Shane Goldmacher:

And New York home buyers picked up the tab, at least indirectly.

The extravagant evening was just one night of entertainment in the title insurance industry, an obscure corner of the real estate world that has spent tens of millions of dollars to win the favor and business of its clients at ballparks, Madison Square Garden luxury suites, exclusive country clubs, expensive steakhouses, even strip clubs.

All that spending has been baked into the title insurance rates that New Yorkers seldom scrutinize in the stressful rush to complete a closing, which state regulators say are hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars higher than in neighboring states like Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jerse