley or anything serious. Awful.

Oh, Anon 8:43-- I think it was "bad for the gLass"....

Anonymous said...

New story please!!!! I'm getting antsy for my fix!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to what the thinking is from these folks who list $30mm estates in this environment, when there are now dozens listed in close proximity...Or when a celebrity lists a house they bought last year (likely at the height of the market) so they can "move closer to..." -Is it ignorance of market dynamics? Is it bravado? (i.e. "I don't think THIS house will have any trouble selling") Perhaps in most cases it's because they have no choice -they need liquidity. I ask because we all know that houses in the $10+ million range usually take forever and a day to sell ANYWAY, so if you're going to be listed for 8 months to 2 years (especially in this environment), why not hold off until 2010 and there's some evidence of a recovery in the broader economy?

FYI rich folks, US prosperity and consumption has been driven by borrowed money for years and the financial system is in the midst of a global deleveraging ergo there is less freely-flowing cash available to bid up the price of lavish estates. You may need to reign in your expectations a wee bit...or hold off on hammering in the for sale sign beside the pink flamingoes on the lawn.

StPaulSnowman said...

I love the houses of the Guilded Age robber barons but if I had had the money, and commissioned a house of this magnitude, I would be suing the architect or planning him/her physical harm. The Tara thing flanked by the projecting bay windows and the facade proportions are , to me, a design cacophony. I really hope Mama fills us in on who buys this steaming pile of.........................yikes the wooden spoon!

Anonymous said...

9:35 - In all honesty, there aren't *dozens* of properties around 30 million, or even over 20 million.

But the reasons the houses are for sale are as varied as the houses themselves. As Mama frequently reminds us, we don't know all the facts to be able to understand why some are being sold or whether the owner is making a good or bad decision.

It's all rumor and speculation on top of a little bit of fact. That's why this is a celebrity real estate *gossip* site.

Anonymous said...

I propose to transform all those ridiculous houses into low income flats.

Anonymous said...

Both Gonda's Leslie & son Louis were worth well over a billion dollars each, in the past few years. Wonder if they dumped their AIG stock, before it tanked?
If they lost 90% of their money, the family would still be worth hundreds of millions. Don't worry about their financial status.....

everyman said...

Don't worry. I won't. I am too busy worrying about how to pay my own mortgage on my own fabulous mansion.

Anonymous said...

"poster who thinks anon 8:42 is an a** said..."

Hey poster boy,

You must be Japanese or a gardener.

I thought it WAS interesting! Your the one that is a totally annoying!

People like you that bitch loudly, need to go to TMZ or one of the lesser white trash rags to spew their loud venom.

Anonymous said...

AIG bought International Lease Finance Corporation from the Gonda's in 1990. That is the tie to AIG.

If AIG goes down they might seriously hurt Boeing and AirBus sales. ILS is the biggest customer of both Boeing and AirBus.

Just another reason they(The Feds) are bailing them out.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Lease_Finance_Corporation

Anonymous said...

It is as obama said last night on the tonight show

AIG was a great solid insurance company and a smart guy added hedge funding derivatives packages to their portfolio, they were doing great for years from that addition and then the crash and when you have a 10-1 ratio, negative to postive earnings you are in trouble

BIGGGG TROUBBBLLLEEEE

so these idiots are scrambling to stay alive

I agree with avg joe this estate like many others is way to high, what you have here is the rich trying to sell their mansions off to the rich.........

the problem ????

the rich are now less and less

and that is the trouble here boys and girls

Anonymous said...

they should all take their mansions off of the market and wait until 2012
by that time there will be another paper ponzi scam well underway

Anonymous said...

Luxist

AIG is selling their 66 story building for under 100MM in manhattan
NY

I think these wild obese estate balloons are about to pop !

Faulk said...

See more about this at http://www.blackcelebrealestate.net23.net

Anonymous said...

Went to a party here once a few years back -- great grounds on the property -- but was surprised that alot of the interior moldings were prefab.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the former billionaires like these below, of the world I might add, who were continuously funded by our governments, were planing moving out to sunny peaceful CA and buying up these estates at these very very fair prices and then flipping them for 2-5 times their listing price to more suckers next year ?

Pillars of the community are now pariahs fearing for their safety in a ritzy area of Connecticut home to many executives at American International Group Inc., hit with a backlash over bonuses it paid to top brass even as it accepted federal bailout money.

The payouts to executives appear to have helped put a face on the economic struggles the country faces, and the anger targeting AIG is palpable. Death threats have been pouring in since the brouhaha broke, the company said, and its workers are taking no chances.

"It's scary," one executive said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he feared retribution. "People are very, very nervous for their security."

The financial products division is in Wilton in Fairfield County, and many of the company's leaders live in large homes on the "Gold Coast," an area known more for golf courses and sweeping views of Long Island Sound than for the police cars that now regularly patrol the well-kept streets.

Corporate officials advised employees in a memo posted on Gawker.com to avoid wearing the company logo, in an effort to keep from drawing attention. Workers were also urged to travel in pairs at night and park in well-lit areas.

And typifying the preoccupation with the AIG payouts, a busload of activists plans to drive by executives' houses Saturday in an attempt to deliver letters highlighting the strife of ordinary families in the recession and seeking solutions for economic recovery.

AIG said Friday that at least three executives who received bonuses planned to return the money, including James Haas and Doug Poling, both residents of Fairfield County.

"However someone may feel about the appropriateness of the retention payments, there is nothing appropriate about the threats that people have made to and about employees," company spokesman Mark Herr said in a statement. Haas and Poling have not responded to requests for comment from The Associated Press.

The Polings help out charities including a homeless shelter, theaters and a school, according to The Connecticut Post. At the house, a large white Colonial on a cul-de-sac with all the trappings of suburban prosperity — green shutters, a wood-shingled roof and an invisible fence for dogs — a police car pulled up Friday afternoon and talked to a security guard.

Officer Joe Kalson said that he drives by two or three times a day as of late and that other officers patrol the area, as well.

Organizers of the bus protest noted that there are no plans to trespass and that only a small group planned to get off the bus at each stop.

The protest is an attempt to let people suffering from loss of jobs or homes tell their stories directly to AIG executives, said organizer Jon Green, director of Connecticut Working Families, a coalition of labor unions and other groups.

"There is a human cost to the economic meltdown that we're experiencing," Green said.

Security companies in New York say the financial crisis has created brisk business in everything from bomb-sniffing dogs to bodyguards for executives. The firms didn't want to identify the companies for security reasons.

Pat Timlin, president of the Michael Stapleton Associates, which provides dog teams, said some companies are reacting to the negative atmosphere surrounding Wall Street firms.

"These are people used to living private lives, and are now faced with publicity and attention, often negative attention, and they're worried and responding to that," Timlin said.

Tim Horner, the managing director at Kroll Inc. security company, said the financial industry is taking any perceived risk much more seriously. He has seen an increase on the human resources side of security from companies concerned about hostile laid-off employees.

He has also seen more companies reacting to the very public criticism of once very private companies like AIG.

"There are corporations that have been spotlighted as those responsible or whatever, where they weren't before, and it's a concern," he said. "What's going on here is the stress that individuals and corporations are facing, given a downturn economy. The problems are highlighted more during this time."

Horner said AIG seems to be responding prudently to a corporate security risk.

"I'm sure there is not only a perceived risk, but there are probably threatening or harassing e-mails and blog entries all over the place. They're right to cover themselves," he said.

Anonymous said...

MANY OF THESE SO CALLED MOGULS BUSINESSMEN, DEVELOPERS HAVE NO MONEEEEEEY!!!!!!!!!!!!

what they do is find projects, make them attractive to their governments and wayyyyyyyyyyy overpay and they.....

get the govt loans that come from the taxpayers
those loans provide jobs for the taxpayers

this is a fucking joke that has been played on us since the dawn of the civilization

but if we riot we have another dafur

so we just have to take it up the poop hole time and time again and say thank you as these sneaky fucks keep on getting richer and richer and eventually cause another meltdown

Anonymous said...

Simple

2002-2009
millionaires 100 MM of them
billionaires 1MM of them

2009
millionaires 1MM of them
billionaires 100k of them

and so real estate should drop accordingly

BY 90%

then we can all breathe again

Anonymous said...

AMERICANS ARE GREEDY FUCKERS.

Soon the US Dollar will not exist.

cow Patty said...

I got plenty of nothing and nothing is plenty for me. I got no car, got no mule, I got no misery.

The folks with plenty of plenty, they got a lock on the door...it seems with plenty you sure got to worry, while they're out making more...what for????

I got no lock on my door, thant's no way to be. They can steal the rug from the floor, thats ok with me, 'cause the things that I PRIZE like the STARS IN THE SKIES, they're all FREE........

have a great day y'all

Anonymous said...

avg joe / anon

you are sto stupid, atleast if you have half a witt of intelligence you would change up your writing a bit so we couldn't tell every fuckin' comment by you. which since they all reak of bullshit, we'd still be able to tell but some of the slower children who got dropped off by the short bus may mistake a comment by you for having some merit.

the real estate market is not going to go down by 90% regaurdless of what you want or think. sayin' so won't make it so.

Anonymous said...

Mama needs to start up-dating this more often, its like 3 stories a week lately... b-o-r-i-n-g!

Candian Wench said...

Why is London real estate the most expensive if Americans are so greedy? Why is EVERY corner of the world being hurt financially if Americans are so greedy? If it wasn't for their greed they wouldn't have invested in us or orperated their banks by the same priciples Americans were.

EVERYONE IS FUCKING GREEDY! Stop blaming the Americans. It's EVERYONE'S FAULT!

angeleyes said...

8:45, read Canadian Wench's comment again. She was defending Americans, not attacking them.

4:00, you're unfairly painting Americans with a bit of a broad brush. Assuming you aren't one, perhaps a little educating might might help. In oversimplified terms to facilitate discussion, the Bush administration embodied the far right conservative ideology which included, 1.) the deregulating of private sector business on the premise that it's not the government's job or place to involve itself with them, and 2.) implementing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans on the premise that they will in turn spend that money in ways which financially benefit the rest of society (what former President Reagan dubbed "trickle down economics"), and 3.) the forced democratization of the Middle East on the premise that it will stabilize the world.

That far right conservative ideology dominated what was the majority Republican congress at the time, so Bush had no trouble passing legislation which accomplished both the deregulation of business and tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. That ideology has since proved itself extremely flawed in that big business did indeed become greedy, and with no regulation or oversight in place to keep it in check, they capitalized on their new found 'freedom' and followed Bush's example of doing whatever he wanted with no accountability.

Further complicating matters, to begin democratizing the Middle East, Bush became emeshed in a war of his own choosing - Iraq. The war spun out of control, requiring Bush to obtain enormous amounts of money, most of which was borrowed, from the then majority Republican congress to continue fighting it. This in turn created a situation which allowed congressional Republicans to load up their bills up with pork for Bush to sign off on and approve - a you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours financial arrangement between them.

Put a war that was being financed by placing it on a charge card and a free spending legislative congress together with an economy that was being artificially and irresponsibly stimulated, and you have the perfect storm for a meltdown, which is exactly what happened. The bottom line is that the government at the time failed miserably in it's duties, making the vast majority of Americans victims of the greedy and reckless in the top percentile of the population rather than greedy themselves.

Anonymous said...

But this didn't just happen in America. You all keep focusing on America like its the only place on the planet and the only place this happened. It's a world-wide backlash at corperate irresponsiblity and greed.

angeleyes said...

8:55, agreed, and thanks for pointing that out. The economic meltdown is the fault of greedy people at the top around the world.

To the Anon is so angry, PLEASE read through the comments again, SLOWLY. You have jumped to an incorrect conclusion. Thanks!

:{} avg joe said...

Uh anon if this blog gets the comments cut off it will be your damm fault

the anon s you think are me are not

and for what it is worth

AMERICANS at least 99.99999 % of them are upstanding moral citizens

it is that .0001 which equates to a few hundred thousand that are the bad apples, developers, bankers are at the top of that list

and yes I have been reading elsewhere that in parts of the country estates are getting sold quietly for 90% off but to keep up the illusion there is still shady record keeping going to the books

in other words what you read in the PUBLIC RECORDS is not true

they keep 2 sets of books

just sayin

STARCHY said...

People here, have the illusion they are rich, when in reality they are in a world of debt. This has come as a sudden realization, now that the debt game is in its final stages. Credit is being choked off and the emperor has no clothes. Everywhere, are signs of people retrenching and trying to eliminate what debt they have. Business, which survived on credit are going out faster than could be imagined. On the Westside, high end sales of real estate, cars etc… are at a standstill, just about dead in the water. Driving around Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, I counted 15 commercial businesses in a 1/4 mile that have gone out of business and the rest seem to be barely hanging on. People on the Westside are submerged in debt and now worried about their jobs. The downturn is surely picking up more steam.

It doesn’t help, that the Fed Chairman has resorted to making pleas on 60 minutes, trying to sell the American public, that everything is OK.

Anonymous said...

Diagnosing anger and maturity issues over the internet is difficult at best, but it seems that Anon 8:45/8:56 has a titch of unhappiness in his or her life. Could it be relative poverty? Has this person recently been affected by cutbacks at the USPS? The purge of incompetent fry cooks at McDonalds? Had his or her Chevy Aveo reposessed?

Anonymous said...

"AMERICANS at least 99.99999 % of them are upstanding moral citizens"

Now that is funny. Now what (for example) are those figures on red-state porn consumption again?

Anonymous said...

everyone has good and bad....

people are greedy, resentful, lazy, (fill in the blank)

and these apply to EVERYONE... we are so caught up in playing the blame game that we don't just solve the problem and get moving. who is responsible, doesnt really matter at this point... its time to just end it.

Candian Wench said...

Oh my, Children.

Ya'll are actin' very much like children.

If I read one more C*** comment I'm gonna cut a b*tch.

That word is unacceptable. Do not use it.

Anonymous said...

who is doing that? come on, get a life .

Anonymous said...

Lou & Steven Udvar-Hazy were biz. partners way back in the day.

Anonymous said...

well.........

there goes our comment privileges

Anonymous said...

I STILL BELEIVE AMERICANS ARE GREDDY FUCKERS - + they are fat

Anonymous said...

greddy huh? not sure what that is

sounds like youre the lazy fat ignorant one

Anonymous said...

Mama doesn't need to moderate comments.

Mama doesn't need to turn off the comments.

All she needs to do is change the settings to only allow comments from registered users. It doesn't have to be a blogger account. People can use OpenID which can be a LiveJournal, WordPress, TypePad, or AOL AIM account. It won't eliminate all the trolls but it will certainly cut down on them dramatically with out Mama having to set down the G&T for more than 1 minute as she changes the setting.

Unless of course Mama is counting on the annoyance and strife caused by the trolls to raise her hit count........

StPaulSnowman said...

Mama supports free speech and I suspect most of the children do too. You don't stop walking your longbody because of a few turds on the sidewalk.

Anonymous said...

Yeah but you might find a different street to walk down if the sidewalks are covered in sh*t.

There is censorship and there is blatant attempt to derail on-topic discussion.

getovahit said...

It is easy enough to skip the rants and read the good, interesting comments. The wooden spoon is not there to spoon feed you, but to keep you in line.

Anonymous said...

What good interesting comments?

Anonymous said...

End of the day AMERICA WILL PAY FOR IT'S GREEDY FUCK-UPS.

The US dollar will no longer exist in 4 years time and your houses will be worthless. America will become MEXICO

Anonymous said...

so who gets to decide which comments are "good & interesting"?

Hello 507am-- unhappy much? Take an English course and learn to distinguish between it and it's

Anonymous said...

each reader decides for him/herself which comments are good and interesting.......get over it

Anonymous said...

5:41 - So I guess that means I get to decide that 5:07/7:03 is an idiot while you are just a bitchy queen?

avg joes friend said...

curious are you the same anon that has been berating avg joe ?

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:07,
If the USD no longer exists in a few years, the rest of the world will likely be in a wee spot of trouble as well...Aside from the unwinding of the carry-trade, there's a reason why the USD has rallied throughout the crisis: flight to quality & liquidity. Similarly, there's a reason why China just announced it will purchase more US treasuries. No one wants the USD to fail as such it will not. Sure, there are genuine fears of hyperinflation now, but the Fed is as aware of this as any journalist, economist, blogger etc.

Anonymous said...

8:35 isn't Avg Joe's "friend". It is Average Joe.

Anonymous said...

you are a bitchy queen, who lives in a studio apartment in WeHo and waits tables at the olive garden on westwood blvd.

what a life you have.

Anonymous said...

3:04 - Try a better updated online directory next time. There is no Olive Garden on Westwood. Your lack of real knowledge of LA is showing.....

Anonymous said...

wow, such a burn... i have a lack of useless LA knowledge. god u know how to hurt.... ha

ill stick to the nyc, thanks!

Anonymous said...

It is a pretty good burn when you were pretending (as usual) to be an Angelino. You don't know the streets, you don't know marine layer from smog, you don't know jack, do you joe?

Anonymous said...

All I know is the listing agent on this prop is fine-

EM

Anonymous said...

Beautiful home!

Jeff said...

I am not sure of the news value of this blog other than to spread gossip and innuendo about someone who has no public role at any company and leads a private life without publicity. As for the illiterate writing style of the author, I would consider a basic course in journalism and ethics.

Regards

Jeff 2 said...

No one is making you read this blog Jeff. If you don't like it, move on.

The Blogger said...

I've been in the house and regardless of whatever else you think of rich people and their houses, the house is frickin' fabulous! I personally do not like Spanish style houses, which abound in L.A. Also, the influx of Middle Eastern people to Beverly Hills over the past 10 years has caused a lot of the charming mansions with historical value to be ripped down. Sadly, they were replaced with HUGE, flat roofed, square boxes, jammed up to the property line with no landscaping. Ugly as hell. Gonda's house always was great but compared to those, it now looks even better.
Even judged alone, sour grapes or not, it really is fabulous. It is as large as a hotel and just as gorgeous. It's not too close to the street, especially since the street it's on is very secluded and quiet. For years Gonda's house has been the one everyone refers to as the ultimate in good taste. The "one" house anybody would want. No extra flash or bling, just the best of everything. It really is one of a kind. I have nothing to do with the house, no kickback if the house sells (I wish!) but I I've been in most of the bajillion dollar mansions around here and I just wanted to say, Gonda's house is one of the best of them.
As far as whether rich people should spend their money on houses and whether they are responsible for the problems of us all - I won't pretend I know enough to have an opinion. I'm just offering one of the house. If I could buy any house, that'd be it. I sure hope whoever does buy it doesn't rip it down and build some monstrosity.

Anonymous said...

ive been to the house before since i am good friends wit the Gonda's
Its a masterpiece to say the least

Anonymous said...

It is a nice house, though I wouldn't decorate it as they have, it's too dark and stuffy, especially the family room. The kitchen is fabulous, but the nicest rooms in the house are his study, and the downstairs room with the stage & drop down viewing screen and bar. But not to fear folks, he's not broke. He also has a home in Hidden Valley (El Campeon Farms)where he has horses and until recently, a camel, and numerous other animals. I heard the camel died, such a shame.

Anonymous said...

Just been reduced to $28.5m. A long slippery road for Mr. Gonda me thinks.

Anonymous said...

Although the last posting was in January, I thought I'd leave my 2 cents for the record.
My construction company did all of the finish carpentry work on this wonderful home. We were not allowed to take any photos while we worked there and so I was always hoping to see interior photos of this home. My partner and I installed the grand staircase and now I finally have a shot of it. I had up to 25 finish carpenters working at one time on the home. One poster above who said they had been in the home and said the moldings were all pre-fab, whatever that means. But absolutely not true as my company supplied all the finish materials. Most of the moldings came from the wood shop at Paramount Studios.
We were there about a year and a half.
I've worked for many millionaires and billionaires during my twenty-five years working in Beverly Hills. Ted Fields at Green Acres , Marvin Davis at Lionsgate, Kenny Rogers, Pia Zadora/Meshulam Riklis at Pickfair.
I have to say that besides Kenny Rogers, Lou Gonda was one of the most down to earth likable guy and a real pleasure to work with during that time.

Anonymous said...

Amazing to see how petty some of you are. If you have the money to buy one of these homes, then you can find one you like. Taste is individual. The blame for the financial crisis is much bigger and broader than some individuals affected by it. It is a wide-spread, global phenomena. The mean comments about this family clearly sound like sour grapes, and are not deserved. I can tell you from personal experience that the Gondas are considerate and generous people. Stop your criticisms towards those you may be jealous of and take action to find solutions and contribute.

Alex said...

This home sold on December 17th for $23million. Great price for this home but a few rooms (especially master bedroom with those awful bookshelves) need some attention.
The pool and landscaping are so "family friendly" (pathways etc. and it would be difficult for a small child to fall into the raised pool).
Great link for some pics: http://priceypads.com/2011/01/a-new-record-sale-for-beverly-hills-24475000/
I love the upstairs landing, although the game room is a little bit "woody" for my tastes. Tennis court could also do with some resurfacing.

ItalianEstalker said...

Who is the new Owner?

Anonymous said...

The new owner is the billionaire Ming Hsieh, founder of Cogent Systems who owns a huge estate in Pasadena as well.

Charles Fosbrook said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.