News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. June 10, 2016

Linking ≠ endorsement.

Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) Adair Turner considers whether rapid credit growth is really necessary to boost GDP growth. – Project Syndicate

2) 3 Simple Steps to Increase the Value of Your Multifamily Property

3) mainly macro: Avoiding political discourse

4) A Guaranteed Income for Every American – WSJ

5) How China Fell Off the Miracle Path – The New York Times

6) "We're seeing a battle of two political agendas:" Director of Russian Polling Center VTSIOM

7) Sober Look: US labor markets take a turn for the worse

8) The ECB's Illusory Independence

9) Nigel Farage on the EU referendum – YouTube

10) Switzerland rejected universal basic income – but that doesn't mark the end of the idea for Europe | The Independent

11) If wind/solar is so cheap, why require government subsidy? | Stephan Livera

12) United States Labor Market Conditions Index | 1976-2016 | Data | Chart

13) Is Health Insurance Good for Your Financial Health? Liberty Street Economics

14) Alabama Utility Warns Residents in 2 Counties of Water Contamination

15) China Must Be 'More Adept' at Policy Communication, Lew Says – Bloomberg

16) Financial watchdogs need more bite to bring shadow banking to heel | Business | The Guardian

17) Super-Capitalized Banks Free From Rules in Top Republican's Plan – Bloomberg

18) Is the San Francisco Bay Area's housing market cooling? – San Francisco Business Times

19) Florida Atlantic University report finds Houston's housing market a "cause for concern" – Houston Business Journal

20) Home prices soar again; some buyers camp out to lay claim to a future condo | The Seattle Times

21) Remarkable Forest Hotel Takes Green Architecture to a Whole New Level

22) Can Philosophy Stop Bankers From Stealing?

23) Late-Spring Texas Floods 2016 | ALERT™ :: Event Summary

24) Bank requires few loan documents: Seems like housing deja vu

25) mainly macro: Money and Debt

26) Breakdown of a $30k Rental Purchase: From Offer to Closing [With Pics & Numbers!]

27) Central Banking's Final Frontier?

28) Real Estate Tech Report Finds Disconnect Between Founders and Investors – cretech

29) Multifamily Lending Brief: 1Q 2016 – MPF Research

30) EconoSpeak: The Rise Of Negative Interest Assets

31) Artificial intelligence and employment | VOX, CEPR's Policy Portal

32) What Jeb Hensarling Gets Wrong About Capital Requirements – Roosevelt Institute

33) Jobs Threatened by Machines: A Once 'Stupid' Concern Gains Respect – The New York Times

34) Megaquake drill message: It will be bad, so be prepared | The Seattle Times

35) mainly macro: Bad business

36) France shuns Europe as Brexit revolt spreads

37) 6 Smart Strategies for Limiting Liability as a Landlord

38) German macroeconomics: The long shadow of Walter Eucken | VOX, CEPR's Policy Portal

39) Andy Stern: There Is a Way to Stop Machines From Making Americans Poorer – YouTube

40) The Surprising Comeback of the Real Estate Markets in Baltimore and Ferguson — realtorcom

41) Silicon Valley's Basic-Income Experiment Is Worth Watching – Bloomberg View

42) Jim Justice-Owned Mine Cited by Kentucky Regulators for Mudslide Damage to Homes

43) Flawed Flood Maps Hurting Condo Sales in Ocean City, Maryland

44) Manhattan Landlords Boost Renter Incentives in Apartment Glut – Bloomberg

45) Manhattan Rents Get Cheaper for Rich People and Higher For Rest of Us – Midtown – DNAinfo New York

46) May's seriously downbeat jobs report puts kibosh on Fed rate hike; underscores need for deep infrastructure dive | Jared Bernstein

47) A Threat, Not a Theory : Democracy Journal

48) The Global Economy's Dismal Outlook in 6 Charts – Real Time Economics – WSJ

49) Why investors in the housing market can't buy a break these days | Dallas Morning News

50) Detroit now requiring rental properties to be registered with the city – WXYZcom

51) Negative Interest Rates Are Nothing to Fear – Bloomberg View

  1.    Adair Turner considers whether rapid credit growth is really necessary to boost GDP growth. – Project Syndicate

    Adair Turner:

    … the same pattern is unfolding in many emerging economies — most notably, China. With credit growth far outpacing nominal GDP growth, leverage is increasing. And it seems that the rising credit intensity of GDP growth (the amount of new credit required to generate a unit of output) is needed to ensure that economic performance remains in line with potential.

    This implies a serious dilemma: while rising leverage is apparently essential, it inevitably leads to crisis and recession. Against this background, policymakers must consider whether rapid credit growth is really necessary, and whether there are any alternatives — a question that modern economics has so far largely ignored.

    The answer is that democratic economics does not require credit. Who's willing to go there?

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  2.    3 Simple Steps to Increase the Value of Your Multifamily Property

    Gino Barbaro:

    Begin to focus on the NOI of a property. Look for value-adds, such as increasing the rents, filling any vacant units, and implementing a utility bill back system. Purchase the property on actual 12-month profit and loss figures. NO pro formas!

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  3.    mainly macro: Avoiding political discourse

    Simon Wren-Lewis:

    … many political commentators have a bias to those they see as winners. But I don't want a world where academics only give policy advice to politicians who they support or who they think will win. It politicises economics, and that can damage the credibility of the subject.
    Because academic economists, or academics of any kind, give advice on their policy area to politicians should never have to mean that those academics support those politicians. People enmeshed in political discourse find it hard to understand that, but I refuse to accommodate them. My job is economic policy, and while I will do what I can to try and get politicians to adopt policies based on sound economics, those means do not include adopting a political discourse.

    But political economy should not be confused with what passes for "politics" today.

    Political economy, branch of social science that studies the relationships between individuals and society and between markets and the state, using a diverse set of tools and methods drawn largely from economics, political science, and sociology. The term political economy is derived from the Greek polis, meaning "city" or "state," and oikonomos, meaning "one who manages a household or estate." Political economy thus can be understood as the study of how a country—the public's household—is managed or governed, taking into account both political and economic factors. ( http://www.britannica.com/topic/politica l-economy )

    That's how I've always approached the subject. I have never divorced "politics" from economics because I have always seen them as being one and the same.

    This points to the importance of defining one's terms early in a discussion. In today's "political" climate, discussions can end before they even begin, and that can be by design (deliberate by parties to avoid exposure of competing and sometimes superior ideas).

    Simon is right in his willingness to communicate his ideas to the left, right, and center and to consult heterodox schools of thought for enhanced understanding.

    Where his willingness ends though, I cannot say. I have my limits. I don't know anyone who doesn't. I'm referring here to the question in my mind as to just how democratic Simon is. He is very "expert" oriented. How much power is he interested in giving over to the People, provided they are privy to the information and analysis Simon wishes to impart?

    I'm for giving all power to the People under such circumstances. In fact, I believe the People should simply take such power and command such transparency.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  4.    A Guaranteed Income for Every American – WSJ

    Okay, doing completely away with the welfare state is not an intelligent move. No two people are identical. Even if we give everyone the $31K-plus per year indexed to inflation (based upon the $15 per hour minimum wage at 40 hours per week) that I advocate, there would remain individuals who must have additional welfare, unless we are to turn utterly callous. This is the main reason why we should also implement single-payer, universal healthcare, for one.

    Why does Charles Murray give Milton Friedman the credit for this idea, when the idea is inherent in socialism? This certainly pre-dates Friedman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lange_mode l#Social_dividend and by over 3 decades.

    Also, why does Charles Murray choose a poverty income of $13K per year as the amount we ought to distribute? I suspect it's because he wants systemic, borderline poverty the way libertarians have used systemic unemployment: to keep people in want and need willing to work for the rich to keep the rich richer and to make them even more so. He's more than welcome to disabuse me of this thought.

    As far as I'm concerned, he's wasting everyone's time with this $13K obfuscating figure and the mainstream "conservative" media is giving him a megaphone to mis-frame the issue and to preempt alternative visions. Why should we keep people in poverty or right at the poverty line when we could raise them up to where they'd actually have much greater discretionary spending ability? What does Charles Murray fear in a higher base income? Who's he interested in serving and protecting and why?

    Am I questioning his motives? Of course. There's nothing wrong with that. It's sensible risk management, required, in fact.

    Does he have some mental blockage in that he thinks $31K would fly in the face of what's termed the Protestant Work Ethic or something akin to it? What's lazy got to do with it? Who cares if some people would be lazy? The system would still operate under supply and demand, whether under capitalistic rules or democratic. Nobody would be held back from earning money via working. Many people would certainly still want to do it and would do it. I would. The customer base would simply be expanded.

    So, as I mentioned in my last edition, it comes down to inflation. That's a supply issue that if the capitalist "market" system doesn't handle, democracy could certainly handle via interim rationing until supply constraints are dealt with. If constraints remain, rationing remains. We did it in WWII. There's nothing to prevent us from doing it all the time.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  5.    How China Fell Off the Miracle Path – The New York Times

    Well, well, it appears I'm not the only one who gets it.

    Ruchir Sharma, chief global strategist, Morgan Stanley Investment Management:

    … among outsiders, there was hopeful talk of how China would evolve into a democracy as it grew richer — again following the path of earlier Asian miracles.

    … the authoritarian form of government that helped guide China to those years of economic growth may now be undermining its economic stability. My research suggests that compared with democracies, autocracies generate far more unstable growth, and that's the risk in China now. Looking at the available records going back to 1950 shows that extreme swings between fast and slow growth are much more common under autocratic regimes. On a list of 36 countries that have been whipsawed between rapid growth and recession throughout the postwar era, three out of four were autocracies.

    Because these governments face no check on their powers, they can force feed periods of strong growth. But they can also veer off in the wrong direction with no one to set them straight. In the early stages of China's boom under Deng Xiaoping, Beijing did what authoritarian governments do best, suppressing opposition to breakneck development, steering the people's savings toward building export factories and commandeering land to build the roads and bridges to bring the manufactured goods to market. But the same decision-making process, centralized in a small circle in Beijing, allowed the government to impulsively shift course in 2008 and push through the lending campaign that put China on the increasingly unstable path of more debt, and less growth.

    It's a shame the youth in China, who don't give a damn about what happened to the Democracy Movement there in 1989, can't read this or don't or if they do, won't take it to heart and overthrow the thickheaded dictators who will run China into the ground if left unchecked.

    Maybe pressing the issue, as we should, from the outside, enough intelligence will get back into China to the people there, despite dictator Xi's efforts to censor the truth.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  6.    "We're seeing a battle of two political agendas:" Director of Russian Polling Center VTSIOM

    I'm including this because of the political scientist in me.

    It's quite good.

    International relations regarding Russia are arguably the most important on Earth. It's possibly the biggest risk-management issue. Should we partner with or war against Russia? My preference is partnering.

    That doesn't mean 100% agreement. I disagree with Vladimir Putin on a number of issues, but contrary to the negative-propaganda stereotyping of him, he is someone one may truly reason with. He does not want war. He does not hate the American people at all. He is not looking to destroy the United States but rather find common ground upon which to become closer and closer while together, Russia and the US work to solve problems, local, national, regional, and global: a good thing.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  7.    Sober Look: US labor markets take a turn for the worse

    The ISM Non-manufacturing Employment Index is consistent with Friday's poor payrolls report (above). The ISM services sector new orders index is also shown. Is this consistent with the projected 2.5%-3.0% US GDP growth in Q2?

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  8.    The ECB's Illusory Independence

    Yanis Varoufakis:

    The eurozone's current design makes ECB independence impossible. Worse, the pretense of independence serves as a fig leaf for interventions that are not only politically driven, but that are also utterly inconsistent with the principles of liberal democracy.

    Is Yanis preaching in the wilderness? Only time will tell, but I think he is not.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  9.    Nigel Farage on the EU referendum – YouTube

    Leader of the UK Independence party, Nigel Farage, has been one of the most outspoken campaigners for Britain to leave the European Union. Lionel Barber, editor, talks to him about his fight for an end to EU integration.

    I hate the interrupt style, but oh well.

    So, what wasn't mentioned? Well, if Nigel hates the absence of being able to "vote for them," why not push for being able to vote for them rather than for exiting? What part of the United States of America does he hate when thinking about a United States of Europe? Can't we improve democracy in the USA and create a democratic Europe as one government? Would "trade" suffer? Would the UK having a trade deficit even matter anymore at all? It wouldn't.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  10.    Switzerland rejected universal basic income – but that doesn't mark the end of the idea for Europe | Editorials | Voices | The Independent

    I like this piece for emphasizing the importance of work that is going unpaid right now.

    … it could pay, literally, not to be so hasty. With the Canadian province of Ontario reportedly planning to trial the system soon, as well as Finland and the Dutch city of Utrecht, it's clear that European and North American populations — and their governments — are taking the prospect seriously. There is serious political ambition to shake up our financial systems and our working environments — unsurprising, really, when we consider how massively those environments have changed in the past 20 years with myriad technological innovations and their effects. This was clearly not Switzerland's time, but international trends suggest it would be naïve to conclude that it will never be.

    Switzerland's banker mentality was at play in this unenlightened decision by its voters. Fortunately, it will be shown to work, and work well, elsewhere. It will then spread, too slowly to suit me but nevertheless.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  11.    If wind/solar is so cheap, why require government subsidy? | Stephan Livera

    What?

    Could it be that renewable advocates are using the government to push renewable energy cost and risk onto taxpayers?

    The object is to reduce global warming, which reduction is reducing risk, not increasing it in the aggregate. You pay low taxes now or huge costs later after having not done enough to slow and reverse global warming caused by burning CO2 and not sequestering all of it.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  12.    United States Labor Market Conditions Index | 1976-2016 | Data | Chart

    Slack! Silly for the Fed to be even considering raising rates. Has been all along. We still need massive fiscal stimulus, and it needs to be in the proper form; but the laissez-faire and neoliberal crowd don't get it or do but have a hidden class-based agenda. I believe it's the latter. We need money-financed fiscal spending. Look it up. Study it. Promote it. Done correctly, it would not create inflation but growth.

    Labor Market Conditions Index in the United States decreased to -4.80 in May ….

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  13.    Is Health Insurance Good for Your Financial Health? Liberty Street Economics

    In this blog post, we discuss the results of a research project that examines the effect of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion on personal financial indicators. We find suggestive evidence that after the implementation of the ACA in the first quarter of 2014, counties with a high uninsurance burden pre-reform in states that subsequently expanded Medicaid had a decrease in average debt sent to collections agencies compared with such counties in states that did not expand Medicaid.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  14.    Alabama Utility Warns Residents in 2 Counties of Water Contamination

    Better safe than sorry:

    … exposure to PFOA and PFOS above certain levels may result in problems including low birth weight, accelerated puberty, cancer, liver damage and immune-system effects ….

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  15.    China Must Be 'More Adept' at Policy Communication, Lew Says – Bloomberg

    When I saw the headline, I literally burst out laughing.

    I don't think "adept" is the right focus at all. I think having a coherent policy comes first, and China's "Chinese Communist Party" dictator/leader, Xi, doesn't have one and isn't ever going to.

    Lew is speaking around the fact that the CCP is fundamentally completely screwed up.

    That said, Lew's vision/ideology isn't going to work either. He's pushing neoliberalism ("market reforms"). Neoliberalism is dead in the water. It will always end up blowing up. It too is inherently unstable/incoherent/inconsistent.

    The lesson is that democracy is utterly foolishly being ignored and put off.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  16.    Financial watchdogs need more bite to bring shadow banking to heel | Business | The Guardian

    More than 90% of the 50 experts polled for the EU-funded Financialisation, Economy, Society and Sustainable Development (FESSUD) research project said that the benefits of finance were either overestimated or highly overestimated. They said the excessive size of the finance sector and poor regulation were the causes of the last crash. More than 70% said the flawed economic theory that underpinned a belief in financial systems as self-correcting was another factor.

    These economists are not from the Corbyn/Sanders wing of academia.

    They're right.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  17.    Super-Capitalized Banks Free From Rules in Top Republican's Plan – Bloomberg

    Hensarling's idea to exempt banks from rules focuses on what's known as the leverage ratio — a figure meant to show how safe a lender is by measuring the amount of equity capital it has in relation to its total assets. The higher the ratio, the bigger the buffer for losses before a bank goes bust.

    Citigroup Inc. had a ratio of 7.1 percent at the end last year, while Wells Fargo & Co.'s was 7.8 percent. Hensarling demands that to qualify for regulatory relief banks have leverage ratios of at least 10 percent. …

    "Dodd-Frank has failed," he said. "In a phrase, we need economic growth for all and bank bailouts for none."

    So, the 10% won't be enough to keep them out of trouble if all the other regulations are stripped away. If he's not going to bail them out and if he's going to be consistent with his libertarian leanings, then he's suggesting what, liquidations? That would lead to failure contagion.

    What we should have done was nationalize the banks in 2009. Before that, we shouldn't have deregulated them. We shouldn't have allowed shadow banking to become what it has.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  18.    Is the San Francisco Bay Area's housing market cooling? – San Francisco Business Times

    "Slowing or plateauing does not imply a crash, and the cooling of a desperately overheated market to something closer to normal is not bad news," Paragon said. "Indeed, an improvement in housing affordability — and supply — would be good news, both socially and economically."

    That's right.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  19.    Florida Atlantic University report finds Houston's housing market a "cause for concern" – Houston Business Journal

    After years of skyrocketing home prices during the energy boom, Houston home prices are flattening, Johnson said. Amid the oil slump, Johnson said he expects Houston home prices to stay flat or even go down.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  20.    Home prices soar again; some buyers camp out to lay claim to a future condo | The Seattle Times

    The row of campers first started settling in Friday night in Belltown. By early Saturday morning, a line of about 130 people stretched around the block.

    They weren't waiting for the latest iPhone or the opening of some hot new restaurant; they came with $5,000 checks to reserve new condos that start at more than $300,000 and aren't opening until 2019.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  21.    Remarkable Forest Hotel Takes Green Architecture to a Whole New Level

    The Mountain Forest Hotel in Guizhou, China's Wanfeng Valley is a carbon-sucking, sky-high marvel created by Milan-based architect Stefano Boeri.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  22.    Can Philosophy Stop Bankers From Stealing?

    In 2007, just before the housing bubble burst, Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein wrote to a colleague to discuss how the bank could deal with toxic mortgages — " cats and dogs" as he called them — on the books. Blankfein's bank went on to sell the toxic junk to unwitting investors who were told they were sound, while taking short positions on the very same securities. As the Financial Crisis Inquiry Report noted, one structured finance expert compared Goldman's practices to "buying fire insurance on someone's house and then committing arson."

    Still, Blankfein and his fellow bankers later pocketed billions of dollars from the American people in the form of a bailout. They profited at the expense of their clients and society. Nobody went to jail.

    … What does the Golden Rule indicate as a course of action?

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  23.    Late-Spring Texas Floods 2016 | ALERT™ :: Event Summary

    For some municipalities, such as Austin, College Station, and San Angelo, 2016 has been the wettest spring on record; for others, such as Houston, the second wettest.

    Exposure at Risk

    The vulnerability of buildings to flood damage depends on many factors, including construction and occupancy, and building height and age. In general, damage due to inundation tends to be nonstructural, affecting interior finishes, such as drywall, plaster, insulation, and flooring, in addition to building contents. In severe inland flood events, high-velocity flood and debris can compromise the structural integrity of a building, which can lead to the collapse of foundations and the displacement of structural walls.

    In Texas, more than 80% of the residential construction is wood, with an estimated 5% having basements. The presence of a basement increases the risk for contents and building damage. Over half of the commercial buildings are steel and concrete. Unlike residential structures, commercial buildings often are engineered and built to stricter standards, and are thus less vulnerable than single-family homes. Still, mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems can experience severe damage, which results in high losses.

    In the Houston area, officials began asking residents and business owners during the period of heavy precipitation to report flood damage to help facilitate obtaining federal disaster assistance.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  24.    Bank requires few loan documents: Seems like housing deja vu

    The Lite Doc loans are five-year adjustable-rate mortgages ….

    At 60% of value, the payments must be steep. What am I missing? They can't be balloons, right?

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  25.    mainly macro: Money and Debt

    Base or high powered money (cash or reserves) is not the same as government debt, no matter however many times MMT followers claim the opposite. (For a simple account of why the tax argument is nonsense, see Eric Lonergan here.) Civil servants can frighten the life out of finance ministers by saying that they may no longer be able to finance the deficit or roll over debt because the market might stop buying, but they cannot do the same by saying no one will accept the money their central bank creates. [3] Money is not the government's or central bank's liability. (For a clear exposition, see another piece by Eric, or this by Buiter.) Money is not an obligation to make future payments. Money is valuable because, as Eric describes here, it is an established network.

    I agree with Simon on that. I've argued with the MMT crowd about it until I'm blue in the face though. They really don't care that much. They know it's all semantical. My problem with their approach is that it unnecessarily alienates people. That didn't seem to matter to them either.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  26.    Breakdown of a $30k Rental Purchase: From Offer to Closing [With Pics & Numbers!]

    What does a $30k real estate deal look like? Get the exact breakdown — with the whole process, numbers and pictures — here!

    Well, it's a short article.

    Buying inexpensive properties truly does not have to be a bad investment. What are the top things to consider?

    You really need to do the full due-diligence package; but right up front, it's important to think about crime rates in the area, vacancy rates, and employment prospects.

    A high-crime rate can sink an inexpensive investment. Even just vandalism can repeatedly ruin a rehab project. Arson especially is something to look out for.

    What's the neighborhood's history? What's the trend.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  27.    Central Banking's Final Frontier?

    Anatole Kaletsky:

    I recently suggested that what lies ahead is a reinvention of policies and institutions no less radical than the transformations of the 1860s, 1930s, and 1980s. Rodrik does not treat the Thatcher-Reagan revolution of the 1980s as the start of a distinct phase. But our arguments are essentially similar. One way or another, global capitalism, along with the monetary, fiscal, and distributional policies that sustain it, will need to be reconstructed. Today's increasingly heterodox monetary policies should be viewed as the start of this process.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  28.    Real Estate Tech Report Finds Disconnect Between Founders and Investors – cre.tech

    The survey found that investors are significantly more confident about the real estate tech market (9.1 on a scale of 1-10) than entrepreneurs (5.4 on a scale of 1-10). Investor sentiment is driven by confidence in expected deal flow and expectation of more M&A activity, while founders are skeptical of funding availability and exit opportunities.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  29.    Multifamily Lending Brief: 1Q 2016 – MPF Research

    At the beginning of 2016, the banks remain focused on multifamily lending. Specifically, multifamily lending activity continues to outpace other types of bank lending, yielding a rate of 1.66, indexed to 2nd quarter 2008 volumes.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  30.    EconoSpeak: The Rise Of Negative Interest Assets

    … if in fact positive yield bonds become scarce, there will be a lot of things society will have to do, such as taking over insuring against fire, theft, and many other things.

    I too have been aware of negative rates for a very long time relative to even the "elite" economists. Let me say categorically that I have always advocated that strings be attached to the negative rates so that lenders would, in fact, have to lend but do so while educating borrowers very thoroughly and working with them very closely. That, of course, is about generating lending, not just manipulating the bond market.

    As for insurance, the alternative to what's stated above by Barkley Rosser is that premiums could rise to offset losses in investments of premiums collected. This could make insurance much more directly expensive but still solvent without direct governmental insurance. Could the government subsidize the insurance industry to make up for the losses in investment? Yes, that could happen also. Should all insurance be governmental? That would be pure socialism. That's up to the People to decide democratically.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  31.    Artificial intelligence and employment | VOX, CEPR's Policy Portal

    I just do not understand the lack of vision.

    There is absolutely no way that technology won't be able to do every bit of work in the future.

    That won't be a bad thing if we handle it correctly. We'll be able to work all we want to too. We just won't have to if we don't want to.

    The bit about AI becoming self-aware and evil is fear mongering. Human beings will be being enhanced right along with the technological advancements and in a good way, again, if we handle it correctly: unselfishly.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  32.    What Jeb Hensarling Gets Wrong About Capital Requirements – Roosevelt Institute

    Mike Konczal pretty much gets it. He's explained here what I meant by a Wild West deregulatory situation that Hensarling's plan would set up.

    What Mike doesn't mention is nationalization.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  33.    Jobs Threatened by Machines: A Once 'Stupid' Concern Gains Respect – The New York Times

    Welcome to the club.

    "Maybe the stupid people weren't quite as stupid as I thought they were," Mr. Summers conceded. "This was at least a serious concern that had to be thought about."

    In a world in which many Americans do not work during large chunks of their lives, we might have to conceive of Social Security and disability much more broadly than we do today.

    That, Mr. Summers said, "could start to look like a universal income."

    Those "stupid" people are the ones who deserve the credit. Will they get it, or will the elitists (accredited by the corporatists) co-opt the Movement and claim the credit for themselves by simply not daring to mention the names of those who were on to this long before they were? That would fit the prevailing pattern.

    If we're ever to break free, that pattern will have to be broken. I'm pretty sure it will be because the computer network will make it so.

    By the way, the answer to the question in the image is to live rather than to slave away.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  34.    Megaquake drill message: It will be bad, so be prepared | The Seattle Times

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  35.    mainly macro: Bad business

    Simon Wren-Lewis:

    … the problem remains that the Conservatives will throw the anti-business charge the moment Labour adopts any measures that restrict business freedom or threatens the incomes of business executives, and business leaders — for reasons already explained — will back them up. If this leads to a significant number of voters concluding that Labour are not competent to run the economy, we are in danger of hard wiring bad business.

    Many of us concluded long ago that the hardwiring is there. It needs to be stripped out.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  36.    France shuns Europe as Brexit revolt spreads

    Is there such a thing as slightly hysterical? I don't mean funny.

    Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:

    Prof Granville said the mechanisms of monetary union have upset the Franco-German strategic marriage, wounding the French psyche. "The EU was sold to the French people as a `partnership' of equals with Germany. But it has been very clear since 2010 that this is not the case. Everybody could see that Germany decided everything in Greece," she said.

    Mrs Le Pen won 55pc of those classed as "workers" in the latest local elections, eating away at the Left flank of the ruling Socialists with a tooth-and-claw defence of the French welfare state and a declaration of war against globalisation. Her industrial strategy has strong echoes of Mussolini.

    … The saga is much like France's slow torture under the Gold Standard – and Pierre Laval's infamous deflation decrees – in the 1930s. That episode ended in the election of the Front Populaire and near civil war.

    Le Pen is not Mussolini.

    Hollande rolled over when he could have, and should have, stood up and not caved in. He had a mandate to stand up against the forces that caused the Great Recession. He didn't have what it takes.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  37.    6 Smart Strategies for Limiting Liability as a Landlord

    Get Good Insurance

    No one loves paying for insurance. But when a claim does come up, you'll be really glad you have it. This might include basic property insurance, coverage for fire, floods, and storms, and even an income policy that covers any gaps in rents if you have to evict. Tenants should normally be prompted to carry their own renter's insurance. This is usually very inexpensive for them. However, it is essential to verify they have it and that it is renewed on time. Pets can also require additional insurance coverage depending on the breed.

    Many carriers will not insure certain breeds no matter what. A landlord does not have to allow dogs, except certified service dogs. They do not have to allow breeds banned by insurance carriers.

    Make sure you understand that a policy might cover dogs but exclude certain breeds. Check for endorsements excluding those breeds.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  38.    German macroeconomics: The long shadow of Walter Eucken | VOX, CEPR's Policy Portal

    Very educational piece by Peter Bofinger:

    … in terms of openness (exports as a percent of GDP), Germany ranks among relatively small economies (Figure 5). Due to this openness, the German economy is able to follow a passive macroeconomic policy approach as it strongly benefits from macroeconomic policies pursued in other major countries. In other words, the German economy is supported by the 'full employment policies' of other countries. This is reflected in the very large fiscal deficits in all other major economies in the period after 2007, which successfully helped to avoid a reappearance of the Great Depression. In other words, the German economy is supported by the demand management policies of other countries that are heavily criticised by mainstream German economists.

    In other words, if the other nations did what the mainstream German economists are telling them they should do, Germany would fail. In other words, those mainstream German economists don't know what they're talking about and Germany is a problem.

    Of course, the Germans are going to find that out if they don't change soon enough, as the rest of Europe is getting tired of the undemocratic EU system promoted by Germany for Germany.

    By the way, we call it ordoliberalism (not to be confused with neoliberalism, the economic type) in the US.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  39.    Andy Stern: There Is a Way to Stop Machines From Making Americans Poorer – YouTube

    Advances in technology are rapidly transforming our economy, enabling smarter, cheaper and faster ways of producing goods, acquiring services, and communicating with others. But, warns Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) now teaching at Columbia, the enormous potential of technological change also carries the peril of mounting inequality. The engine of prosperity, he warns, is increasingly being decoupled from the jobs through which millions of Americans have joined, and remained in the country's middle class. His extensively researched book Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream makes a robust case for a change in social policy. Recognizing the danger of technological advances dragging down the economy by reinforcing unemployment and inequality, he argues that a guaranteed universal basic income for all citizens is key to sustaining demand in the U.S. economy.

    Exactly what I've been saying for years except that the $12K figure is ridiculously low and arbitrarily so. Why people choose the poverty line as the target is just astounding. How about 3 times above it? After all, it's just a choice. Why not really lift the floor! What is the psychology behind this "keep them down at that poverty line" mentality? As far as I'm concerned, I refuse to allow the debate to be framed around the poverty line.

    Otherwise, it's a great video.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  40.    The Surprising Comeback of the Real Estate Markets in Baltimore and Ferguson — Real Estate News and Advice — realtor.com

    I'm glad to hear that Baltimore, MD, and Ferguson, MO, are rebounding.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  41.    Silicon Valley's Basic-Income Experiment Is Worth Watching – Bloomberg View

    Noah Smith:

    The real danger of basic income, as I see it, is that work itself might address a basic human need for dignity. When many people feel that their labor has value, they have a sense of self-worth and a freedom that subsisting on government handouts doesn't provide. If basic income becomes the only thing standing between most human beings and the threat of dire poverty, then everyone will know that they exist and enjoy their lives only at the sufferance of a few rich taxpayers. If basic income makes people feel like the pets of the wealthy, they may turn to unhealthy behaviors.

    I absolutely disagree with this being a concern.

    First of all, the feeling of self-worth from having a job to support oneself stems exactly from that others impress worthlessness on those who don't get work, etc.

    If automation drives humans out of the labor market, the entire "worthlessness" aspect will disappear of its own dead, false weight.

    Secondly, the money definitely doesn't need to come from taxing the rich. It can, and should, come from money-financed fiscal spending: not taxes, not governmental borrowing.

    If there's any inflation, it can be taxed out of the system not to pay for the distributed money but for no other reason than to avoid too much price inflation.

    Lastly, receiving the money will prevent nobody from working (at what the person wants to work at).

    Let me add that people in poverty who get help actually feel that others value them. They are thankful. When nobody cares enough to help, that's when people truly feel unvalued. You don't kill yourself because people are helping you, people who really care. You kill yourself when nobody seems to give a damn whether you exist or not. I care!

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  42.    Jim Justice-Owned Mine Cited by Kentucky Regulators for Mudslide Damage to Homes

    Kentucky regulators…cited a company…for conditions that they say contributed to a mudslide and flooding that damaged six homes in Pike County.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  43.    Flawed Flood Maps Hurting Condo Sales in Ocean City, Maryland

    Big oops:

    Flawed Federal Emergency Management Agency flood insurance maps have caused insurance premiums at some Ocean City, Maryland, properties to skyrocket….

    It will get corrected; but to say the least, many people have been significantly inconvenienced.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  44.    Manhattan Landlords Boost Renter Incentives in Apartment Glut – Bloomberg

    New York leasing typically jumps from May through August as new college graduates move to take jobs in the city and families seek living arrangements ahead of the school year. Apartment owners who normally leverage that demand into higher rates and fewer incentives are finding their pricing power eroding, after a four-year run-up in rents that have stretched beyond what tenants can pay. Rising supply — which prompted landlord Equity Residential to cut its revenue forecast last week — is giving renters the advantage.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  45.    Manhattan Rents Get Cheaper for Rich People and Higher For Rest of Us – Midtown – DNAinfo New York

    Manhattan's bottom third of the market — considered the "entry" tier — for instance, where the median price was $2,360 a month, saw prices rise 2.6 percent from last year ….

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  46.    May's seriously downbeat jobs report puts kibosh on Fed rate hike; underscores need for deep infrastructure dive | Jared Bernstein | On the Economy

    Good point:

    Weak job creation is weighing on the labor force participation rate, which is down 0.4 tenths of a percent over the last two months. At 62.6 percent, the LFPR is back to where it was last December. While retiring baby-boomers have been correctly cited as a structural—vs. cyclical—factor lowering participation, the recent decline has also occurred among "prime-age" workers, those 25-54. In other words, what we're seeing here is more than a benign, demographic trend; it's a trend that is also a function of weak labor demand failing to pull people into the job market.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  47.    A Threat, Not a Theory : Democracy Journal

    I think this article is at least twice as long as it should be, but …

    Of the nearly two dozen federal minimum wage hikes since 1938, total year-over-year employment actually increased 68 percent of the time. In those industries most affected by the minimum wage, employment increases were even more common: Fully 73 percent of the time in the retail sector, and 82 percent in low-wage leisure and hospitality. "[T]hese basic economic indicators show no correlation between federal minimum-wage increases and lower employment levels," the authors write. In fact, if anything, the data suggest that increases in the federal minimum appeared to encourage job growth and hiring. Perhaps even more striking, of the only eight times total or industry-specific employment declined following a minimum wage increase, the U.S. economy was either already in recession (five times), technically just emerging from recession (twice), or about to head into a recession (once). Clearly, this handful of employment downturns would be better explained by the normal business cycle than by the minimum wage. "As those results mirror the findings of decades of more sophisticated academic research," the authors conclude, "they provide simple confirmation that opponents' perennial predictions of job losses are rooted in ideology, not evidence."

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  48.    The Global Economy's Dismal Outlook in 6 Charts – Real Time Economics – WSJ

    No paywall on this one:

    The World Bank has issued a dismal outlook for the global economy, warning of a rising risk of a sharp slowdown as it cut growth forecasts across the globe. Here are six charts from the Global Economic Outlook that help detail trends in the world economy.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  49.    Why investors in the housing market can't buy a break these days | | Dallas Morning News

    "We see average investors paying way too much for the houses they are buying," he said. "It does not look like in a short term they will have a cash flow."

    They will have cash flow. It just might not be positive. Call me old school.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  50.    Detroit now requiring rental properties to be registered with the city – WXYZ.com

    The seminar will focus on rental registration, obtaining a Certificate of Compliance, fire safety, crime preventions, evictions, addressing squatters, lead safety and abatement subsidies, blight violations, buying property, water accounts for tenants and taxes.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  51.    Negative Interest Rates Are Nothing to Fear – Bloomberg View

    Narayana Kocherlakota:

    The world's central banks are increasingly employing a controversial method to stimulate economic growth: negative interest rates. I'm convinced that this can be a valuable tool, but its power depends a lot on how it's used.

    Exactly.

    Look, negative rates are inflation. You wait, the money will buy you less.

    Do I think negative rates ought to be a first-line defense? No. They are only useful when people are unwilling to do what would be better.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


If you are an investor in 1-4 unit properties in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, or Washington, please do the financially responsible thing and make sure you have proper Landlord Insurance with PropertyPak™. We love focusing on real estate and the economy in general, but we are also here to serve your insurance needs.

Hill & Usher (PropertyPak™ is a division) has many insurance offerings. See our menu above for more info and links.

Did this post help you? Let us know by leaving your comment below.

Note: This blog does not provide legal, financial, or accounting advice. Seek professional counsel.

Furthermore, we, as insurance producers, are prohibited by law from disparaging the insurance industry, carriers, other producers, etc. With that in mind, we provide links without staking out positions that violate the law. We provide them solely from a public-policy standpoint wherein we encourage our industry to be sure our profits, etc., are fair and balanced.

We do not necessarily fact checked the contents of every linked article or page, etc.

If we were to conclude any part or parts of our industry are in violation of fundamental fairness and the legal standards of a state or states, we'd address the issue through proper, legal channels. We trust you understand.

The laws that tie our tongues, so to speak, are designed to keep the public from losing confidence in the industry and the regulatory system overseeing it. Insurance commissioners around the country work very hard to analyze rates and to not allow the industry to be damaged by bad rate-settings and changes in coverages. The proper way for people in the industry to deal with such matters is by adhering to the laws, rules, and regulations of the applicable states and within industry associations where such matters may be discussed in private without giving the industry unnecessary black eyes. Ethics is very high on the list in the insurance industry, and we don't want to lose the people's trust. That said, the industry is not perfect; but what industry is?

For our part, we believe in strong regulations and strong regulators.

We welcome your comments and ask you to keep in mind that we cannot and will not reply in any way or ways where any insurance commissioner could rightly say we've violated the law of the given state.

We are allowed to share rating-bureau data/reports and industry-consultant opinions but make clear here that those opinions are theirs and do not necessarily reflect our position.

Subscribe