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1960s 'Dream House' spawned a destructive hedge fund?

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Kniwt:
A long report out this morning in The Atlantic details the history of hedge fund Alden Global Capital and how it's changed local newspapers. (For better or for worse, we'll just leave that part to the off-topic board.)

An interesting -- and relevant to our interests -- tidbit is buried deep in the article:
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/11/alden-global-capital-killing-americas-newspapers/620171/


--- Quote ---The story of Alden Capital begins on the set of a 1960s TV game show called Dream House. A young man named Randall Duncan Smith—Randy for short—stands next to his wife, Kathryn, answering quick-fire trivia questions in front of a live studio audience. The show’s premise pits two couples against each other for the chance to win a home. When the Smiths win, they pass on the house and take the cash prize instead—a $20,000 haul that Randy will eventually use to seed a small trading firm he calls R.D. Smith & Company.

--- End quote ---

weaklink75:
Didn't a lot of people take a cash buyout instead of the house because of tax issues? I remember reading that only a couple of houses were actually built- makes you wonder how many people on the 80's version actually got their houses built (though they had a lot of house building partners in that run) or if there was a cash buyout option there too...

BrandonFG:
There's a picture in Maxine Fabe's book with Mike Darrow standing in front of a house under construction. I don't remember how many took the buyout; I just remember the caption saying "Ticky tacky!"

My thoughts on Alden and other hedge funds getting into journalism are not suitable for this forum.

TLEberle:
The caption might have been an allusion to the song “Little Houses.”

SuperMatch93:

--- Quote from: weaklink75 on October 14, 2021, 12:19:03 PM ---Didn't a lot of people take a cash buyout instead of the house because of tax issues? I remember reading that only a couple of houses were actually built- makes you wonder how many people on the 80's version actually got their houses built (though they had a lot of house building partners in that run) or if there was a cash buyout option there too...

--- End quote ---

From what I understand, in 1969 TV Guide published an expose on Dream House that stated that no houses had been built and that couples had to borrow more than the $7,000 land credit they won, and that was the impetus for offering the cash option. I haven't heard anything about the 80s show offering a cash option.

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