News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. June 18, 2016

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Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) Nebraska real estate brokerage rules upheld – Omaha com: Money

2) 'Breaking the Taboo: The Case for Monetary Finance' by Lord Adair Turner – YouTube

3) Paying everyone a basic income won't make them lazy — fat cat salaries prove there's no link between work and pay | Voices | The Independent

4) Should Poor Workers Receive Less Social Security Because Rich Workers Are Living Longer? | The Center for Economic and Policy Research

5) EU referendum: British public wrong about nearly everything, survey shows | UK Politics | The Independent

6) oftwominds-Charles Hugh Smith: Pity Poor China: There's No Easy Fix to the S-Curve

7) The Peninsula Qatar – China's propaganda department not good enough at propaganda: govt

8) Oklahoma Orders Change in Earthquake Insurance Rating

9) Venezuela's Struggle to Survive

10) Why don't we have universal basic income? – The New Yorker

11) 6 FREE Places to Get Design Inspiration for Awesome-Looking House Flips

12) What are the alternatives to QE? How about money creation for the public? – Positive Money

13) Austin has the most overvalued housing market in the nation once again – CultureMap Austin

14) The Lobbyists and the Regulators Were Really, Socially and Culturally, the Same People | Oxford Law Faculty

15) the power of equity

16) Our nation can't afford past-its-sell-date economic orthodoxy | TheHill

17) 71% of those with student debt say it delays homeownership: Survey

18) President Declares 12 Texas Counties Major Disaster Areas

19) SBA Approves Disaster Loans for Southern Mississippi After Spring Floods

20) 2 arrested on arson, fraud charges in Buchanan Co. | Crime and Courts | wcfcourier com

21) True Economics: 12/6/16: US Student Loans: A Ticking Time Bomb

22) How I Bought a Fixer-Upper Fourplex for $1 Down: A BRRRR Case Study

23) State bank partners with Realtors on student loan refinancing | Grand Forks Herald

24) NYT Dismisses Social Programs, Routine in Much of the World, as 'Unsustainable' | FAIR

25) No alternative in Europe to a long, hard struggle — Prime Economics

26) A political and economic case for voting to Remain in the EU — Prime Economics

27) The Daily Shot – Global Macro Currents

28) Beyond the Boliburguesía Thesis | NACLA

29) Eastern Montana Tornado Confirmed, Several Injuries Reported

30) Storm Model Forecasts Beach Changes and How Far Ocean Will Overrun

31) mainly macro: Brexit and Democracy

32) There's a Seismic Change Coming to Money Markets – Bloomberg

33) More freeloaders than free market. How Britain bails out the business chiefs | Aditya Chakrabortty | The Guardian

34) Rethinking Robin Hood

35) United States Corruption Rank | 1995-2016 | Data | Chart | Calendar

36) Make American infrastructure great again! – The Washington Post

37) Construction Material Prices Rise Again

38) FRB: Press Release–Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement–June 15, 2016

39) Globalisation is fraying. Look under the Elephant Trunk — Bull Market — Medium

40) Bringing the Troika to Paris | The Center for Economic and Policy Research

41) The open questions about the rise of US job openings – Equitable Growth

42) Sprawl Costs Americans $107 Billion a Year, Says Study – Curbed

43) Robert Samuelson Resumes the Attack on Social Security | The Center for Economic and Policy Research

44) Homeowners can finance energy improvements through new mortgage programs – The Washington Post

45) Common Council eyes plan to require tighter inspections for city rental properties | syracuse com

46) How the 'Great Atlantic City Real Estate Auction' will work – Atlantic City: Southern New Jersey Real Estate – PressofAtlanticCity com

47) 15 of the worst ever real estate photos | Stuff co nz

48) American growth and inequality since 1700 | VOX, CEPR's Policy Portal

49) Negative interest rates: Lessons learned…so far | Brookings Institution

50) Are negative rates a "calamitous misadventure"? ECB economists say no | Brookings Institution

51) 12 Competitive Advantages to Develop for an Investing Edge So Strong, It's Almost Unfair

52) 'It's time to call time on the EU experiment', by Kingston University's head of Economics, History & Politics, Professor Steve Keen

53) Colorado Scientists Detail Results of Fracking Air Pollution Study

54) North Alabama Water Diluted to Lower Contamination Levels

55) May Global Disasters Result in $5B in Claims

56) Since 2005, newly formed households have tended to rent

57) Austerity Kills! Bank of Greece reports "Greek's health deteriorating, life expectancy shrinks"

58) Antarctic CO2 hits 400ppm for first time in 4m years | Environment | The Guardian

59) Rents now top list of fastest-rising prices

60) Viewpoint: Fiduciary Rule Fight Isn't About the 'Little Guy'

61) Six-Story California Steel Structure Rattled by Simulated Earthquake

62) 10 Habits Of Highly Effective Real Estate Investors | Investopedia

63) The interesting thing that happened when Kansas cut taxes and California hiked them – The Washington Post

64) Detroit demolitions are tracked on new city website

65) End of legislative session laws — Zombie Properties – Assemblyman John McDonald

  1.    Nebraska real estate brokerage rules upheld – Omaha.com: Money

    … 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court that said Young was acting as broker under Nebraska law, and that the state has a right to regulate professions such as real estate brokerage.

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  2.    'Breaking the Taboo: The Case for Monetary Finance' by Lord Adair Turner – YouTube

    In this talk, Lord Turner will present his IMF paper 'The Case for Monetary Finance — An Essentially Political Issue' on monetary finance of fiscal deficits, which is due to be published in the IMF Economic Review.

    Unfortunately, they didn't mic Adair and he loves to wander away from the fixed mics while he talks.

    Concerning his presentation:

    I disagree about the panacea. It is a panacea.

    Where I see Adair making a mistake is in that he is not thinking of adjustments being made in real time. He's rather thinking that we don't know enough to pick a figure, set the dials, and then sit back and watch the target hit. He's entirely right about that, but is wrong that we set the dials and then sit back. What we do instead is turn on the machine that alters course in real time as it tracks the moving target, the zig-zagging target. The machine hones in on the target, getting closer and closer, learning as it goes, automatically re-seeking and acquiring the target no matter what the target does.

    You see, Adair has been arguing all along for using money-finance fiscal spending (he calls it monetary-finance) as a tool not to be employed fulltime. Employing the machine and then turning it off, would lose the benefits of leaving it on and constantly improving it.

    We need this machine so we may have the UI (universal income) we already need and will only need more and more as time goes by, as technology continually removes the necessity for human labor until that necessity reaches zero, which it will and sooner than the vast majority think.

    The machine would prevent over spending. The machine would be established by law and would not be the Federal Reserve System (in the US). It would be the US Treasury directly.

    Democracy and only democracy would establish spending/distribution. Adair apparently agrees with that.

    Otherwise, I agree with Adair, which is with quite a bit, as the debate is huge and the points of departure, while also huge, are certainly not the only political hurdles.

    My point is that if we are going to bring the world around to understanding even just what Adair is selling, why in the world would we stop there, considering that Adair's points are at this point rather esoteric for the general public not versed in econ-speak?

    The People everywhere, once given the information in a digestible format, would opt for the machine and with leaving it alone with the exception of making it better and better at doing its job: no inflationary or deflationary problems but with issuing the maximum amount of money into real circulation (moving; velocity) for maximum sustainable, environmentally sound growth.

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  3.    Paying everyone a basic income won't make them lazy — fat cat salaries prove there's no link between work and pay | Voices | The Independent

    We don't think for a minute that a handsomely paid chief executive might be demotivated by their large income, but suggest £70 a week for every citizen would mean we'd take to our couches en masse.

    .. It won't solve the problem of poverty ….

    Of course it will. It won't if it's not large enough. So, make it large enough and then some (a large some, or should I say sum).

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  4.    Should Poor Workers Receive Less Social Security Because Rich Workers Are Living Longer? | CEPR Blog | Blogs | Publications | The Center for Economic and Policy Research

    Not fair:

    Over the 19-year period ending in 2006, life expectancy increased by 0.8 years for 65-year-old men in the bottom half of the wage distribution and by 4.0 years for men in the top half. If life expectancy goes up at the same rate between 2006 and 2027, low-wage workers will see an even greater loss in benefits, while high-wage workers will see an even greater increase:

    … when politicians call for raising the Social Security full retirement age, they're basically saying that poor workers should receive less Social Security because rich workers are living longer.

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  5.    EU referendum: British public wrong about nearly everything, survey shows | UK Politics | News | The Independent

    Read this. You'll know more than the average Brit about the EU and UK in terms of the impact of a Brexit.

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  6.    oftwominds-Charles Hugh Smith: Pity Poor China: There's No Easy Fix to the S-Curve

    Will China be different? So far, it doesn't look like it.

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  7.    The Peninsula Qatar – China's propaganda department not good enough at propaganda: govt

    China's propaganda department, tasked with controlling the media and arts, has been given a slap on the wrist for not being good enough at shaping public opinion, according to a report on a government website.

    Xi doesn't know what he's doing. He's an ideologue stuck in a dead era. Real democracy is the future, the only future. Everything else dies.

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  8.    Oklahoma Orders Change in Earthquake Insurance Rating

    It's telling that building codes are mentioned but not fracking. Better codes would be welcome in the face of fracking, but that's the point. Fracking is the proximate cause: the root of the problem.

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  9.    Venezuela's Struggle to Survive

    Lisa Sullivan:

    Most would agree, however, that the underlying culprit is a three letter word. OIL — the source of 95 percent of Venezuela's exports. OIL — the cash cow that funds easy, cheap imports. OIL- the export giant that deters domestic production.

    Living in a rural community that actually does produce food, and having also traveled extensively in this lush and fertile country, it is sometimes hard to believe that Venezuela imports more than 70 percent of its food. But I shouldn't be surprised. Quite simply, for decades, it has been much cheaper to import food than to produce it.

    At least that was the case when oil prices were up. And they were up for a long time. As recently as two years ago, the price of oil was about $115 per barrel. This February, Venezuelan crude plummeted to barely $23 a barrel. That is only $3 more than the approximately $20 cost of extracting it.

    So, when the profit per barrel of oil goes from $95 to $3, it's like your salary going from something like $50,000 a year to $1,600. Could you feed your household?

    Well, if you were wise, you would have saved for a rainy day, or not put all your eggs in one basket, or at least grown some food in your backyard in case you couldn't get to the supermarket. Indeed, the late President Hugo Chavez talked a lot about this. And he even took some steps to set this in motion.

    But somehow, economic diversification never happened. Oil became a larger share of the economy under the Bolivarian revolution. Imports grew. Some say this was because Chavez was too preoccupied with the task of providing healthcare, education and shelter to a previously-abandoned household before launching on major home repairs.

    Some say because chavismo made it very hard for businesses to produce (although in reality, most large businesses in Venezuela don't actually produce, they just import things already produced. And, then — to boot — they actually purchase them with doll ars provided almost for free by the government.) That puts a little perspective on their rants.

    With oil prices crashing to the basement this winter, Venezuela could no longer afford to import food. And to make matters worse, most of the imported trickles of food and medicine that do reach Venezuela these days, never actually reach the average person. Especially the average poor person. A good chunk of this food and this medicine ends up in the greedy hands of corrupt businesses, bureaucrats, military, ruling party members, and black-marketers.

    Scarcity almost always leads to hoarding and scalping products. But add to that mix the fact that most basic food and medicines are price-controlled by the government. A kilo of corn flour costs about 2 cents at the regulated price, and can easily fetch at $2 — or much, much more — on the black market. Who wouldn't want to get their hand in this business of hoarding and reselling? Especially considering that the salary of even an engineer hovers around $30 — $40 a month.

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  10.    Why don't we have universal basic income? – The New Yorker

    James Surowiecki:

    … the most popular social-welfare programs in the U.S. all seemed utopian at first. Until the nineteen-twenties, no state in the union offered any kind of old-age pension; by 1935, we had Social Security. Guaranteed health care for seniors was attacked as unworkable and socialist; now Medicare is uncontroversial. If the U.B.I. comes to be seen as a kind of insurance against a radically changing job market, rather than simply as a handout, the politics around it will change. When this happens, it's easy to imagine a basic income going overnight from completely improbable to totally necessary.

    That's right, and the sooner the better. Just make sure we aren't limiting the income to the poverty line but some substantial multiple thereof and indexed to inflation.

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  11.    6 FREE Places to Get Design Inspiration for Awesome-Looking House Flips

    Is it okay to say that this guy can write?

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  12.    What are the alternatives to QE? How about money creation for the public? – Positive Money

    If new money is created and spent on the production of new goods and services, then the supply of goods and services is increasing alongside demand. In this situation you have an increased amount of money chasing an increased amount of goods and services being supplied. Inflation will not take place if supply is growing consistently with growth in the stock of money.

    This helps explain why many governments, as the case studies referenced in this blog demonstrate, have been able to successfully grow their economy through the careful and responsible use of money creation. Their economies were operating below full capacity, and the new money was created and allocated to the sectors that were performing below their potential.

    The new money created was able to tap into the sectors where resources and inputs lay idle, therefore increasing the supply of goods and services. As supply (the production of goods and services) and demand (the creation of new money) broadly increased in tandem, high levels of inflation were avoided.

    I suppose it would be rude to say, "Duh." That wouldn't be aimed at the blog or the post but those who argue against what is plain, simple, and clear, which the blog post is.

    Of course and as my readers know, I disagree with the monetary authority being technocrats. I vastly prefer a much more direct-democracy approach. Let the People decide what they want funded. Let there be light (that is: transparency). Then the People will have the knowledge and develop the skills to use their given abilities to make governmental spending choices.

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  13.    Austin has the most overvalued housing market in the nation once again – CultureMap Austin

    Employment is booming in Austin, and as a result, home prices just keep climbing. On Forbes' 2016 list of most overvalued housing markets in the country, Austin ties with San Antonio for first place, a distinction that likely makes homeowners feel pretty uneasy. This is Austin's second year in a row to have the title.

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  14.    The Lobbyists and the Regulators Were Really, Socially and Culturally, the Same People | Oxford Law Faculty

    This is an interesting interview with too many points to discuss point-by-point here.

    I think regulators were a bit more self-serving and calculating than suggested, but I also think James Kwak's analysis certainly applies to quite a few regulators at the time.

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  15.    the power of equity

    Well, in the final analysis concerning net worth from a capitalist endeavor, what matters is the rate of return on investment coupled with stability. How well does homeownership generally stack up against other investments? Is renting and plowing more into other types of investments better than owning a home?

    That will vary also by personality.

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  16.    Our nation can't afford past-its-sell-date economic orthodoxy | TheHill

    This is still not strong enough, even for inside-the-box thinking, which it is.

    Today, when there's no mention of overt monetary finance (the government creating money without borrowing it), then we're still dealing with avoidance (which is inside-the-box thinking).

    So, Paul McCulley, "senior fellow with the Jack G. Clarke Program on the Law and Regulation of Financial Institutions and Markets at the Cornell University Law School," do us all a huge favor and stop avoiding that discussion, especially when you say you've had it, you're fed up, etc.

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  17.    71% of those with student debt say it delays homeownership: Survey

    So much for the goofball claims that student debt isn't a problem. It's a huge, huge problem for the entire economy, not just residential real estate.

    There is zero good reason for charging any tuition or even room and board at public universities. We could have all of that be at no charge to students as easily as the stroke of a pen.

    It is unbelievably myopic of US politicians and others to be against making college no more expensive to attend than it is to go to the local public high school.

    In fact, while we're at it, we can fix the funding issues with high schools all across the country too.

    Look, the whole problem is as simple as who gets to decide what money is created and where it goes. It's a political-system issue. What we're lacking is more direct-democracy and transparency.

    Let's vastly increase both and get beyond all these truly goofy funding problems.

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  18.    President Declares 12 Texas Counties Major Disaster Areas

    President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in 12 Texas counties throughout the state that suffered severe flooding….

    It is not a substitute for flood insurance. When you can afford flood insurance, depending upon disaster declarations is not a good plan.

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  19.    SBA Approves Disaster Loans for Southern Mississippi After Spring Floods

    The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved disaster assistance for South Mississippi counties….

    These are loans. It's not the same as proceeds from insurance.

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  20.    2 arrested on arson, fraud charges in Buchanan Co. | Crime and Courts | wcfcourier.com

    The state Fire Marshal's Office, Independence Police, Independence Fire Department and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation assisted with the investigation, and after months of probing it was determined the fire to be incendiary in nature, intentionally set by the two.

    Well, they are innocent until proven guilty. We'll just have to wait for the process to play out.

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  21.    True Economics: 12/6/16: U.S. Student Loans: A Ticking Time Bomb

    … the opportunity cost of this debt is the greatest.

    What the ____ are we doing to young adults? Who came up with this terrible idea of charging them all so much and forcing them to borrow to go to college? We need to get greed out of educating our children.

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  22.    How I Bought a Fixer-Upper Fourplex for $1 Down: A BRRRR Case Study

    It's not over til it's over. So, stay tuned with us to find out how this project pans out.

    It's a good read. It has some good nuts and bolts info.

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  23.    State bank partners with Realtors on student loan refinancing | Grand Forks Herald

    The interest rate is vastly reduced, the loan term is greatly increased to reduce the payment amounts further, and the interest earned goes to the People's public bank and state government rather than Wall Street type, for-profit banks.

    This will also reduce loan-payment delinquencies and help those with the student loans improve their credit ratings, etc.

    No doubt, the word will spread amongst real estate agents and support for, and understanding of, public banking (banking in the public interest) will grow exponentially.

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  24.    NYT Dismisses Social Programs, Routine in Much of the World, as 'Unsustainable' | FAIR

    Scathing truth-telling against the New York Times:

    Mr. Sanders offered prescriptions that too often consisted of facile calls for "revolution," for feel-good but economically unsustainable proposals for universal healthcare and free tuition to public colleges.

    With this one sentence, the New York Times not only embraced a right-wing canard that's been peddled by everyone from the Wall Street Journal to the neoliberal Urban Institute, it also contradicted its previous editorial stance on the issue. In 2013, the Times (9/29/13) presented universal healthcare as a widespread standard that the US ought to meet: …

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  25.    No alternative in Europe to a long, hard struggle — Prime Economics

    This article, by John Grahl, packs a great deal in. It expresses my thinking to a great extent too.

    That said, there are instances where leaving makes more sense than staying. Such was, and remains the case, for Greece.

    It's a sad state of affairs that has brought Europe to this point. It points to the huge mistake that was forming a union in name only, a "union" not based upon democratic rule, not based upon government of, by, and for the People but rather a government of, and by, technocrats for corporatists for the most part.

    Germany is largely responsible for this terrible situation carrying on. Germany's ordoliberalism is the stumbling block, a mental block, a blockage of truth revealed in clear and plain data refuting fears of hyperinflation.

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  26.    A political and economic case for voting to Remain in the EU — Prime Economics

    Well, I read the article above and wrote my commentary on it before reading Ann Pettifor's article. I usually largely agree with Ann. Here, I completely agree because as optimistic as I am, I'm also a pragmatic cynic.

    What does that mean? It means that things almost invariably have to get worst before the People wake up, see the light, and make things better.

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  27.    The Daily Shot – Global Macro Currents

    Bank lending in Japan is growing steadily, suggesting that banks are not hampered by negative rates – as some had feared.

    Maybe it's partly because of them, you think?

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  28.    Beyond the Boliburguesía Thesis | NACLA

    The anti-Chavista discourse that equates socialism with corruption ignores a few important facts, however. For one, the most blatant corruption scandals in Latin America over the last century occurred during the neoliberal governments of the 1990s: Carlos Salinas (Mexico), Carlos Menem (Argentina), Alberto Fujimori (Peru), Fernando Collor de Mello (Brazil), and Carlos Andrés Pérez (Venezuela). It's no coincidence that corruption proliferated under the watch of neoliberals. Deregulation, free trade, and laissez-faire policies in general open the doors for unethical dealings. In his The Political Economy of Latin America, political scientist Peter Kingstone has noted that "although neoliberals argued that the withdrawal of the state would decrease the opportunities for corruption, the reality is that it created new, different opportunities."

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  29.    Eastern Montana Tornado Confirmed, Several Injuries Reported

    Several people were injured and one person had to be rescued after a tornado destroyed several homes and damaged a dozen others over the weekend in Baker in eastern Montana.

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


  30.    Storm Model Forecasts Beach Changes and How Far Ocean Will Overrun

    The USGS is running its coastal change forecast model to predict how far a storm's waves will push water up the beach

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


  31.    mainly macro: Brexit and Democracy

    Simon Wren-Lewis:

    … a lack of democracy is not high on my list of culprits.

    Well, that's because you are either too much the technocrat or you are misdefining democracy or both. I more than suspect it's both.

    As far as I'm concerned, a bad result from democracy is always due to insufficient information to the voters. Will there be bad results (decisions) on the way to full transparency? Undoubtedly. It will be worth it though. Do I have data to prove it? Of course not. It's never been done. What I have is intuitive logic.

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  32.    There's a Seismic Change Coming to Money Markets – Bloomberg

    … if you can't cap it, you can't target it."

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  33.    More freeloaders than free market. How Britain bails out the business chiefs | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian

    Interesting take by Aditya Chakrabortty:

    We need a working capitalism, where the public no longer give away their protections and subsidies for free — but instead make businesses take their responsibilities seriously.

    If rail operators rely on taxpayer billions, they should train staff and pay them a living wage. Why shouldn't big supermarkets that need public planning permission and licensing to trade be required to stock some locally sourced goods? And why shouldn't local and central government, which allocate billions in procurement and tendering, foster a diversity of business models — from not-for-profit to mutually owned.

    Some of you may think such measures impossible, others may see them as baby steps. They should be the first heaves on the pendulum, turning our economy away from the interests of the wealthy to the rest of us.

    So, it's incrementalism but determined not to be turned? Well, people are too easily bought off. You have to change hearts. Alas, that is hard. It's worth the effort though. Of that, I'm sure. Don't ask for proof as to why.

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  34.    Rethinking Robin Hood

    Angus Deaton:

    When citizens believe that the elite care more about those across the ocean than those across the train tracks, insurance has broken down, we divide into factions, and those who are left behind become angry and disillusioned with a politics that no longer serves them. We may not agree with the remedies that they seek, but we ignore their real grievances at their peril and ours.

    Here's the real deal. Humanity can take care of those across the ocean and across the train tracks at the same time. The one and only thing standing in the way is the greed of the few who have control by unethical and immoral means for unethical and immoral ends. The problem is a severe deficiency of democracy (which democracy inherently requires transparency).

    I'm harping on it. Join in.

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  35.    United States Corruption Rank | 1995-2016 | Data | Chart | Calendar

    The United States is the 16 least corrupt nation out of 175 countries, according to the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International.

    In other words, there are 15 nations seen as less corrupt. Why isn't the US #1? What's the matter with us?

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  36.    Make American infrastructure great again! – The Washington Post

    The condition of roads, bridges, schools, water treatment plants and other physical assets greatly affects the economy's ability to function and grow. Commerce requires well-maintained roads, railroads, airports and ports, so that manufacturers can obtain raw materials and parts, and deliver finished products to consumers. Improving many types of public infrastructure boosts the productivity of businesses by reducing their costs. Better roads and public transit make it feasible (or more efficient) for workers to get from home to work. Carefully targeted initiatives to maintain and improve public infrastructure boost a state's long-term productivity, resulting in more economic growth and higher-wage jobs. In the short-term, under the right conditions — including the current ones — public infrastructure investments also can create needed high-quality jobs. The Center's recent report includes a summary of the academic literature that shows the connection between infrastructure investment and productivity growth.

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  37.    Construction Material Prices Rise Again

    ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu:

    That said, the global economy continues to disappoint relative to expectations established at the start of the year," said Basu. "Higher prices may stimulate new rounds of production, including in energy markets, but the implication is that prices are unlikely to rise smoothly or dramatically going forward. Analyst views regarding the direction of commodity prices diverge wildly. While supply and demand play a role in fashioning commodity prices, so too does the value of the U.S. dollar. U.S. interest rates remain low and in many cases have been declining. The dollar has correspondingly weakened in recent weeks. Should that continue, commodity price increases could be sharper than we presently anticipate.

    Anirban Basu is a realist.

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  38.    FRB: Press Release–Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement–June 15, 2016

    Why is the Fed working so hard against fiscal stimulus?

    They think fiscal stimulus would cause hyperinflation? They think fiscal stimulus would be bad for the banking sector, for banking executive compensation packages?

    What is it?

    Listen, I'm obviously not in the same camp as the Fed members; but were I the Fed Chair, I'd be telling Congress and the President that the US needs stimulus that the Fed can't supply. I'd be hammering on it. I'd take it to the People. I'd get fired rather than not hammer on it.

    Of course, that's why I would never be nominated or approved.

    The People get the leadership they earn.

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  39.    Globalisation is fraying. Look under the Elephant Trunk — Bull Market — Medium

    … if you want global capitalism to succeed then it needs to come with a big dose of social democracy.

    If you want to postpone democracy, then you need a big dose of social "democracy."

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  40.    Bringing the Troika to Paris | The World in Transition | Blogs | Publications | The Center for Economic and Policy Research

    What this really says is that the Finance Minister of Germany, Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, is a sociopath; but you already knew that, didn't you?

    One of the fundamentals of capitalism is to pull the rug out from under others so you may grab things at deep discounts under false pretences. They don't teach that in business schools, during regular hours anyway.

    Again, if you want to postpone democracy, then you need a big dose of social "democracy."

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  41.    The open questions about the rise of U.S. job openings – Equitable Growth

    Ben Casselman points out this change might have to do with changes in how companies recruit. The cost of a job posting—simply throwing up an add on a website—may have declined thanks to the internet, so it's much easier to post jobs than to complete the process of filling them. Or perhaps the reduction in the cost of a job posting is because firms are more profitable now and know the relative cost of employing another worker isn't that high anymore. Furthermore, this reduction in job filling may be due to the consolidation of companies, as the paper by Davis, Faberman, and Haltiwanger shows that vacancy yields are lower at bigger firms.

    These research findings and hypotheses indicate there may have been a change in the labor market since the end of the Great Recession. But rather than a change among the sellers of labor—workers—it may have more to do with the buyers of labor: employers. More thought should be focused on how firms have changed their hiring practices over the past seven years or perhaps since the mass adoption of internet job hunting. This effort may have a higher yield than other research investments.

    This type of discussion typically indicates the type of mind concerned with strong methodology.

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  42.    Sprawl Costs Americans $107 Billion a Year, Says Study – Curbed

    All other things being equal, living closer to where you work saves you money on the …

    … "Sprawl Tax."

    Can you work that into your marketing plan?

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  43.    Robert Samuelson Resumes the Attack on Social Security | The Center for Economic and Policy Research

    This post describes yet another fundamental of capitalism not taught in the business schools (during regular hours).

    That fundamental is to badmouth (via false stats), underfund, and otherwise undermine public programs so you may swoop in and privatize the program to take a cut you weren't getting before and even though you'll be supplying a decidedly inferior product than the public program fully funded via monetary finance rather than governmental borrowing. In this case, it isn't even borrowing but taxes paid into the Social Security trust fund that has been systematically raided (as part of the fundamental described above).

    … nail this vampire once and for all.

    You'll need a democratic revolution (peaceful is what I advocate, but nevertheless).

    What kind of people want to worsen the economic and financial situation of the mass of the elderly for the sake of their own gain? Sociopaths, of course.

    Is Samuelson a sociopath? If not, what's his excuse? I hope he has a real one. I really do.

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  44.    Homeowners can finance energy improvements through new mortgage programs – The Washington Post

    Owners can borrow no more than 15 percent of the as-completed appraised value of the home for energy upgrades. The portion of the loan amount designated for these improvements must be placed into an escrow account overseen by the lender. Appraisers must also determine the as-completed, enhanced valuation of the property to be expected after the improvements and verify that they were indeed completed. For upgrades costing more than $3,500 in total, an energy efficiency analysis is required, such as a HERS (Home Energy Rating Systems) report.

    According to Freddie spokesman Brad German, its loans have some key advantages over Fannie's program: There is no cap on the percentage of as-completed appraised value that can go for energy improvements. There is no mandatory residential home energy report. And Freddie's maximum debt-to-income limit for borrowers is 45 percent, vs. Fannie's 38 percent.

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  45.    Common Council eyes plan to require tighter inspections for city rental properties | syracuse.com

    "Anything you attempt to do to make landlords more responsible they take as a personal shot on them," he said. "I get it because they're attempting to do business and I'm very pro-business, as long as it's not done at the consumer's expense. Most landlords do good business, but you have a few who skate the rules."

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  46.    How the 'Great Atlantic City Real Estate Auction' will work – Press of Atlantic City: Southern New Jersey Real Estate – PressofAtlanticCity.com

    The city has held land auctions in the past, although 120 properties at one time is an unusually big number. One thing that's held down those sales, Terenik says, is that tax assessments were often too high for a town where property values have dropped considerably in recent years, partly due to four casinos closing in 2014.

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  47.    15 of the worst ever real estate photos | Stuff.co.nz

    I must say, I burst out laughing at that first one.

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  48.    American growth and inequality since 1700 | VOX, CEPR's Policy Portal

    The following is right on:

    The equality gained in the US during the Great Leveling slipped away after the 1970s. The rising income gaps were partly due to policy shifts. The US lost its lead in the quantity of mass education, and its gaps in educational achievement have widened relative to other leading countries. Financial deregulation in the 1980s also contributed powerfully to the rise in the top income shares and also to crises and recessions. A regressive pattern of tax cuts allowed more wealth to be inherited rather than earned. These policy shortfalls are, of course, reversible and without any obvious loss in GDP.

    History lessons

    American history suggests that inequality is not driven by some fundamental law of capitalist development, but rather by episodic shifts in five basic forces — demography, education policy, trade competition, financial regulation policy, and labor-saving technological change. While some of these forces are clearly exogenous, others — particularly policies regarding education, financial regulation, and inheritance taxation — offer ways to check the rise of inequality while also promoting growth.

    Thank you, Peter H. Lindert and Jeffrey G. Williamson.

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  49.    Negative interest rates: Lessons learned…so far | Brookings Institution

    I rarely do this: include a video I haven't watched; but, it's almost 3 hours long, and I just don't have the time right now but do want to at least let readers/viewers know it's out.

    I will watch it and possibly comment on it later. Up front, let me say that with huge provisos, I have favored negative rates given our current mixed-economy/Fed system (which system I do not ultimately support).

    In just one reminder of the extraordinary moment in economic history in which we are living, the central banks of the eurozone, as well as Japan, Switzerland, Denmark, and Sweden, have pushed their lending rates below zero — banks actually have to pay a fee to deposit money at the central bank. In some major countries, Germany and Japan among them, investors pay a fee to lend to the government instead of collecting interest. Once a fantasy of a few academic economists, negative interest rates are now seen as a tool available to monetary policymakers at times of very low inflation. But they remain controversial: are negative rates a prudent and potent response to today's lackluster economy? Or do they squeeze bank profits and hurt lending, confuse investors and consumers, and smack of desperation?

    Today, the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings is examining the recent experience with negative interest rates, particularly in Europe, and their possible use in the U.S. Participants include prominent economists from European central banks and Wall Street, as well as several academics, and former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, now a distinguished fellow in residence at Brookings.

    Feel free to comment on the video in our comment section.

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  50.    Are negative rates a "calamitous misadventure"? ECB economists say no | Brookings Institution

    This article neatly spells out all the positions I held before negative rates went pretty much "public," so to speak. They had been used a bit in two nations but certainly not long enough to have the kind of data upon which this article is based.

    Anyway, everything I initially held about negative rates has proved correct, and I do mean everything.

    The only things I ever offered up after the naysayers showed up en mass was that the banks should be forced to lend and that if the borrowers lack the credit rating/knowledge, then the banks must "partner" with them via educating them and by keeping the banks' skin in the game rather than selling off the loans as securities.

    David Wessel did a fine job summating the findings.

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  51.    12 Competitive Advantages to Develop for an Investing Edge So Strong, It's Almost Unfair12 Competitive Advantages to Develop for an Investing Edge So Strong, It

    What I like best wouldn't necessarily work best for someone else, which the article really says as well.

    My favorite part of this article isn't even in any of the numbered items. It's the intro and not because the article is long.

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


  52.    'It's time to call time on the EU experiment', by Kingston University's head of Economics, History & Politics, Professor Steve Keen | Kingston University Alumni Association | LinkedIn

    Steve is absolutely right about the anti-democratic nature of the EU design; however, it's such a shame that Germany can't be made to see the democratic light, the anti-ordoliberal light in time.

    Nationalism is just such a bad idea, though I know full well that nationalism is far, far, far from what motivates Steve Keen.

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


  53.    Colorado Scientists Detail Results of Fracking Air Pollution Study

    … emissions rate was highest when gas began to flow from the well, pushing the water and chemicals back out.

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  54.    North Alabama Water Diluted to Lower Contamination Levels

    … brought chemical contamination down to federally acceptable levels by diluting it ….

    People aren't feeling good about that as a solution.

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  55.    May Global Disasters Result in $5B in Claims

    Global disasters lead to at least $7 billion in claims as insurers aid the recovery process following May wildfires, floods and storms ….

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


  56.    Since 2005, newly formed households have tended to rent

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  57.    Austerity Kills! Bank of Greece reports "Greek's health deteriorating, life expectancy shrinks"

    This is not, repeat, is not, the fault of the general population of Greece. It is the direct result of the very bad design of the euro, among many other things.

    We could ends this nearly instantly and without causing hyperinflation, but the Germans, in particular, block that on false grounds (bad ideological grounds not supported by any credible data or analysis thereof).

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


  58.    Antarctic CO2 hits 400ppm for first time in 4m years | Environment | The Guardian

    … the world will have to have a full about face to avoid some of the worst impacts of climate change. Even slowing down emissions still means we're dumping record-high amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.

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  59.    Rents now top list of fastest-rising prices

    The surge in rental prices has eased a bit in recent months, but the forces driving rents higher remain in place, according to a recent analysis by real-estate-market researchers at Trulia.

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


  60.    Viewpoint: Fiduciary Rule Fight Isn't About the 'Little Guy'

    … fiduciary standard requires any adviser working with retirement accounts to avoid conflicts and act in the best interest of clients in the products they recommend.

    I'm all in favor of that.

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  61.    Six-Story California Steel Structure Rattled by Simulated Earthquake

    Smart moves [pun intended]:

    Researchers at the University of California, San Diego rocked and rattled a six-story steel frame building on a giant shake table ….

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


  62.    10 Habits Of Highly Effective Real Estate Investors | Investopedia

    Hmmm, what would you add?

    Lenders.
    Insurance.
    Contractors.
    Outsourced management.
    Key software.
    Marketing.

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


  63.    The interesting thing that happened when Kansas cut taxes and California hiked them – The Washington Post

    What's the matter with Kansas? Libertarian economics.

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


  64.    Detroit demolitions are tracked on new city website

    Detroit is running the largest blight removal program of its kind in the nation ….

    Detroit's demolition program is under federal scrutiny from the Office of the Special Investigator for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the federal bailout program created by the Obama administration, over rising costs and questionable bidding practices. The FBI is assisting the investigation.

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


  65.    End of legislative session laws — Zombie Properties – Assemblyman John McDonald

    … there is a large amount of pressure on DFS to perform but this Zombie Property legislation will provide greater sharing of information and tight timelines for local governments to follow together which will help, over time, minimize these blights in our communities.

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


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