News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Aug. 12, 2016

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Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) The Big Impact of Tiny Homes: How Little Houses Are Changing Real Estate | US News Real Estate

2) Employment Situation Summary

3) Nonresidential Construction Growth on Pace with Strong July Jobs Report

4) mainly macro: Negative rates, helicopter money and the Bank of England

5) China Banking Regulator Tells Banks to Evergreen Loans of Troubled Companies

6) Want to avoid recession? Then shower UK households with cash | Simon Jenkins | Opinion | The Guardian

7) A Realistic Look at July's Nonfarm Payrolls

8) Why this Job Market is Still Terrible: The Politically Incorrect Numbers Everyone is Hushing up | Wolf Street

9) Galbraith says critics have it all wrong over 'Plan X' | Comment | ekathimerini com

10) Exclusive: Stiglitz quits Panama Papers probe, cites lack of transparency | Reuters

11) Employment Again Rises Sharply in July | Jobs Bytes | Data Bytes | Publications | The Center for Economic and Policy Research

12) North Carolina Court Backs Decision Against Home Insurance Rate Increase

13) Estimated Cost of Southern California Gas Leak Reaches $717M

14) Donald Trump Economy: What He Got Wrong on Unemployment

15) Next Big Future: Automated detection and patching of software vulnerabilities demonstrated by DARPA cyber challenge winner

16) Strider: Cyberespionage group turns eye of Sauron on targets | Symantec Connect

17) ProjectSauron: top level cyber-espionage platform covertly extracts encrypted government comms – Securelist

18) See: These foreclosed properties are up for auction

19) Who owns the city? How urban real estate became the corporate asset class of choice | CityMetric

20) Brothers who owned Lansing real estate business guilty in Ponzi scheme

21) Sacramento ranks No. 4 nationally for apartment-rent growth – Sacramento Business Journal

22) New Tool Shows Struggles of Financing Affordable Housing – DSNews

23) San Francisco fighting over limited construction labor force | HousingWire

24) The Nation's 10 Busiest Submarkets For Construction: North San Jose/Milpitas – MPF Market Research Reports News & Trends

25) Chart Book: The Legacy of the Great Recession | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

26) Top 10 Countries For Retirement Security | Bankrate com

27) The story of one Detroit neighborhood on its way back from the brink

28) Political leanings of American professors

29) How To Claim Abandoned Property Next Door – Bankrate com

30) City signs deal to upgrade more than 500 affordable Harlem apartments – Curbed NY

31) Boomerang buyers just won't come back

32) Get your cameras ready: The most photo-friendly NYC projects

33) Downtown Miami to get micro-living apartment tower – Archpaper com

34) Important Things to Know About When Using Drones for Commercial Real Estate Marketing — Real Estate Tech News

35) Is the US Due for Radically Raising Taxes on the Rich? – The Atlantic

36) What's slowing growth? Sorry, conservatives: It's not the size of governments – The Washington Post

37) Increased regulation may be easing Oklahoma earthquakes

38) There Are All Kinds of Signs of a High-End Real Estate Slowdown – Bloomberg

39) China's Love Affair with US Real Estate Fades – Bloomberg

40) Gov. Malloy Announces Launch of Connecticut Emergency Alert Mobile App – Connecticut's Official State Website

41) Top 10 Problems Home Sellers Try To Hide

42) Trickle-Down Economics: Four Reasons Why It Just Doesn't Work – United for a Fair Economy

43) So far, the Seattle minimum-wage increase is doing what it's supposed to do – The Washington Post

44) Two dead, 31 injured in huge fire, explosion at Md. apartment complex – The Washington Post

45) Why Real Estate's New GICS Classification Will Drive Investment – Vanguard REIT Index ETF (NYSEARCA:VNQ) | Seeking Alpha

46) Costly and Inaccurate Zillow Home Values in CA WA OR | RubyOne Mortgage

47) For the first time, a metro's median home price tops $1 million mark – MarketWatch

48) Are Online Applications Making Renting an Apartment Easier or Harder? | US News Real Estate

49) The Australian Real Estate Correction has Begun – MarketCapMarketCap

50) UBS: China's Already Started Bailing Out its Banks – Bloomberg

51) Does Fiscal Stimulus Work when Recessions Are Caused by Too Much Private Debt?

52) Turn Your Camera into the Latest Crime-Fighting Tool

53) Tax Calendar for Businesses & Self-Employed

54) Take the Financial Literacy Quiz

55) Record 60.6M Americans live in multigenerational households | Pew Research Center

56) The Fed's shifting perspective on the economy and its implications for monetary policy | Brookings Institution

57) Bond Market's Big Illusion Revealed as US Yields Turn Negative – Bloomberg

58) Construction Input Prices Stable in July

59) 20 Must-Have Team Members for Real Estate Investing Newbies

60) A Look at China's Stimulus Efforts Shows 'Malinvestment Is Still Hard at Work' – Bloomberg

61) ECB told by IMF team: Forget negative rates, or you'll do more harm than good – MarketWatch

62) Donald Trump Sells Out to Trickle-Down Economics – The New Yorker

63) Reducing Economic Inequality through Democratic Worker-Ownership

64) CONVERSABLE ECONOMIST: Is Support for Democracy Eroding?

65) Former insurance agent headed to prison for Federal arson and witness tampering crimes | USAO-SDWV | Department of Justice

66) Plea Deal for 1 of 5 Charged in Fatal Indiana House Blast – ABC News

67) 7 Injured in Connecticut House Explosion

68) Faulty Wiring on Hot Tub Caused Deadly 2015 California Wildfire

69) Boston Brownstone Fire Causes $1M in Damage

70) Negative Rates for the People Arrive as German Bank Gives In – Bloomberg

71) Italy takes hatchet to overgrown thicket of local public sector companies

72) Fix and Flip after repairs bought 3/18/16 – YouTube

73) The Cook County Land Bank is chipping away at abandoned properties one house at a time | Bleader | Chicago Reader

74) The Latest: More than 50 Mississippians sheltered from flood – The Washington Post

  1.    The Big Impact of Tiny Homes: How Little Houses Are Changing Real Estate | US News Real Estate

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


  2.    Employment Situation Summary

    Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 255,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and financial activities. Employment in mining continued to trend down.

    The unemployment rate held at 4.9 percent in July, and the number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 7.8 million. Both measures have shown little movement, on net, since August of last year. …

    The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised from +11,000 to +24,000, and the change for June was revised from +287,000 to +292,000. With these revisions, employment gains in May and June combined were 18,000 more than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 190,000 per month.

    So, how good it this?

    Well, it's pretty good. I'd give it a C+, maybe even a B-.

    Why the gains but the steady unemployment rate?

    As more people are employed (put back to work), more people seen as not being in the market for a job are now seen as being in that market, just as I had predicted.

    Why have I been saying that I still see a slowdown?

    It's not hard and fast statistical evidence but more a sense that the global situation isn't getting better and that it will come back to haunt the US unless the US is prepared to fiscally spend, which it doesn't seem to be (yet).

    Let me put it this way. When the economy was leading up to the Great Recession, I was 100% confident that we'd have a major disaster. I started feeling that way in about 2003, when I first caught on to just how lax lending standards had become and just how large the resulting bubble would end up being because of that horrendous laxness.

    Concerning my feelings that we're still facing a slowdown, I'm only leaning that way. The lead-up to the Great Recession was fixed/certain. Politics right now are highly volatile (even though there's been a little lull between the national conventions and the first Presidential debate). If there is another downturn, the Fed alone will not be able to handle it. The US government will have to step in with fiscal stimulus or face a deeper recession. People's memories haven't faded enough that they'll want the government to sit on its hands while a deep recession is allowed to unfold (I hope).

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


  3.    Nonresidential Construction Growth on Pace with Strong July Jobs Report

    "While hiring in July was strong both in the broader economy and in key nonresidential construction segments, ongoing job creation exacerbates the issue of rampant skilled labor shortage," said Basu. "The construction employment rate is now down to 4.5 percent. The implication is that wage pressures continue to build. Therefore, contractors will likely need to more aggressively pass along cost increases to purchasers of construction services in order to simply maintain their current level of profitability.

    "For now, America's economic recovery remains in place," said Basu. "Not only does the economy continue to add jobs, but labor force participation has begun to rise again. This should position America's ongoing consumer-led expansion to continue, creating demand for commercial construction and other forms of construction in the process."

    You see there some of the issues. The economy simultaneously creates headwinds and tailwinds.

    Construction has always been extremely important to economic growth. Technology has filled more of the gap recently though. In fact, construction is looking to employ more robotics because young people just aren't becoming construction workers at the rate they once did.

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


  4.    mainly macro: Negative rates, helicopter money and the Bank of England

    This is one of those "educational posts" by Simon Wren-Lewis. I agree with his analysis here.

    Why, however, is Mark Carney really concerned about savers? Well, I don't think it's what people would immediately think. I think it is rather that if money were simply issued, then banks charging interest would be exposed for what they are: parasites and a drag.

    You see, savers are being saved because they are also made up of elitists (others too, but still elitists) who get it at both ends: lending and lending. Savers who get their money from interest are, in fact, lenders. Bankers who lend are, well, lenders too.

    If we were to give away money interest-free, the system would be exposed for what it is: a scam whereby there are people who work and others who live off that via lending and charging interest: usurers.

    There's lending at interest and there's democracy. That's why we don't have real democracy. In a real democracy, the People would vote themselves interest-free money and the bankers would be put out of business. The economy would be even stronger too, much stronger.

    People would vote with their dollars when they choose what it is they buy but they'd all vote with their vote that would determine a great deal more in the workplace and concerning who gets what money and why. Merit wouldn't be based upon selfishness but rather merit. Externalities wouldn't be allowed to go unchecked nearly as much as now. Democracy would see to that.

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  5.    China Banking Regulator Tells Banks to Evergreen Loans of Troubled Companies

    On the surface, China is talking the reform talk. But is it also walking the walk? There are many examples to demonstrate it isn't. The most recent one is a directive from the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) to not cut off lending to troubled companies and to evergreen bad loans. This first reported by The Chinese National Business Daily on Aug. 4.

    They know they don't know what they are doing. Those theys are China. They are trying to buy time while they try to figure out what to do.

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  6.    Want to avoid recession? Then shower UK households with cash | Simon Jenkins | Opinion | The Guardian

    Simon Jenkins gets a great deal of it.

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  7.    A Realistic Look at July's Nonfarm Payrolls

    And this is part of why I couldn't give better than a C+ (above) to the recent unemployment figures. Even giving a C+ was generous, and I only did it because it's a relative grade. I'm being realistic that the underlying fundamentals haven't really changed. We really need structural reforms and not of the "neoliberal" kind but the exact opposite. We need a Universal Income paid for by democratically created money that creates no governmental debt.

    Thank you, Pam Martens and Russ Martens!

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  8.    Why this Job Market is Still Terrible: The Politically Incorrect Numbers Everyone is Hushing up | Wolf Street

    Here's another one that explains my having handed out only a C+. Wolf Richter nails it.

    By the way, that C+ was issued before reading the Martens or Wolf Richter.

    Think about how little it would take to go from C+ to a C- or D+ or worse: not much.

    If you want a grade from me concerning the real state of affairs, not a relative grade in our relatively frozen "mixed economic" system, but my real view of how well we are doing relative to how well we could be doing under a proper system, then I'd hand out an F.

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


  9.    Galbraith says critics have it all wrong over 'Plan X' | Comment | ekathimerini.com

    The ending of this article suggests that Plan X would have caused unrest. That's backwards. The lack of a Plan X in the face of a total shutdown forced on Greece by the EU would have caused unrest. Plan X, had it been implemented in the face of that would have been mitigating.

    As for whether Yanis was doing something wrong by advocating not caving in, just look at how terrible things still are there in Greece. My view is that Plan X would have worked and that Greece would be better off now had Plan X been implemented.

    Lastly, by asking what qualified Galbraith, are they really serious? I don't think so. They know that he's an excellent economist who was perfectly suited to help Yanis structure a workable plan. Nations call in foreign experts all the time. Just because this time it happened to be someone on the left shouldn't be singled out as some sort of questionable thing over and above when it happens to be someone on the right.

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  10.    Exclusive: Stiglitz quits Panama Papers probe, cites lack of transparency | Reuters

    The committee set up to investigate lack of transparency in Panama's financial system itself lacks transparency, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz told Reuters on Friday after resigning from the "Panama Papers" commission.

    "We're being asked to do this as a courtesy for them and we're paraded in front of the world media first, and then we're told to shut up when they don't like it," Pieth, a criminal law professor at Basel University, said.

    I didn't like all the politicization of the Papers in the first place. Now with these men leaving, it only strengthens my initial position/reaction.

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  11.    Employment Again Rises Sharply in July | Jobs Bytes | Data Bytes | Publications | The Center for Economic and Policy Research

    Here's why I didn't give the unemployment numbers a lower grade than C+.

    Again, I handed out the grade before reading this.

    BTW, I saw all the same data. I don't report all the numbers because I expect people who are really interested to click through to the original report and read it.

    The increase in wages has to be gauged against inflation, which is low, which is why Dean Baker see some daylight there, as did/do I. I don't, however, expect the powers that be to allow workers to regain anything remotely like the power the workers had at the height of the union movement in the US. Therefore, if the non-elites want to live decently, they'll have to vote themselves raises without tax increases and without more governmental borrowing but the opposite. It can all be done!

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  12.    North Carolina Court Backs Decision Against Home Insurance Rate Increase

    Setting premiums may not be as easy as you think it is.

    BTW, all other things being equal, if investments by insurance companies don't result in adequate returns, premiums must go up or coverage must be withdrawn from the market.

    Lower interest rates have made insurance-company investments much more difficult. The companies are in the same boat as pension funds and other large institutional investors.

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


  13.    Estimated Cost of Southern California Gas Leak Reaches $717M

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


  14.    Donald Trump Economy: What He Got Wrong on Unemployment

    Look, Donald Trump does couch the data in a way that exaggerates the problem. However, this article doesn't dig enough when it tries to show that Trump is overstating things. If it were to dig more (or reveal), it would state that while Trump overstates, he does have legitimate points. While data is as the article states, the article misinterprets that data as being telling on its face, which it is not. A recent read of the data clearly shows that there is a pent-up demand for much better pay and more hours.

    So, Trump is wrong but so is this article. The official unemployment figures really don't tell the truth. Only deeper questions and answers reveal that truth, which is that many more people are unemployed and underemployed than the data and the conventional interpretation suggests. Many retirees were forced into earlier retirement (had to start taking Social Security, etc.) due to the Great Recession, and the recovery has been anemic.

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


  15.    Next Big Future: Automated detection and patching of software vulnerabilities demonstrated by DARPA cyber challenge winner

    Robots fighting robots just keeps growing. What will it end in?

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


  16.    Strider: Cyberespionage group turns eye of Sauron on targets | Symantec Connect

    Striving for patternlessness:

    Low-profile group uses Remsec malware to spy on targets in Russia, China, and Europe.

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


  17.    ProjectSauron: top level cyber-espionage platform covertly extracts encrypted government comms – Securelist

    Detailed.

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  18.    See: These foreclosed properties are up for auction

    Do your due diligence. The area was hit severely hard by the Great Recession. Check how the economy is doing now and its prospects for supporting any real-estate investment.

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


  19.    Who owns the city? How urban real estate became the corporate asset class of choice | CityMetric

    The trends I describe capture something about the desirability of investing not only in property but, perhaps especially, in urban land. This is significant in a world where much land is dying — due to desertification, floods, mining, plantation agriculture, deforestation or poisoning from mining operations.

    … large-scale urban development entails significant shifts in ownership; from small or medium businesses to large corporations, or from public to private. Some of the most noxious "site assembly" developments happen when a single owner buys one or two city blocks, and the city authorities cave in to their requirements by eliminating little streets and parks, and privatising everything.

    We are witnessing a deep history in the making: a systematic transformation in the pattern of land ownership in some of our major cities. Whether it's national or foreign, large-scale corporate investment absorbs much of the public tissue of streets and squares, and street-level commerce. It shrinks the texture and scale of spaces that are accessible to the public, and ultimately changes the very character of the city. If we're to safeguard equity, democracy and rights in urban areas, we must first ask ourselves: who owns the city?

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  20.    Brothers who owned Lansing real estate business guilty in Ponzi scheme

    Through Mulholland Financial, the brothers bought real estate and used it largely as rental properties in Michigan college towns. They managed $22 million worth of real estate at the business' peak.

    When the recession hit, the company began to lose money, according to Schuette. But, from 2009 to 2010, the brothers continued to promise a 7% return on investments and raised an additional $2 million from investors.

    "They made no mention that their business was in trouble and promised a 7% rate of return from the real estate profits and that the principal and interest were guaranteed and could be liquid within 30 days of making a written request," Schuette's statement said.

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  21.    Sacramento ranks No. 4 nationally for apartment-rent growth – Sacramento Business Journal

    Zumper, which tracked apartment rental trends over the 50 largest U.S. cities, ranked Sacramento fourth nationally for year-over-year growth. Oakland, where rents jumped by 20 percent, topped the list, followed by Austin and Kansas City.

    That's year-over-year.

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


  22.    New Tool Shows Struggles of Financing Affordable Housing – DSNews

    In order to be eligible for tax credits, the report says a development must dedicate at least a fifth of its units to those who earn less than half of the area median income or they can allot 40 percent of apartments to those earning less than 60 percent of the area median income. This also means that in order to be considered affordable, rent for those apartments may not exceed 30 percent of the designated income level. In addition to these stipulations, developers must also compete to receive the limited supply of credits, and according to the Urban Institute, that competition can be fierce.

    You see, that doesn't pencil out as easily as creating housing for the rich. That's why I've been repeatedly saying that developers need to pressure government (politicians) to create better subsidies, much better subsidies. In this mixed economy, the government needs to make housing the poor profitable for developers and landlords. Why not do it? It wouldn't make the rich poorer but the poorer better off than the poor are now. What's wrong with that? Nothing.

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  23.    San Francisco fighting over limited construction labor force | HousingWire

    By better subsidizing housing, more workers could be trained in construction and be hired at higher wages.

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  24.    The Nation's 10 Busiest Submarkets For Construction: North San Jose/Milpitas – MPF Market Research Reports News & Trends

    This article is packed with the kind of info an investor needs. Even if you're not interested in this geographical area, you might read this just to see what a packed article should delve into.

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


  25.    Chart Book: The Legacy of the Great Recession | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

    This is an excellent overview.

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


  26.    Top 10 Countries For Retirement Security | Bankrate.com

    The only thing keeping the USA from being #1 is a decision to be. If we were to decide to be and were to simply do the things the best is doing now only better, we'd be #1. It wouldn't harm growth or cause hyperinflation either. In fact, it would help growth and in all the right ways too.

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


  27.    The story of one Detroit neighborhood on its way back from the brink

    No amount of blight in a neighborhood is acceptable. It leads to negative economic, public safety, and psychological consequences for a neighborhood. It is imperative that neighbors, the community and policy makers think this way and act accordingly to create places of opportunity for all.

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


  28.    Political leanings of American professors

    We've been told that those who go into economics are more often than not, selfishly oriented when it comes to, well, economics. Have a look at accounting and finance too.

    The economics field has been dominated by the libertarian-leaning ideology. That's what caused the Great Recession. It's also what prolongs it: shutting off stimulus way too quickly via deficit hawkishness and calls for greater austerity.

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


  29.    How To Claim Abandoned Property Next Door – Bankrate.com

    Adverse possession would be more than a stretch.

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  30.    City signs deal to upgrade more than 500 affordable Harlem apartments – Curbed NY

    Now, people are making money in this deal, work is being created, and poorer people are being able to age in place too. All of that is happening while luxury housing is also built and provided.

    Affordable housing is a moral obligation for those with a working conscience and it doesn't ruin the economy, far from it.

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


  31.    Boomerang buyers just won't come back

    The sobering news comes after optimistic forecasts from economists that boomerang buyers would have a big impact on housing once their waiting period had ended. But reality proves that's not the case, with many perhaps unwilling to risk getting burned a second time.

    Not only that but the lack of having to do maintenance can spoil a person in a nice way.

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


  32.    Get your cameras ready: The most photo-friendly NYC projects

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


  33.    Downtown Miami to get micro-living apartment tower – Archpaper com

    Pedestrian-friendly, micro-living, car-free? What does Miami think it is? L.A.?

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


  34.    Important Things to Know About When Using Drones for Commercial Real Estate Marketing — Real Estate Tech News

    Although not mandatory, you should seriously consider carrying a minimum of $1 million in liability for commercial drone insurance. Typically, there is little risk. However, because things can always go wrong, insurance is strongly recommended.

    Why Choose Aerial Pak? Aerial Pak™ is comprehensive. Designed specifically with the RC operator in mind, Aerial Pak™ combines many property and liability coverages you need into one policy. http://aerialpak.com/

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  35.    Is the U.S. Due for Radically Raising Taxes on the Rich? – The Atlantic

    This is one way. Another is to simply create the money debt-free and issue it as a universal income to each citizen (who could also work for more).

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


  36.    What's slowing growth? Sorry, conservatives: It's not the size of governments – The Washington Post

    Jared Bernstein:

    … Claims that more government crushes growth are simply not supported by the data.

    … government investments in public goods such as public infrastructure, human capital and poverty prevention have long been found to be pro-growth. By definition, the private sector will underinvest in such goods because they can't easily profit from them.

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


  37.    Increased regulation may be easing Oklahoma earthquakes

    While the overall rate of earthquakes is down, the temblors are still happening regularly in Oklahoma. In the past 30 days, 26 earthquakes with a magnitude-3.0 or greater have hit the state, according to USGS data. A magnitude-4.0 rocked an area just outside Oklahoma City early Wednesday.

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


  38.    There Are All Kinds of Signs of a High-End Real Estate Slowdown – Bloomberg

    This is not surprising at all. Russia and China have a great deal to do with it. Plus, there's a crackdown on money laundering, as well there should be.

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  39.    China's Love Affair with U.S. Real Estate Fades – Bloomberg

    U.S. real-estate sales to Chinese buyers fell for the first time since 2011. U.S. realtors say China's capital controls and currency depreciation are having an impact on potential buyers pulling the trigger. Bloomberg's Shery Ahn met with a young Chinese professional in New York to find out how the conditions are affecting her purchasing power.

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


  40.    Gov. Malloy Announces Launch of Connecticut Emergency Alert Mobile App – Connecticut's Official State Website

    … launch of a new emergency preparedness mobile application for Connecticut residents that provides information and alerts in emergency situation, and also helps residents prepare in advance of an emergency.

    The "CT Prepares" app, which can be downloaded to most smartphones, incorporates and integrates text messaging, email, and social networking, allowing residents to communicate with family members during an emergency. Real-Time notifications including emergency news, state office closings, and public safety messages can be sent directly to the device, providing up-to-the-minute information for residents.

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  41.    Top 10 Problems Home Sellers Try To Hide

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  42.    Trickle-Down Economics: Four Reasons Why It Just Doesn't Work – United for a Fair Economy

    We've known about this for decades. This article was written decades after we knew trickle-down doesn't work. It was written in 2003.

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


  43.    So far, the Seattle minimum-wage increase is doing what it's supposed to do – The Washington Post

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


  44.    Two dead, 31 injured in huge fire, explosion at Md. apartment complex – The Washington Post

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


  45.    Why Real Estate's New GICS Classification Will Drive Investment – Vanguard REIT Index ETF (NYSEARCA:VNQ) | Seeking Alpha

    After the market closes on August 31, 2016, real estate will finally become the 11th sector in the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). But does the change really mean anything?

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


  46.    Costly and Inaccurate Zillow Home Values in CA WA OR | RubyOne Mortgage

    Is Zillow Accurate? Not Really. Here's Why.

    It's fun to kill time and see what your home is worth on Zillow. Surely it is a guilty pleasure to dream about your upward, spiraling net worth. It's also fun to play the prediction game, especially in the fast-moving West Coast real estate markets of California, Washington and Oregon. But here's the rub: The Zestimate you're punching up on your screen is very likely inaccurate.

    And the company even admits it.

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  47.    For the first time, a metro's median home price tops $1 million mark – MarketWatch

    San Jose was the most expensive metropolitan area in the country, with a median home price of $1.085 million, followed by San Francisco at $885,600 and Anaheim-Santa Ana, Calif., at $742,200.

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  48.    Are Online Applications Making Renting an Apartment Easier or Harder? | US News Real Estate

    … leveraging the internet for apartment renting isn't all good for consumers, as scammers have found ways to take advantage of renters and landlords. What does each party in the leasing transaction gain from the newly automated processes, and how can both avoid becoming victims?

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  49.    The Australian Real Estate Correction has Begun – MarketCapMarketCap

    … a huge apartment oversupply (with many, many more on the way); lower prices and rents; and rapidly increasing failures to settle are putting numerous developers at risk. This in turn will put pressure on the developers' lenders.

    A collapse in the real estate bubble is likely to send Australia into recession. It is entirely possible that our banks will require a taxpayer-funded bailout and the dollar will freefall.

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  50.    UBS: China's Already Started Bailing Out its Banks – Bloomberg

    "The concern is that if we continue to see credit growth — loan plus shadow loan — at a two to three times multiple of GDP growth, then we believe the positive steps being undertaken to recap[italize] and deal with bad assets could be outpaced by the growth of non-performing loans," ….

    That's always been the issue if China is to remain even a somewhat mixed economy.

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  51.    Does Fiscal Stimulus Work when Recessions Are Caused by Too Much Private Debt?

    Overall, our results suggest that fiscal stimulus is effective even during recessions induced by consumer-debt overhang. An increase in government spending is associated with a fiscal multiplier above one, and the multiplier is higher in consumer-debt-ridden geographical areas. The higher multiplier in those areas might be attributed to a direct increase in household consumption and local economic slack. Our results imply that the ills of private debt can be cured by government spending that is financed by public debt. At least in the short term (two years are considered in this study), public debt is effective in stimulating income and employment even in areas of high consumer indebtedness.

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  52.    Turn Your Camera into the Latest Crime-Fighting Tool

    The CrimeReports Camera Registration program is a great way to help deter and solve crime quickly in your community. Providing your local law enforcement agency with the location of your security camera empowers them with the information needed to catch criminals faster. And since you own the camera, your participation always remains 100% voluntary. Additionally, some agencies provide participants with window decals and other promotional materials that advertise your participation. So, while your cameras can solve crime, your participation can prevent it altogether.

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  53.    Tax Calendar for Businesses & Self-Employed

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  54.    Take the Financial Literacy Quiz

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  55.    Record 60.6M Americans live in multigenerational households | Pew Research Center

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  56.    The Fed's shifting perspective on the economy and its implications for monetary policy | Brookings Institution

    Ben Bernanke:

    … broadly speaking, FOMC participants' views of how the economy is likely to evolve have not changed much: They still see monetary policy as stimulative (the current policy rate is below r*), which should lead over time to output growing faster than potential, declining unemployment, and (as reduced economic slack puts upward pressure on wages and prices) a gradual return of inflation to the Committee's 2 percent target. However, the revisions in FOMC participants' estimates of key parameters suggest that they now see this process playing out over a longer timeframe than they previously thought. In particular, relative to earlier estimates, they see current policy as less accommodative, the labor market as less tight, and inflationary pressures as more limited. Moreover, there may be a greater possibility that running the economy a bit "hot" will lead to better productivity performance over time. The implications of these changes for policy are generally dovish, helping to explain the downward shifts in recent years in the Fed's anticipated trajectory of rates.

    That's what I've thought all along. I will add though that capitalists are keeping more of the profits than sharing them via higher wages or higher taxes on themselves. Until the non-elites can give themselves substantial raises at the direct expense of the elites or until there's a substantial universal income, the economy will be slower than "expected" (by some).

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  57.    Bond Market's Big Illusion Revealed as U.S. Yields Turn Negative – Bloomberg

    A single currency and no governmental borrowing would clear up much of this mess.

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  58.    Construction Input Prices Stable in July

    "With construction labor costs rising more rapidly in much of the country, including in quickly growing communities in the southeast and Pacific northwest, the stability in materials prices takes on greater importance from a profit margin perspective," said Basu.

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  59.    20 Must-Have Team Members for Real Estate Investing Newbies

    Thoughts?

    If you're going to deal directly with specialty contractors, how about a painting contractor, carpet supplier and installer, and a landscaper?

    Of course, much will depend upon the size of your organization (the number of doors you have).

    Some people emphasize that you need your spouse, if you have one, fully on board at least with your plans if not actually working in the business with you.

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  60.    A Look at China's Stimulus Efforts Shows 'Malinvestment Is Still Hard at Work' – Bloomberg

    The problem with China is that it thinks it doesn't have to make up its mind as to whether it is or will be a capitalist or socialist economy.

    China hasn't been shooting for a social democracy. The highly anti-democratic Communist Chinese Party sees to that.

    Also, they don't seem to understand the "commanding heights" of the economy in terms of centralization versus decentralization of planning while maintaining public ownership. Few, if any, nations do.

    So, if it's a technocracy they envision, which seems to be the case, they'll never get it right.

    If they want the most dynamic, flexible, sustainable economy, they'll have to convert to democracy the likes of which the world has never seen.

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  61.    ECB told by IMF team: Forget negative rates, or you'll do more harm than good – MarketWatch

    Some argue there isn't any demand for cheap loans among customers, which only make the negative rates an unnecessary burden on lenders. Others, including the IMF, say it has been successful.

    "The rate cut has eased financial conditions, reducing the cost of borrowing for both banks and their customers," the IMF economists said.

    The problem isn't, and hasn't been, with negative rates. It's with a lack of deeper working relationships between lenders and borrowers. Banks should work harder to make sure borrowers are successful.

    Of course, I'm only speaking about this issue within the status quo and not the system I'd prefer.

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  62.    Donald Trump Sells Out to Trickle-Down Economics – The New Yorker

    Through the years, Trump has, at various times, advocated genuinely populist policies, such as raising the minimum wage and taxing wealth more highly. But he has also flirted with highly regressive policies favored by Republican élites, such as slashing the corporate tax rate, reducing the top rate of income tax, and getting rid of the federal estate tax, which affects only the wealthiest American families.

    When he first announced, I was hoping (against hope) to see the populist Trump cited above, not the one calling for more and deeper tax cuts on the superrich.

    I'm far from the only person who wishes he or she could slice and dice the policies and practices of the various candidates to come up with one candidate reflecting good sense all the way around.

    Trump's tax plan is horrendously bad.

    However, taxes are antiquated and should be phased out entirely, as should usury (interest) and even money.

    We'll get there. I wish we already were.

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  63.    Reducing Economic Inequality through Democratic Worker-Ownership

    This is 38 pages long. I didn't read it before posting — not enough time today. (It's very rare that I post a link to something of this nature that I haven't completely read/watched.) I do agree with democratic worker-ownership. I'll add community ownership too. I've studied both for decades.

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  64.    CONVERSABLE ECONOMIST: Is Support for Democracy Eroding?

    The youth went for Bernie Sanders, but then there's this hanging over our heads.

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  65.    Former insurance agent headed to prison for Federal arson and witness tampering crimes | USAO-SDWV | Department of Justice

    A Hurricane man was sentenced today to a total of nine years in federal prison: seven years for a federal arson crime followed by a consecutive sentence of two years for an unrelated federal witness tampering crime, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Jimmie Arnold Harper, Jr., 36, previously pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting arson and conspiracy to tamper with a witness. As part of his sentence, he was also ordered to pay over $320,000 in restitution.

    Harper was a Nationwide Mutual Insurance agent with an office in Winfield.

    It was doubly stupid, since an agent should know how easily arsonists can be found out.

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  66.    Plea Deal for 1 of 5 Charged in Fatal Indiana House Blast – ABC News

    One of five people charged in a deadly house explosion that devastated an Indianapolis neighborhood has reached a plea deal weeks before his scheduled trial, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

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  67.    7 Injured in Connecticut House Explosion

    The blast flattened the two-story residence and sent debris flying.

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  68.    Faulty Wiring on Hot Tub Caused Deadly 2015 California Wildfire

    A hot tub's faulty wiring ignited one of California's most destructive wildfires….

    …wiring…"was not installed according to building code,"….

    Yet, as a broker, I hear people complaining against such building codes.

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  69.    Boston Brownstone Fire Causes $1M in Damage

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  70.    Negative Rates for the People Arrive as German Bank Gives In – Bloomberg

    Nail biting over bank fees (negative rates) is a waste of time. The question is, is it deflationary or inflationary? What do you want? I say it's retail-price inflation and somewhat monetary-deflation at the same time. It's no cure, but it's not as bad as people are claiming and has actually helped more than hurt.

    If they'd stop messing around, we could get right to the cures.

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  71.    Italy takes hatchet to overgrown thicket of local public sector companies

    Here you see a prime example of going in the exact wrong direction. Rather than privatize, they should democratize.

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  72.    Fix and Flip after repairs bought 3/18/16 – YouTube

    I bought this house for $117,000 back in March and it is listed for $204,900. We are expecting an offer soon! The home used to be a 2 bedroom, but we completely redid the floor plan and added another bedroom. All new kitchen, bath, drywall, electric, plumbing, heating, garage, roof, and more. Repairs were about $35,000 but the contractor had to eat some more cost because he built the garage in an easement.

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  73.    The Cook County Land Bank is chipping away at abandoned properties one house at a time | Bleader | Chicago Reader

    Imagine a county agency that doesn't rely on taxpayer dollars to operate. And not only that, but it also generates wealth and helps revitalize struggling neighborhoods.

    It's not a fairytale, but how boosters describe the successes of the Cook County Land Bank Authority, now in its third year of operating.

    The land bank's purpose is twofold: to buy and resell abandoned property for rehab or redevelopment, and to clear land of blighted structures and revert it to redevelopment or community uses like parks and gardens.

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  74.    The Latest: More than 50 Mississippians sheltered from flood – The Washington Post

    Wilkinson County Chancery Clerk Thomas Tolliver says an apartment complex and surrounding houses in the town were heavily flooded by deluging rains falling over southern Mississippi and southeast Louisiana.

    Tolliver says a creek in the low-lying area of Crosby overflowed its banks after the region received 10 inches of rain overnight, running through houses and apartments.

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