Friday, May 05, 2006

What About the Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts?

by Tom Bozzo

McMansion "Luxury home" builder (*) Toll Brothers has been kindly bringing me the Saturday Metropolitan Opera broadcasts since Chevron Corp. decided that it had better things to do with the $7 million or so the old Texaco sponsorship reportedly cost.

I hope the Met either (a) is getting the money directly from the Toll brothers themselves, and not the company, and/or (b) got the money upfront. Because here's another "all ahead full" signal:
AP: Toll Brothers Says Contracts Fall in 2Q.

For the three months ended April 30, Toll projected preliminary contracts of roughly $1.56 billion, down from $2.2 billion in the year-ago period...

The company attributed the drop in contracts and deliveries to a greater supply of homes resulting from a drop in speculative buyers, and more cancellations from non-speculative buyers...

"Speculative buyers are no longer fueling demand; instead they're putting the homes they've recently acquired back on the market or are canceling contracts in mid-construction," Chief Executive Robert Toll said. Much of the excess homes for sale are being aggressively discounted, he added. [Emphasis added.]

The fire-sale stage might make a few headline statistics look OK long enough to give the markets their latest shot of happy gas (oil is up, hooray for Big Oil!; oil is down, hooray for everyone else!), but it's hard to see this making for happy economic news in the election season.

Now, now. "Luxury home builder" is trademarked, per the Met site.

And in other news, this dovetails nicely into my (fortunately pending) anti-baselining rant.
I think the trademark is "America's luxury home builder." I doubt an attempt to trademark just the last three words would hold up in court.
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