News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Mar. 13, 2017

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Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) Queens real estate employees charged in deed transfer scam – NY Daily News

2) Vancouver family says real estate agent burglarized home | KGW com

3) 50 Google Engineers Volunteered to Patch Thousands of Java Open Source Projects

4) Chinese property investors are losing interest in the…

5) This is why loosening Dodd-Frank won't stop real estate growth | HousingWire

6) 9 ways drones are changing real estate – CBS News

7) Arizona Attorney General's Office: Francisco Aguirre indicted for real estate fraud – ABC15 Arizona

8) State of Global Air

9) Dollar Rises to Weekly High After ADP Data Shows Surge in Hiring – Bloomberg

10) Tesla's new solar energy station will power Hawaii at night

11) Real estate rebounds, but affordable housing left behind

12) Potential HUD cuts 'scary' for Memphis

13) After CIA leak, Intel Security releases detection tool for EFI rootkits | PCWorld

14) Goodbye BIOS, hello UEFI | ITworld

15) Installing CHIPSEC in Windows · chipsec/chipsec Wiki · GitHub

16) Selloff in REITs accelerates – iShares US Real Estate ETF (NYSEARCA:IYR) | Seeking Alpha

17) Gamma Real Estate acquires two Charlotte multifamily properties for $70.4 million – Charlotte Business Journal

18) Denver housing market 'worrisome' to real estate economists, who advocate renting here – Denver Business Journal

19) US Infrastructure Gets Near Flunking Grade From Engineers – Bloomberg

20) Employment Situation Summary

21) New Android Smartphones Found To Be Already Infected By Malware: Are You At Risk? : TECH : Tech Times

22) LSE Business Review — The butcher, the brewer, the ba(n)ker and the nature of money

23) No, Criticising Economics is not Regressive — Unlearning Economics — Medium

24) Planning Commission endorses plan for 2,400 affordable homes in the Mission – Curbed SF

25) The Shortage of Money: A Fallacious Problem – The Minskys

26) California exports its poor to Texas, other states, while wealthier people move in | The Sacramento Bee

27) US Economic Confidence Index at Record High of +16 | Gallup

28) Oil imports lift US trade deficit to near five-year high | Reuters

29) Banks are about to get a huge cash windfall thanks to Trump

30) Fed officials talk up March rate-hike prospect – Business Insider

31) Economic growth expectations are quietly falling through the floor

32) Is the Fed Behind on Tightening? Watch This Inflation Indicator – Bloomberg

33) 'Superstar Firms' May Have Shrunk Workers' Share of Income – The New York Times

34) There are reports a lot of Chinese buyers are struggling to settle on their Aussie apartment | Business Insider

35) Top Ten Features of a Profitable Rental Property — Swan | BlogTop Ten Features of a Profitable Rental Property

  1.    Queens real estate employees charged in deed transfer scam – NY Daily News

    "As a result of the alleged fraudulent deed transfer scheme, the homeowners are no longer the titled owners of their own properties … the homeowner must retain a real estate attorney to have the fraudulent deed reversed, resulting in additional financial hardships on them."

    The defendants are awaiting to be arraigned on several charges, including criminal possession of stolen property, falsifying business records, grand larceny and unlawful eviction.

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


  2.    Vancouver family says real estate agent burglarized home | KGW.com

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


  3.    50 Google Engineers Volunteered to Patch Thousands of Java Open Source Projects

    The group reached nearly 50 employees, and even their bosses joined in. They did this on company time because Google allows employees to spend 20% of their work day(s) for other projects.

    Wow!

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


  4.    Chinese property investors are losing interest in the…

    "The bulk of yuan depreciation has probably already happened, and if that's the case there is less incentive for Chinese investors to place money in dollar-denominated assets," Haskins told National Real Estate Investor.

    Yes, but the Fed is determined to keep US inflation in check (within a range the Fed deems acceptable), which means keeping the US dollar from strengthening or weakening too much relative to other major currencies. I'd say that Xi's clampdown on exporting money from China is having a bigger impact than some in the US real-estate industry care to admit.

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


  5.    This is why loosening Dodd-Frank won't stop real estate growth | HousingWire

    This is an interesting take. Steve Hovland covers plenty of variables. On balance, I agree with his analysis.

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


  6.    9 ways drones are changing real estate – CBS News

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


  7.    Arizona Attorney General's Office: Francisco Aguirre indicted for real estate fraud – ABC15 Arizona

    If true, it's sad.

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


  8.    State of Global Air

    A factor on where to invest and live, etc.:

    Your source for the latest global, regional, and country-specific data on air quality and health.

    If you frequent libertarian-capitalist media outlets, you may be told that the science behind this site is "junk." The libertarians, many of them smokers by the way, take strong exception to the statement that the "level of PM2.5 in ambient (outdoor) air has been the most consistent predictor of early mortality (that is, people dying sooner than they would have otherwise) and increased disability (for example, feeling sick and missing school or work) in long-term studies of air pollution around the world." They claim the evidence for that statement is flimsy.

    What do the Health Effects Institute and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation have to say on that?

    How do we measure the burden of disease?

    Scientists measure the collective burden on society in two ways:

    in the number of deaths in a given year that can be attributed (linked) to a particular cause, and
    in disability adjusted life years, or DALYs, which are the years of life lost due to dying earlier than expected, plus the years lived with disability.

    The measurement of DALYs has the advantage of accounting for the age at which death (or disability) occurs. This means that DALYs will be larger for young persons than for older persons, because young persons still have many years ahead of them (if all goes well), and those years are "lost" when they get sick or die young. In addition, DALYs account for differences in the relative severity of various health impacts.

    When expressed as age-standardized rates for a given number of people (for example, the number of deaths or DALYs per 100,000 people), burden estimates can now be compared directly among countries whose population sizes and age structures differ substantially.

    That's not junk science. It's statistical analysis where both correlation and causation are methodologically properly taken into account and reported.

    Look, just because you can breathe PM2.5 for days, weeks, months, and even years on end does not mean doing so doesn't shorten your life. It is also important to keep in mind that there are those whose lungs and other systems are more compromised or weaker. Should we not concern ourselves? Not all PM2.5 is created equal, but that doesn't render the PM2.5 studies useless, far from it. Lives are shortened in different areas where other variables besides PM2.5 have been taken into account when arriving at the general causal-conclusions concerning PM2.5. The libertarians want all PM2.5 to be viewed as equal and nothing to be concerned about in any case. Now that's junk.

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


  9.    Dollar Rises to Weekly High After ADP Data Shows Surge in Hiring – Bloomberg

    Do you know this is counter-intuitive?

    The dollar gain was underpinned by a rise in the 10-year Treasury yield….

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


  10.    Tesla's new solar energy station will power Hawaii at night

    Fantastic development on the solar front!

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


  11.    Real estate rebounds, but affordable housing left behind

    Between 2000 and 2014, Hamilton County's median income rose 19 percent, while the median gross rent increased by 46 percent.

    We can't just shrug our collective shoulders. We need public policy that fixes this issue. It can be done: win-win.

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


  12.    Potential HUD cuts 'scary' for Memphis

    The "free market" has never provided enough affordable, decent housing and never will.

    A society is judged by how well it takes care of those at the bottom. Some people don't care of course.

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


  13.    After CIA leak, Intel Security releases detection tool for EFI rootkits | PCWorld

    For post-BIOS computers

    I recommend you read this article and the next couple below that deal with more details and even instructions on installing this CHIPSEC on Windows machines.

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


  14.    Goodbye BIOS, hello UEFI | ITworld

    This is from 2011, but that's when the transition began and it's a solid article with plenty of info.

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


  15.    Installing CHIPSEC in Windows · chipsec/chipsec Wiki · GitHub

    This page concerns Windows, but there are links concerning other operating systems.

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


  16.    Selloff in REITs accelerates – iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF (NYSEARCA:IYR) | Seeking Alpha

    Everything is pointing to clamping down too much (very prematurely). Conventional wisdom is often exactly wrong/backwards. I think such is the case right now. The Trump administration has offered up "forward guidance" only. It means it's all psychological. When the laissez-faire economic plans fail, who will remember that some people saw it coming and said so?

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


  17.    Gamma Real Estate acquires two Charlotte multifamily properties for $70.4 million – Charlotte Business Journal

    "These two developments, both of which were purchased significantly below replacement cost and whose rents are below the submarket average, present very favorable risk-adjusted return profiles," said Jonathan Kalikov, president of Gamma Real Estate, in a statement. "Stone Ridge and Whitehall Estates already have strong in-place cash flow and total return; combined with our interior and exterior value-add improvements, we see strong future rent growth for the coming years."

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


  18.    Denver housing market 'worrisome' to real estate economists, who advocate renting here – Denver Business Journal

    … Denver, Dallas and Houston are the only markets where a national index produced by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty indicate that it's better to rent than buy.

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


  19.    U.S. Infrastructure Gets Near Flunking Grade From Engineers – Bloomberg

    The American Society of Civil Engineers on Thursday assigned a grade of "D+" to the quality of U.S. roads, bridges and other infrastructure in a closely-watched assessment that the group publishes every four years. The group said an additional $2 trillion in funding is needed to raise the standards.

    "The needs are great, and the resources are limited," said Ed Mortimer, the chamber's executive director for transportation infrastructure. "This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to modernize America's infrastructure."

    Resources are not limited if he's referring to money. Money can be created without issuing any government debt. Spending created-money on productive projects that will increase the economy sufficiently and sustainably will not increase inflation either. Price inflation is more money than supply. Proper spending will result in the balance of supply and demand (spendable money). It's not complicated, though the bankers don't want you knowing that.

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


  20.    Employment Situation Summary

    Construction and manufacturing gained, but we'd have to dive deeply into construction starts, etc., to see a trend (subject to change due to Trump's privatization schemes). Hourly earnings have improved a bit.

    Overall, at least we're not going backwards. We could be doing much better, but the people who create the money want to earn interest on it and make the lower classes pay for it. It's a transference-of-wealth mechanism from the bottom to those at the top. The bankers, including those at the Fed, want it to remain hush-hush, off the radar, out of mind, etc.

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


  21.    New Android Smartphones Found To Be Already Infected By Malware: Are You At Risk? : TECH : Tech Times

    Nasty stuff:

    The findings of Check Point revealed that the devices already carried the malware even before they were received by the users. The malicious software, however, were not included in the official ROM that was supplied by the vendor, which means that the malware was injected into the Android devices somewhere within the supply chain.

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


  22.    LSE Business Review — The butcher, the brewer, the ba(n)ker and the nature of money

    The state is thus in a position to create money, which are liabilities not corresponding to an asset.

    That is only an accounting method and need not be the case. The state could, and should, create money as an asset.

    Also the fractional-reserve banking concept of money is older than the state-created one.

    Lastly, the idea that money is a commodity akin to bananas is irrelevant to whether it is state-created and whether it is accepted for paying taxes.

    You'll see arguments to the contrary concerning all of the above posited by PhD economists, but the arguments are logical fallacies and based only upon arbitrary definitions and not real-world practicalities.

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


  23.    No, Criticising Economics is not Regressive — Unlearning Economics — Medium

    I won't say that this piece accurately reflects Simon-Wren Lewis's positions. Simon can do that for himself. It does, however, state the case against neoclassical economics very, very well.

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


  24.    Planning Commission endorses plan for 2,400 affordable homes in the Mission – Curbed SF

    Without affordable housing, a city has no heart.

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


  25.    The Shortage of Money: A Fallacious Problem – The Minskys

    The Production of Money aims at addressing this "crisis of ignorance" by providing an intelligible and comprehensive overview of money in the hope of empowering people against finance's grip over society.

    Private finance need have no grip over society whatsoever and shouldn't have. The creation and utilization/placement of money should be 100% democratically decided, and I don't mean solely via elected representatives but rather directly by the People at the local level. There's more to it than that, but that's the basic starting point.

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


  26.    California exports its poor to Texas, other states, while wealthier people move in | The Sacramento Bee

    This is why the sooner the better that we institute a guaranteed living income.

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


  27.    US Economic Confidence Index at Record High of +16 | Gallup

    The reason for this is not based upon sound fundamentals but rather the mood generated by President Trump surprising so many viewers with his performance delivering his speech.

    I'm not saying it's useless. I will say that the mood will quickly sour if the Trump administration can't deliver on the promises. I believe that Trump's tax plans are basically wrong, won't work, and will lead to the souring of mood I just mentioned. It's my view that he will have to change his approach to a progressive one from his current neoliberal, mercantilism view.

    I can live with the mercantilism but not mixed in wih economic neoliberalism (aka neoclassical, laissez-faire), which always and everywhere ultimately fails, as it is fundamentally flawed.

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


  28.    Oil imports lift U.S. trade deficit to near five-year high | Reuters

    Well, this is why Trump wants to slap tariffs on certain imports. Those who chant "free trade" say such tariffs never work, but real history shows that's far from true.

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


  29.    Banks are about to get a huge cash windfall thanks to Trump

    I'm sure banking deregulation would prove an extremely serious mistake.

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


  30.    Fed officials talk up March rate-hike prospect – Business Insider

    I'm completely on board with this view by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa.

    One clear but unspoken reason for the Fed's change of tune, which has shifted market forecasts of a June rate rise to this month, is a seemingly unstoppable stock market, which seems to be underwriting the policy proposals of President Donald Trump. But there are a lot of ifs in Trump's policy agenda and therefore a lot of reasons to be skeptical of the market's recent record-breaking steak of euphoria.

    For one thing, Trump's advisers seem much more focused on trade and immigration issues, where Wall Street has its share of qualms with the Trump camp, than the corporate and individual tax cuts that have investors salivating.

    At the same time, the Republican Party can't seem to find consensus on its top stated priority, replacing President Barack Obama's healthcare law. If they fail there, political momentum will swing against them, making things like corporate tax reform and any sort of fiscal stimulus difficult to pass through Congress.

    The markets also seem to be vastly overstating the potential for a large fiscal stimulus.

    I really like the point (made right after the quoted part) that privatization only turns right around and charges the consumer/user. I believe privatization is almost always more costly, less profitable for the whole economy.

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


  31.    Economic growth expectations are quietly falling through the floor

    The key to generating better growth for the rest of the year than has been the case through a lackluster recovery likely will depend on how expectations turn into action.

    "Really what's going to move the needle on the growth front is going to have to come on the fiscal side," said Subadra Rajappa, head of U.S. rates strategy at Societe Generale. "Barring that, 2 to 2.5 percent growth is very much in the context of what everyone's been expecting."

    Yes, but tax cuts for the superrich and entitlement cuts for everyone else will only cramp growth.

    Public spending should be just that, not public-private so-called partnerships or outright privatizations.

    Donald Trump is not an economist and he doesn't have a feel for it nor does anyone around him who cares about the People versus the plutocrats.

    I see failure or a radical about-face.

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


  32.    Is the Fed Behind on Tightening? Watch This Inflation Indicator – Bloomberg

    Why is the Fed not discussing the economic mistakes underpinning Trump's plan? Do they really not know, or are they more interested in increasing loan-interest profits for the banking sector even if that means a slower economy for the rest?

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


  33.    'Superstar Firms' May Have Shrunk Workers' Share of Income – The New York Times

    "Labor is getting a shrinking slice of a pie that's not growing very much," David Autor, an economist at M.I.T., said. It is a development that is upending political establishments and economic policies in the United States and abroad.

    The faster concentration grew, the bigger the drop in labor's share.

    "What's different about new superstar firms is they don't have the cadre of middle-class jobs for nonelite workers," said Mr. Katz, an economics professor at Harvard.

    Are we going to do nothing about this? Are we just going to let people get poorer and poorer and poorer until there's nobody left to buy anything from the superstar firms? Who's thinking? Who's in charge? Plutocracy has a shelf life, and you can't create a new plutocracy without a dystopia right on its heels.

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


  34.    There are reports a lot of Chinese buyers are struggling to settle on their Aussie apartment | Business Insider

    The Australian real-estate market seems to be living on borrowed time.

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


  35.    Top Ten Features of a Profitable Rental Property — Swan | BlogTop Ten Features of a Profitable Rental Property

    I don't know if they are the top 10, but they are important.

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


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