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Thursday, Sep 28, 2023



Going through customs

Shops on Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive report that the millionaires and billionaires buying their baubles these days come not from Tokyo and Silicon Valley, but from Beijing and Jakarta.

For Americans looking to do business with emerging tiger Indonesia, hotel chain Regent International has compiled a handy list of “insider tips.”

For example, “Smiling is important in Indonesia.”

Also, “If you are offered food or a drink in a meeting, wait until your host gestures to you to enjoy the refreshments. They will probably wave at the food and say ‘Silahkan,’ meaning ‘Please, go ahead.'”

Finally, “Once you have developed a good relationship with a business partner, they may greet you with a hug rather than a formal handshake. This is a good sign.”

With such gems of insight under your belt, the hotel insists, “you’ll be the savviest dealmaker around.”

Lava lover

During an interview last week focusing on his campaign to become the next mayor of Los Angeles, state Sen. Tom Hayden, D-Los Angeles, revealed himself to be a film buff at least when it’s good for him politically.

The Senator took particular glee over the soon-to-be-released motion picture about a Volcano erupting in L.A.’s Mid-Wilshire district.

“In ‘Volcano,’ actual MTA trains in the Red Line tunnels melt down before your eyes,” said Hayden, a longtime critic of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s management, L.A. subways and Mayor Richard Riordan’s prominent role on the MTA board.

Hayden also took delight in the fact that the repeatedly delayed 20th Century Fox film is now scheduled to be released this spring.

“It’s coming out just before the election,” he said.

Family ties

When it comes to securing big-name entertainment and sporting events in Los Angeles, Diane McGraw shouldn’t have a problem.

For McGraw, who is president of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission, both sports and music run in the family blood.

Her husband is former Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Tug McGraw. And her stepson is country music star Tim McGraw, who recently married country singer Faith Hill.

“We have interesting family get-togethers,” she said.

House hunters

Every three or six months, homeowners with adjustable-rate mortgages typically receive formal notification from their lenders of record, that is that their monthly payments are being adjusted to reflect interest rate changes.

So what are those “Notification Of Mortgage Payment Change” postcards from an outfit called 1st Federal Funding that homeowners with ARMs are getting in the mail?

Nothing more than an effort to swipe your lender’s business by refinancing your adjustable with a fixed-rate mortgage, according to the Home Savings of America customer service rep who fielded a recent inquiry from a curious homeowner.

When a peeved recipient of one of the postcards asked a customer service rep at 1st Federal about the notice, he was told that such mortgage information is “a matter of public record.”

“We have connections and work with more than 41 lenders,” including Home Savings, the 1st Federal rep said.

Not so, says the Home Savings rep: “We have no knowledge of them working with us,” she stressed.

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