News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Apr. 26, 2017

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Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) New Attack Uses Microsoft's Application Verifier to Hijack Antivirus Software

2) To punish Symantec, Google may distrust a third of the web's SSL certificates | Computerworld

3) We need to talk about what happened on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, because it was not OK [VIDEO] | The Canary

4) Fire in Oakland: Firefighters battle 4-alarm blaze – CBS News

5) Tesla to take orders for solar roof tiles

6) Money laundering is shaping US cities | Washington Examiner

7) Real Estate: Property Taxes in US on the Rise – Live Trading News

8) C&W: Global Real Estate Investors More Wary as Real Estate Cycle Matures | Chief Investment Officer

9) After brief slowdown, Seattle-area rents surge back up again; when will it end? | The Seattle Times

10) 'Small Government' Conservatism Is Killing Republican Voters

11) Disappearing Beaches: Modeling Shoreline Change in Southern California

12) Expect more deadly heat from climate change, study says

13) House Vote on Internet Privacy Allows Online Discrimination | Fortune com

14) Five Ways Cybersecurity Will Suffer If Congress Repeals the FCC Privacy Rules | Electronic Frontier Foundation

15) Secret companies allow corrupt cash to flood the biggest real estate markets – Transparency International

16) Real estate mogul: This is the biggest mistake house-flippers make

17) Will 'very substantial' snowpack prompt Gov. Jerry Brown to declare the drought over? | The Sacramento Bee

18) LA Times – California snowpack is one of the biggest ever recorded, and now poses a flooding risk

19) Vladimir Putin changes his mind and echoes Donald Trump to say humans are not to blame for climate change | The Independent

20) Technology reviews, advice, videos, news and forums – PC Advisor

21) Real Estate Investment from High Net Worth Individuals on the Rise in US – WORLD PROPERTY JOURNAL Global News Center

22) How crowdfunding is democratizing real estate investing

23) The investors who bet on a real estate boom – and lost – The Globe and Mail

24) Boy, 2, Falls From Apartment Building In Seattle – Seattle, WA Patch

25) Miami's building boom brings Zika woes: construction sites breed mosquitoes. | Miami Herald

26) Then and now: How glaciers around the world are melting | KOMO

27) Student-Debt Overhang Is Pushing Down US Rates, Dudley Says – Bloomberg

28) Experts: Technology will cut middle class jobs – wptv com

29) Trump's budget: Say goodbye to US tech pre-eminence | Computerworld

30) 5 biggest cybersecurity questions answered | Network World

31) 10 cyber-security threats business leaders need to know about

32) Do Your Homework When Investing In Texas Real Estate

33) LETTER: 'I believe the Council Leadership is a menace to Public Safety…' | The B-Town (Burien) Blog

34) Trump-Xi meeting: The 9 charts you need to understand the US-China relationship before Trump meets Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago – Quartz

35) Are Real Estate Investors And Developers No Longer Buying? – ValueWalk

36) Advice on taking knockout real estate photos from a Pulitzer winner

37) Lawmakers Confuse Themselves on Climate Change – Bloomberg View

38) Higher atmospheric CO2 fueled faster plant growth, study reports –

39) Taper Tranquility Not Tantrum Greets Fed Bond-Reduction Plan – Bloomberg

40) Facing rental crisis, Seattle creates a renters' commission to explore new laws | The Seattle Times

41) There Are Now 11 States Considering Bills to Protect Your 'Right to Repair' Electronics – Motherboard

42) Trump's Battle Royale: Inside Kushner, Cohn's Growing Dominance Over Bannon, Priebus | Fox Business

43) Symantec Says CIA Tools Found Across 16 Countries – Tech Trends on CIO Today

44) Germany's BVK to Invest $805M in US Multifamily

45) Why Canada's Top Real Estate Mavericks are Targeting the US Market | Hedge Fund Blogs From HedgeCo Net

46) Real Estate Crowdfunding Is Riskier Than You Think | Seeking Alpha

47) New real estate trends released – it's a sellers market – ABC15 Arizona

48) Tucson Real Estate: New owner to restore historic downtown casitas | | tucson com

49) Iceland's jailed bankers say they were scapegoats for the financial crisis

50) Trump's economic agenda may be over before it started – Business Insider

51) Australia leads the world in selling housing to money-launderers / Boing Boing

52) Rethinking Economics – Introduction to Post-Keynesian Economics & Political Economy

53) Economists: "Totality of Evidence" Underscores Concentration Problem in the US –

54) The Paradoxes of Fiscal Austerity in Brazil | naked capitalism

55) 'The Debt of the Living' – Elettra Stimilli, 2nd May – Political Economy Research Centre

56) Trade Denialism Continues: Trade Really Did Kill Manufacturing Jobs

57) Buy, Sell or Hold: Timing the Market in 2017

58) Millennials Conflicted About Automation – CIO Journal – WSJ

59) Low inventory is driving bidding wars in Seattle and the Eastside – Curbed Seattle

60) Economic growth in the US: A tale of two countries | VOX, CEPR's Policy Portal

61) Bigger Corporations Are Making You Poorer – Vice

62) Low US Jobless Rate May Tempt Fed to Rethink Wage-Gain Trigger – Bloomberg

63) How 19th century finance and housing associations shaped 20th century housing regimes in Germany and the United States | Economic Sociology and Political Economy

64) 8 years and counting, economy could set record with no recession in sight | HousingWire

65) Multifactor productivity decreased 0.2 percent in 2016 : The Economics Daily: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

66) Chicago witnessing more residential tower construction than any other US city – Curbed Chicago

67) 6 reasons the clean energy revolution doesn't need Trump's blessing | Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

68) OCC: OCC Newsletter Focuses on Innovative Partnerships to Preserve Affordable Housing

69) A Fiscal Reality Test for US Republicans

70) The US economy is sounding an alarm that everyone is ignoring – Business Insider

71) 55,000 Housing Vouchers at Risk Under 2017 Funding Bills | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

72) Population growth slows in big cities, speeds up in suburbs | Construction Dive

73) Tax Cuts Don't Lead to Economic Growth, a New 65-Year Study Finds – The Atlantic

74) Out-of-town investors snap up central Ohio apartments – Business – The Columbus Dispatch – Columbus, OH

75) Denver, northern Front Range real estate party ends in late 2019, new forecast predicts – The Denver Post

76) The End of China's Export Juggernaut Liberty Street Economics

77) Alberta's oilsands are 'yesterday's news': economist | Mining & Energy | Business in Vancouver

78) Trump keeps talking about trade but he should be talking robots

79) Head Smacker: Trump wrongly claims corporate taxes are too high – Coalition on Human Needs

80) NAIC NEWS RELEASE: Changing Weather Patterns Means Homeowners Need to Rethink Insurance Risks

81) Leaked NSA Malware Threatens Windows Users Around the World

82) U-3 unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in March 2017; U-6 was 8.9 percent : The Economics Daily: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

83) ITEP Reports

84) Job growth slows, but unemployment falls to 4.5% as wages climb – LA Times

85) China roars back to lift global outlook as US consumer weakens

86) China's First-Quarter Property Investment Accelerates, Defying Curbs | Investing News | US News

87) Virtual technology can make landscaping easier | Features | muscatinejournal com

88) The Growing Case for Geoengineering – MIT Technology Review

89) Is San Francisco losing its technology talent to other cities? – MarketWatch

90) Why China is beating the US at innovation | WHAS11 com

91) Improving US Economics, Modest Rent Growth Forecast Through 2019 – Urban Land Magazine

92) Homebuilders: US homebuilder sentiment slips, but overall outlook positive, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate

93) US housing starts total 1.215M in March vs. 1.25M starts expected

94) A snapshot of downtown Louisville real estate, from Humana staying put to older offices becoming residential – Insider Louisville

95) We Must Track How Technology Is Changing Work – Scientific American

96) The Rise and Fall of American Middle Class – YouTube

97) Tax Cuts for the Rich Aren't an Economic Panacea – and Could Hurt Growth | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

98) Corporate Taxes Matter, But Not in the Way You Think

99) Great idea: Incremental development | CNU

100) Macri's Disappointing First Year in Argentina

101) What a State-Owned Bank Can Do for New Jersey | WEB OF DEBT BLOG

102) The Savings And Stability Of Public Banking | The Huffington Post

103) A Bank Even a Socialist Could Love – In These Times

104) Nonresidential Construction a Bright Spot in Disappointing Jobs Report, ABC Says

105) Making space for an economically democratic European Union – Prime Economics

106) Renters are staying put. Here's why

107) Just a note

108) Rental Affordability Is Worst in Minority Communities – Zillow Porchlight

109) New Data Shows Americans Fleeing High-Tax States

110) The Pros and Cons of Accepting Section 8 Housing

111) How to Pay Yourself When Buying an Apartment Building with Investors

112) The Big 64-Point List of Landlording Tasks (& How to Outsource the Vast Majority of Them)

113) mainly macro: Henry Farrell on economists and austerity

114) Americans are taking out the largest mortgages on record – MarketWatch

115) The Unavoidable Pension Crisis | RIA

116) Rosenberg: Toronto housing bubble 'on par with what we had in the States' – Article – BNN

117) The number of reluctant part-time workers is still higher than before the Great Recession – MarketWatch

118) China Is Playing a $9 Trillion Game of Chicken With Savers – Bloomberg

119) US companies now have £1.6 trillion stashed in tax havens and Trump's plans will make matters worse, Oxfam claims | The Independent

120) How Canada completely lost its mind over real estate – Macleans ca

121) China Finally Halts Outflows. Now What? – Bloomberg View

122) Vacant department stores make way for beer houses, sushi joints

123) Feds knew of 700 Wells Fargo whistleblower cases in 2010 – Apr. 19, 2017

124) Why Are Republicans Making Tax Reform So Hard?

125) Supply-side, trickle-down nonsense on the NYT oped page | Jared Bernstein | On the Economy

126) Calculated Risk: Comments on March Housing Starts

127) Trump's Tax Cut Plan Will… Pay… For… Itself! | Mother Jones

128) Toronto to impose 15% tax on foreign home buyers to regulate housing costs | World news | The Guardian

129) Cincinnati Sues Seller of Foreclosed Homes, Claiming Predatory Acts

130) How technology will alter the role of human advisers in wealth management

131) Real Estate in the USA : Lexology Navigator Q&A – Lexology

132) Real Estate Investment, Affordable Housing Groups Latch On to Distributed "Green" Energy Locomotive – Microgrid Media

133) We Just Breached the 410 Parts Per Million Threshold | Climate Central

134) Can Portland build its way out of a housing crunch? | OregonLive com

135) Donald Trump Starts Dismantling Obama Financial Regulations | Fortune com

136) Fannie-Freddie Overhaul Is 'Very Important' Goal, Mnuchin Says – Bloomberg

137) Likeliest outcome of tax reform is a deficit-financed tax cut for the rich that will expire in a decade | Economic Policy Institute

138) Trump invites trouble in targeting FDIC resolution powers | American Banker

139) Opinions conflict: Will low inventory hold back future home sales? | HousingWire

140) Why records matter to worker safety | Economic Policy Institute

141) LA Times – Trump's anti-science budget will be a disaster for America's bottom line

142) IMF members delete anti-protectionism pledge, keep currency commitments | Reuters

143) Institute for Financial Transparency It is time to break-up the Fed – Institute for Financial Transparency

144) China's credit excess is unlike anything the world has ever seen | South China Morning Post

145) Surplus or Stimulus

146) America is Regressing into a Developing Nation for Most People, by Lynn Parramore

147) Views on happiness and wellbeing as objectives of macroeconomic policy | VOX, CEPR's Policy Portal

148) The Hollowing Out of Middle-Skilled Labor Share of Income – IMF Blog

149) MacroMania: Sectoral and Occupational Trends in the US Labor Market

150) The False Promise of Universal Basic Income | Dissent Magazine

151) Worthwhile Canadian Initiative: Statistics Canada's historical housing cost data is wrong

152) PassivDom com – Passive house PassivDom Ukraine

153) Satellites image crack in Antarctic ice shelf –

154) Trump's Canadian lumber tariff could cost US homebuyers about $1,200 per house

155) How to Write a Rental Agreement That'll Keep Tenants in Line | realtor com®

156) Breaking Taboos: David Graeber's thoughts on the next crash – Positive Money

157) D-FW apartment boom shows no sign of a slowdown with 50,000 plus units on the way | Real Estate | Dallas News

158) Movement out of Expensive California Housing Markets Dominated US Migration Patterns in Early 2017 – The Registry

159) Middle Class Contracted in US Over 2 Decades, Study Finds

160) Canada's Ontario to pay guaranteed incomes to the poor

161) Of Two Minds – Housing's Echo Bubble Now Exceeds the 2006-07 Bubble Peak

162) Renton woman among three charged with filing false insurance claims | Renton Reporter

163) Tracking phones: Insurers deny claims based on doubtful data – News-Sentinel com

164) Roofer accused of taking money from hail victims, never fixing roofs | 9news com

165) Father, daughter sentenced on Big Run arson charge | Crime | thecourierexpress com

166) Contractor Matthew Morris accused of cheating 18 flood victims indicted on 84 counts in Ascension Parish | Ascension | theadvocate com

167) Why Hoarding Impacts Claims

168) Thinning Forests to Reduce Fire Risk

169) Judge Dismisses Oklahoma Earthquakes Suit

170) Early Earthquake Warning System Expands to Oregon, Washington

171) Sea Level Rise Could Reshape Inland Cities

172) Elevated Beach Homes the Norm Since Superstorm Sandy

173) Anti-fraud tech evolving faster than speed of prediction | Coalition Against Insurance Fraud – JIFA

174) New York City House Fire Kills 5, Including Children

175) EPA Says 3 Injection Wells Source of Contamination in Oklahoma Creek

  1.    New Attack Uses Microsoft's Application Verifier to Hijack Antivirus Software

    The race never stops.

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


  2.    To punish Symantec, Google may distrust a third of the web's SSL certificates | Computerworld

    We can work it out, maybe.

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


  3.    We need to talk about what happened on The Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, because it was not OK [VIDEO] | The Canary

    Privacy versus security? Well, if we do away with encryption, hackers will be out of a job and for the wrong reason.

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


  4.    Fire in Oakland: Firefighters battle 4-alarm blaze – CBS News

    No sprinklers, no alarms, no fire extinguishers? At least there was a fire escape.

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


  5.    Tesla to take orders for solar roof tiles

    Okay, more power to him. Is that worn out already? Anyway, I've been all for solar roofs for decades. I'm glad someone's on it!

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


  6.    Money laundering is shaping US cities | Washington Examiner

    In a little-noticed statement, the Treasury bureau responsible for investigating financial crimes shared a remarkable money laundering statistic last month.

    Thirty percent of the cash purchases of high-end real estate by shell companies in six major cities involved a suspicious buyer, according to an investigation conducted by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to find out who was behind the deals.

    In other words, money laundering plays a significant role in shaping U.S. cities.

    The article is a fairly deep dive into the subject.

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


  7.    Real Estate: Property Taxes in US on the Rise – Live Trading News

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


  8.    C&W: Global Real Estate Investors More Wary as Real Estate Cycle Matures | Chief Investment Officer

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


  9.    After brief slowdown, Seattle-area rents surge back up again; when will it end? | The Seattle Times

    Average rents across the region are up about 1.1 percent from last quarter and up 8.3 percent from a year ago, the reports show.

    Those increases, only slightly smaller than the surges seen in recent years, put Greater Seattle among the most extreme markets in the country for rent hikes. Rents here have grown about six times faster than the national average over the last year, according to Zillow.

    In all, rents in the city of Seattle are up 57 percent in the last six years.

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


  10.    'Small Government' Conservatism Is Killing Republican Voters

    … even the GOP base supports more government spending on health care and opposes tax cuts for the rich.

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


  11.    Disappearing Beaches: Modeling Shoreline Change in Southern California

    Wow, I spent months and months on California beaches. Just totally love the beach! It's hard to imagine that we humans would allow such a loss (worldwide too).

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


  12.    Expect more deadly heat from climate change, study says

    "Preparing for extreme heat waves includes reviewing building design and refurbishing existing buildings to increase energy efficiency and decrease internal temperatures," Li said.

    "Adapting to extreme heat waves can include updating and modernizing the electrical grid to ensure it is prepared to withstand peak demand during more frequent, more intense and longer-lasting heat waves," ….

    When it's really hot, fans alone don't cut it. If it's humid too, then only refrigeration will save most lives. We must reduce carbon burning or we must sequester the carbon on a massive scale. Reducing the burning is much easier. President Trump is headed in exactly the wrong direction. It is a really bad idea to increase oil, gas, and coal burning! We're all going to pay for it, some of us with our lives.

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


  13.    House Vote on Internet Privacy Allows Online Discrimination | Fortune.com

    This article is written about protecting consumers; however, in our mixed economy, businesses can use the changes to spy on competitors or to glean investing insights, etc. Truly proprietary info is put at risk. Research and development is put at risk for all types of organizations. Good risk-management is put at risk. The list of reasons this is a bad change is very, very long.

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


  14.    Five Ways Cybersecurity Will Suffer If Congress Repeals the FCC Privacy Rules | Electronic Frontier Foundation

    You better read this article.

    In the end, the cybersecurity implications of repealing the FCC's privacy rules come from simple logic. If the privacy rules are repealed, Internet providers will resume and accelerate these dangerous practices with the aim of monetizing their customers' browsing history and app usage. But in order to do that, Internet providers will need to record and store even more sensitive data on their customers, which will become a target for hackers. Internet providers will also be incentivized to break their customers' security, so they can see all the valuable encrypted data their customers send. And when Internet providers break their customers' security, you can be sure malicious hackers will be right on their heels.

    The net result is simple: repealing the FCC's privacy rules won't just be a disaster for Americans' privacy. It will be a disaster for America's cybersecurity, too.

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


  15.    Secret companies allow corrupt cash to flood the biggest real estate markets – Transparency International

    Governments should require all middlemen to identify and keep records of the real, beneficial owners of legal entities, trusts and other legal arrangements in real estate sales.

    As an investor, you might not like such data being collected on you and yours; however, consider that such data collection will help remove corruption from the system, which will enhance your own protection and participation as an honest investor. It will help to reduce costs. Due diligence will be easier. Premiums will be easier to control. Litigation against you will be harder if you've complied with the higher standards.

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


  16.    Real estate mogul: This is the biggest mistake house-flippers make

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  17.    Will 'very substantial' snowpack prompt Gov. Jerry Brown to declare the drought over? | The Sacramento Bee

    Brown administration officials have said that in spite of lots of snow and abundant water in the state's major reservoirs this winter, the effects of the drought persist due to the long-term depletion of groundwater basins and other problems.

    They're right about that.

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


  18.    LA Times – California snowpack is one of the biggest ever recorded, and now poses a flooding risk

    … in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti declared an emergency last week citing concerns the melting snowpack could flood homes and highways in the Owens Valley and damage the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

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


  19.    Vladimir Putin changes his mind and echoes Donald Trump to say humans are not to blame for climate change | The Independent

    "The warming had already started by the 1930s. … That's when there were no such anthropological factors, such emissions, and the warming had already started. … The issue is not stopping it… because that's impossible since it could be tied to some global cycles on Earth or even of planetary significance. The issue is to somehow adapt to it."

    So, he's wrong on all aspects of this. Huge industrialization had already happened in the 1930's. There was no emissions control to speak of either. Also, it can be stopped even if there are other global-warming forcing mechanisms at work. We can reverse and stop emissions, and we can sequester carbon on a global scale.

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


  20.    Technology reviews, advice, videos, news and forums – PC Advisor

    To date, the number of known malware samples in the world surpass 600 million. Evrey day, more than 400,000 new variants pile up. That's 300 new pieces of malware a minute. Computer security has become so fast paced that there is no time for human analysis or "signature updates": by the time we'd have them, you'd already be infected and your financials or private information would end up in a bad neighbourhood on the internet.

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


  21.    Real Estate Investment from High Net Worth Individuals on the Rise in U.S. – WORLD PROPERTY JOURNAL Global News Center

    Interesting article, but don't believe everything you read.

    Atlanta's airport, the busiest in the world….

    No, it's not

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


  22.    How crowdfunding is democratizing real estate investing

    … people cheat and lie and bricks don't.

    Well, do your due diligence on any choice in which to invest because there are people who definitely cheat and lie about bricks and investing in them.

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


  23.    The investors who bet on a real estate boom – and lost – The Globe and Mail

    Speaking of the need for doing your due diligence …

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


  24.    Boy, 2, Falls From Apartment Building In Seattle – Seattle, WA Patch

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


  25.    Miami's building boom brings Zika woes: construction sites breed mosquitoes. | Miami Herald

    Great choice, pesticides or Zika. Well, there are other things one can do. Standing water is a huge issue. Don't leave water that can be easily drained by dumping it and by turning things that trap water on their side or upside down.

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


  26.    Then and now: How glaciers around the world are melting | KOMO

    Under natural conditions, glaciers at times melt and retreat while others grow and advance. But measurements from Earth's 5,200 glaciers show warming temperatures have increased the number of melting glaciers and the speed of glacial retreat, according to the study. Scientists primarily blame man-made global warming from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.

    And those scientists are right about that, no doubt about it.

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


  27.    Student-Debt Overhang Is Pushing Down U.S. Rates, Dudley Says – Bloomberg

    I think college should be free regardless, but I'm glad to see this argument put forward by almost any means.

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


  28.    Experts: Technology will cut middle class jobs – wptv.com

    Did somebody say, "Guaranteed Universal Income"? Yep!

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


  29.    Trump's budget: Say goodbye to U.S. tech pre-eminence | Computerworld

    Trump seems to falsely imagine private enterprise will make up the difference.

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


  30.    5 biggest cybersecurity questions answered | Network World

    While personal preference, past experiences and research varies on what's the absolute best, the point is there are options. Leading companies that offer comprehensive antivirus protection for no cost are ESET Endpoint Antivirus, Sophos and BitDefender, to name a few.

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


  31.    10 cyber-security threats business leaders need to know about

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  32.    Do Your Homework When Investing In Texas Real Estate

    Good thinking …

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


  33.    LETTER: 'I believe the Council Leadership is a menace to Public Safety…' | The B-Town (Burien) Blog

    Wow, this is heavy on the real-estate issues, especially landlording.

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


  34.    Trump-Xi meeting: The 9 charts you need to understand the US-China relationship before Trump meets Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago – Quartz

    … China's currency has lost a lot of value against the dollar since 2014.

    But the loss of value is more complicated than simple "cheating." As Chinese growth has slowed, money has gushed out of China, driving the yuan's value down. Since then, contrary to what Trump claims, the government has been selling down its reserves of foreign currencies in order to prop up the yuan. In other words, it's been making the yuan, and consequently China's exports, more expensive than they should be.

    Compared with the currencies of its major trading partners, the yuan is still quite a bit overvalued.

    "We should welcome the helpful role that China has played keeping its trade-weighted exchange rate stable for the past year," says David Dollar, an expert on China's financial system, in a blog post. "Naming it a currency manipulator would be inaccurate and unhelpful."

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


  35.    Are Real Estate Investors And Developers No Longer Buying? – ValueWalk

    … I had a great conversation with the Chief Economist of Fannie Mae, who was also speaking at the conference.

    If you're not aware, Fannie Mae is a quasi-government agency that is heavily involved in the US housing sector.

    I asked him point blank- what do you think of US housing right now? He answered succinctly: "It's overpriced."

    His presentation went DEEP into the data, showing that US housing is "late in the cycle," meaning that prices may soon reach their peaks and then suffer a substantial correction.

    Property prices nationwide across the United States have been rising at a much more rapid rate than wages and salaries. This is totally unsustainable.

    Okay, but the money banks lend out is 90% money they create simply by making loans. Only 10% of the money in the US is depositors'. I doubt the banks are insolvent even though I agree that real estate is generally overpriced.

    We could easily fix things if we were a fiscal rather than a monetary economy: if we were to create the money we need without creating credit/debt.

    What that would mean is that rather than bankers deciding who gets rich, we would (via highly local and collective-federal democratic decisions). Kiss poverty goodbye and without causing hyper-inflation.

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


  36.    Advice on taking knockout real estate photos from a Pulitzer winner

    Rental photos too …

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


  37.    Lawmakers Confuse Themselves on Climate Change – Bloomberg View

    Excellent article by Faye Flam:

    … the one physicist in Congress, Bill Foster of Illinois, spoke up: "Does everyone on this panel agree," he began, "that the temperature of the earth is set in general terms by radiative balance, and that the infrared absorption spectra of carbon dioxide is a very relevant driving term, and that the uncertainty really is in the other positive and negative feedback terms that may or may not be present, changes in the convection…?"

    Foster rambled on about albedo and Siberian swamps, and most people in the room appeared to have no idea what he was asking about. But his was the only pointed question any Democrat had aimed at the three contrarians. In essence, Foster was asking if they agreed that well-established physics underlies the mechanism by which carbon dioxide causes global warming, and that the only remaining uncertainties are due to feedbacks that can damp down or amplify warming.

    Even the contrarians agreed he was right.

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  38.    Higher atmospheric CO2 fueled faster plant growth, study reports –

    Plants act as a natural barrier to increased CO2 levels, but the recent spike has been too great for them to handle. This research acts as yet another reminder that humans are the only ones who can bring an end to the negative effects of global warming.

    In addition, plants grow more at first but then taper off regardless of how much CO2 is available.

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


  39.    Taper Tranquility Not Tantrum Greets Fed Bond-Reduction Plan – Bloomberg

    This issue can't be discussed without discussing Trump's economic plans (tax cuts and privatizations) and the unemployment situation. More on that further down in this news-aggregation post.

    If the Fed sells bonds or stops buying bonds, the price of bonds will fall and the yields will rise. What will real estate mortgage rates do in response? Usually they follow what bonds/treasurys do (those around the 5-year term).

    Trump's plans won't work even if he can get them through Congress. The unemployment situation isn't, and hasn't been, as rosy as most appear to think. Trump's plans would only make that worse.

    The fact of the matter is that the Federal Reserve System is a bad system relative to what we could and should have: economic democracy.

    The Fed is of, by, and for the bankers, not the People's economy.

    We need the People's economy for once. We've never had it. I don't know any large nation that ever has. It's time. The US should be first. It should lead the world to it.

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  40.    Facing rental crisis, Seattle creates a renters' commission to explore new laws | The Seattle Times

    If landlord costs are going up at the same rate as rents, the government needs to step in on behalf of both landlords and tenants.

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


  41.    There Are Now 11 States Considering Bills to Protect Your 'Right to Repair' Electronics – Motherboard

    Running your life personally and professionally, running your business, running various organizations, can all be costly in terms of equipment replacement and repair. Making repairs more affordable is a good idea, and this movement appears to be headed in that direction.

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


  42.    Trump's Battle Royale: Inside Kushner, Cohn's Growing Dominance Over Bannon, Priebus | Fox Business

    Big question marks loom over Trump's plans to slash tax rates for individuals and businesses, and a big infrastructure spending plan. If Kushner and Cohn have their way, corporate taxes might be cut, but not those for individuals, keeping in line with their progressive ideology. They may also push Trump to scale back on tax cuts in order to spend more on infrastructure, a move that would garner support from Democrats in Congress.

    … Kushner and Cohn, the former No 2 at Wall Street's Goldman Sachs (GS), could have easily worked in the Obama White House. Both are liberal corporatists who favor free trade and global intervention, but also more liberal economic policies such as expansive government, and are not anti-immigration.

    These developments don't surprise me that much. Trump needs to back away from his huge tax-cuts unless he's going to embrace money-financing the government's fiscal budget, which he's not nearly ready to do, as he knows little to nothing about doing it and would not have the political and economic chops to get it passed.

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  43.    Symantec Says CIA Tools Found Across 16 Countries – Tech Trends on CIO Today

    … Symantec Corp. said the tools in WikiLeaks' recent releases have been linked to the electronic infiltration of international, financial, energy and aerospace organizations across the world.

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  44.    Germany's BVK to Invest $805M in US Multifamily

    … driving the success of these markets are excellent demographics, strong population and employment growth and substantial barriers to entry.

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  45.    Why Canada's Top Real Estate Mavericks are Targeting the US Market | Hedge Fund Blogs From HedgeCo.Net

    Super rah-rah for crowdfunding:

    … leverage on the benefits crowdfunding provides which includes: access to the wide spectrum of deals with greater levels of transparency, diversification of portfolios and time and cost savings by cutting away intermediaries.

    Doing proper due diligence is still key.

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  46.    Real Estate Crowdfunding Is Riskier Than You Think | Seeking Alpha

    Here are the due-diligence arguments, again. I'm not pushing REIT's. Neither am I saying don't go for them. The same due-diligence aspectts mentioned in the article apply to your local, personal real-estate investment decisions and more.

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  47.    New real estate trends released – it's a sellers market – ABC15 Arizona

    In 2012 you could buy a starter home for an average price of $69,300; today the average cost has shot up to $155,633.

    Don't forget that AZ was one of the hardest-hit states by the Great Recession's housing-values collapse.

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  48.    Tucson Real Estate: New owner to restore historic downtown casitas | | tucson.com

    Character preserved …

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  49.    Iceland's jailed bankers say they were scapegoats for the financial crisis

    Is there anything comparable to an unrepentant bankster?

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  50.    Trump's economic agenda may be over before it started – Business Insider

    … Trump and his team are saying they are going to turn to Democrats to work on legislation to reform the tax code. …

    "It's becoming more apparent that tax reforms and fiscal stimulus won't be any easier especially that many Republicans don't support massive deficits," argues FXTM chief market strategist Hussein Sayed.

    Well, we've seen the Trump administration swing from one side to another on foreign policy. It seems very plausible he'll do the same economically. Whether he'll truly understand the macroeconomic implications is another matter, and just how far he'll be willing to go remains to be seen.

    The legislative branch doesn't appear set to move to the extreme in either direction. He'll have to settle on lukewarm measures at best. He's not really a salesman capable of putting over needed radical change.

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  51.    Australia leads the world in selling housing to money-launderers / Boing Boing

    Money laundering via real estate is still a massive, global problem.

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  52.    Rethinking Economics – Introduction to Post-Keynesian Economics & Political Economy

    Post Keynesian Economics has at its core the concepts of effective demand and distributional conflict: individuals face fundamental uncertainty about the future; there is a central role for 'animal spirits' [Keynesian; emotionalism] in the determination of investment decisions; inflation is [primarily] the result of unresolved distributional conflicts; money [credit] is [mostly] an endogenous creation of the private banking system; unemployment is determined by effective demand on the goods [and services] markets; financial markets are prone to periodic boom-bust cycles.

    The edits are mine.

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  53.    Economists: "Totality of Evidence" Underscores Concentration Problem in the U.S. –

    Drawing from the rich history of antimonopoly in the U.S., Lynn defined concentration as a political and not just economic risk, and called for a much tighter antimonopoly policy based on the Brandeisian model. "From the Boston Tea Party onwards, antimonopoly was one of the key tools we in the U.S. used to keep ourselves free," he said.

    With the overhaul of the merger guidelines in the early 1980s, Lynn said, the U.S. underwent a "philosophical revolution" that dramatically affected antitrust policies. "35 years ago, we drastically changed how we deal with monopolies. The idea was to get this out of the hands of politicians, and into the hands of economists," said Lynn. "First we moved from a Brandeisian view to a Borkian view. Then we went through digitization, which created super dominant companies. The first shift created Walmart, and the second created Google and Facebook".

    "Today," said Lynn, "it's absolutely clear to anyone with eyes in their head that what we did 35 years ago is not working for the average citizen."

    Agreed.

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  54.    The Paradoxes of Fiscal Austerity in Brazil | naked capitalism

    Libertarianism has choked Brazil.

    It was argued that a fiscal contraction would ultimately result in economic expansion, since it would trigger positive expectations in the private sector, thus allowing a return to the much-desired scenario of low inflation and high growth. However, such discourse lacks robust theoretical foundation and empirical proof. For example, in a recent article, three senior IMF economists note that "austerity policies not only generate substantial welfare costs due to supply-side channels, but also hamper demand – worsening employment." In this way, Paul Krugman remembers, "in late 2012, the IMF's chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, went so far as to issue what amounted to a mea culpa: although his organisation never bought into the notion that austerity would actually boost economic growth, the IMF now believes that it massively understated the damage that spending cuts inflict on a weak economy".

    Unless Donald Trump changes his course (which, suggested above, he might be doing), the US will likely suffer much the same.

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  55.    'The Debt of the Living' – Elettra Stimilli, 2nd May – Political Economy Research Centre

    Ascesis is fundamental not because it is characterized by renuncixation, but because the self-discipline it imposes converts the properly human quality of action without a predetermined goal into a lack, a fault, or a state of guilt: a debt that cannot be settled. Stimilli argues that this lack, which is impossible to fill, should be seen as the basis of the economy of hedonism and consumption that has governed global economies in recent years and as the premise of the current economy of debt.

    I couldn't disagree more. Asceticism is a reaction to the problems caused by excess (confused with a good thing, a good pleasure as opposed to bait in a trap leading to suffering). It is not the cause of it.

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  56.    Trade Denialism Continues: Trade Really Did Kill Manufacturing Jobs

    This is fine, but there's an easier way of saying it.

    The things that were being made by Americans that Americans were buying were then made in China and not by robots. Had the production remained in the US, it would not have all been automated even yet.

    Anyway, the real issue is that while productivity due to automation has increased, the gains have not been societally distributed to the various economic classes in the same percentages as before the jobs were shipped to China. The gains have gone to those at the top who paid the Chinese less (much, much less) and kept the difference mostly for themselves, not even lowering the prices that much.

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  57.    Buy, Sell or Hold: Timing the Market in 2017

    There is also build.

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  58.    Millennials Conflicted About Automation – CIO Journal – WSJ

    To me, automation is the new China and most people are suffering from wishful thinking that the current economic system can survive along with their paying jobs. Their jobs won't survive, which means neither will the economic system, as it depends upon paid workers spending to buy what even the automated system produces or supplies in goods and services.

    It's long since time to start real planning to provide everyone with the funds to buy without having to work.

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  59.    Low inventory is driving bidding wars in Seattle and the Eastside – Curbed Seattle

    The pressure remains.

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  60.    Economic growth in the US: A tale of two countries | VOX, CEPR's Policy Portal

    … the bottom half of the income distribution in the US has been completely shut off from economic growth since the 1970s. From 1980 to 2014, average national income per adult grew by 61% in the US, yet the average pre-tax income of the bottom 50% of individual income earners stagnated at about $16,000 per adult after adjusting for inflation.4 In contrast, income skyrocketed at the top of the income distribution, rising 121% for the top 10%, 205% for the top 1%, and 636% for the top 0.001%.

    In sharp contrast with the US, in France the bottom 50% of real (inflation-adjusted) pre-tax incomes grew by 32% from 1980 to 2014, at approximately the same rate as national income per adult. While the bottom 50% of incomes were 11% lower in France than in the US in 1980, they are now 16% higher (see Figure 3).

    The bottom 50% of income earners makes more in France than in the US even though average income per adult is still 35% lower in France than in the US (partly due to differences in standard working hours in the two countries).8 Since the welfare state is more generous in France, the gap between the bottom 50% of income earners in France and the US would be even greater after taxes and transfers.

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  61.    Bigger Corporations Are Making You Poorer – Vice

    … spending on capital inputs, which includes robots, is declining even faster than spending on labor. As Barkai put it, "Measured in percentage terms, the decline in the capital share (30 percent) is much more dramatic than the decline in the labor share (10 percent)."

    So where is all the money going? "Profits have been rising over time," Barkai said last week. And he put a number on it. "To give you a sense of how large these profits are, if you look over the past 30 years… per worker, how much have these dollars increased? It's about $14,000 per worker. And that's a really big number because, in 2014, personal median income was about $28,000." Barkai's models show that this effect is more pronounced in concentrated industries and less pronounced in competitive ones. Had concentration remained at the levels we saw 30 years earlier, one model in his paper suggested that wages, output, and investment would be substantially higher.

    As I said above, the top economic-class is keeping the profits. It's not sustainable.

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  62.    Low U.S. Jobless Rate May Tempt Fed to Rethink Wage-Gain Trigger – Bloomberg

    When unemployment was still at 10%, I said unemployment would have to go down to 3% before there would be anything to even begin worrying about in terms of inflation (and that's without changing anything about the system, which needs changing).

    I said what I did because even back then, it was very clear that profits were being hoarded by the top. There wasn't going to be any inflation. That's because the top wouldn't spend those profits into the main street economy. Also, the White House and Congress didn't stimulate nearly enough.

    They stimulated only enough to keep us from hitting Great Depression depths. Even though it proved Keynes right, they didn't apply more to lift us up quickly and dramatically.

    Even in the face of Keynesianism saving us from worse than the Great Depression, the deficit hawks still go on and on as if Keynes was wrong.

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  63.    How 19th century finance and housing associations shaped 20th century housing regimes in Germany and the United States | Economic Sociology and Political Economy

    Obviously, Germany was (and remains) more welfare-state oriented.

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  64.    8 years and counting, economy could set record with no recession in sight | HousingWire

    … the economy is currently enjoying its third longest period without a recession, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. The longest period was 10 years in the 1990s and the second was just under nine years in the 1960s.

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  65.    Multifactor productivity decreased 0.2 percent in 2016 : The Economics Daily: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Multifactor productivity in the private nonfarm business sector decreased at a 0.2-percent annual rate in 2016. This was the first decline in multifactor productivity since 2009.

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  66.    Chicago witnessing more residential tower construction than any other US city – Curbed Chicago

    It's expected that 33 new buildings are to deliver well over 6,000 rental units this year alone.

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  67.    6 reasons the clean energy revolution doesn't need Trump's blessing | Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building

    Putin too has questioned concerns over carbon-fuel burning.

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  68.    OCC: OCC Newsletter Focuses on Innovative Partnerships to Preserve Affordable Housing

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  69.    A Fiscal Reality Test for US Republicans

    Ultimately, the only sensible way to provide tax relief to middle- and lower-income workers is to raise taxes on the rich. This is a socially progressive populist idea that a pseudo-populist plutocrat like Trump will never accept.

    I think Nouriel Roubini is wrong on both counts. Tax cuts could be given in a sensible way by introducing money-financing of the federal budget. Secondly, Donald Trump has stated before that even completely eliminating the national debt via a massive tax increase on the superrich is a good idea. He is prone to dramatic swings from one extreme to the other. So, he could be back to such tax increases in a heartbeat.

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  70.    The US economy is sounding an alarm that everyone is ignoring – Business Insider

    "We find three key channels that are inhibiting demand growth: 1) political uncertainty, 2) elevated corporate leverage, and 3) Fed policy, both through past tightening and expected tightening going forward. We see little evidence that the slowdown in lending is due to tighter bank or non-bank lending standards."

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  71.    55,000 Housing Vouchers at Risk Under 2017 Funding Bills | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

    If the federal government would simply issue the money for the program directly without borrowing the money, the program would be fully funded, the deficit would not increase, and there would be no inflationary impact, as the discretionary spending ability of the voucher recipients would not increase. Simple!

    Why won't they do it? Bankers. Why bankers?

    If the government could issue the money for this, they could issue the money for other things that are currently being paid for via credit at interest issued by the commercial banks that pay the gigantic compensation packages to the top bankers.

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  72.    Population growth slows in big cities, speeds up in suburbs | Construction Dive

    As people age, their taste and requirements change. It was always a mistake to think that the preferences being expressed in 2008-9 would stand in 2017. The number of factors involved in such choices across the whole population boggle the mind. The economy is always a moving target, as are politics. They drive each other in various directions, many unexpected. Everything is in flux: jobs, wages and salaries, automation, and on and on.

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  73.    Tax Cuts Don't Lead to Economic Growth, a New 65-Year Study Finds – The Atlantic

    If you tell Paul Ryan, will he hear you? I think he already knows. I think they all know.

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  74.    Out-of-town investors snap up central Ohio apartments – Business – The Columbus Dispatch – Columbus, OH

    Worthwhile article:

    Investors measure returns by "cap rate," a formula based on expected revenue, expenses and property cost. The higher the cap rate, the better. Although cap rates have shrunk in Columbus as prices have risen, they remain much higher than in coastal cities.

    In New York, for example, cap rates might be 2 to 2.5 percent. But in Columbus, they can be as high as 8 percent for dated properties in need of investment.

    Marcus & Millichap predicts that Columbus will have the nation's fourth-highest returns this year and in 2018 for apartment investors, close to double the national average.

    In my view, the most important issue concerning cap rates is risk: crime, fire hazards, etc.; and, the most important issue concerning rent rates is construction versus expected need for housing.

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  75.    Denver, northern Front Range real estate party ends in late 2019, new forecast predicts – The Denver Post

    Schiller emphasizes that Scout Vision isn't predicting that the northern Front Range faces the kind of residential real estate stagnation seen in many Midwestern cities. But neither is it going to defy gravity like San Francisco or Manhattan, where people keep buying seemingly no matter how high prices rise.

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  76.    The End of China's Export Juggernaut Liberty Street Economics

    As predicted:

    Around 2010, China's ability to gain market share from other imports faltered. The import share for Chinese apparel has dropped over the past five years, while the share for electronics, by far the largest of the four categories, declined last year. China's share of the U.S. electric machinery market is showing tentative signs of falling and its gains in the non-electric machinery category have ended.

    Limits to China Increasing Its Market Share
    It is not a complete surprise that Chinese goods would eventually peak as a share of U.S. imports. To keep increasing their share of the U.S. import market, Chinese firms would need to gain sales by competing more directly against manufacturers in Europe, Japan, and other advanced economies. China would also need to successfully compete against other developing countries with lower labor costs. Indeed, China has been ceding market share to Vietnam for electronics and electrical machinery, while India and Bangladesh have been making gains in apparel. It may be the case that assembly operations are moving from China to lower-wage countries, repeating the process that previously benefited China.

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  77.    Alberta's oilsands are 'yesterday's news': economist | Mining & Energy | Business in Vancouver

    Because the economics are so much better in tight oil and shale plays – in places like Texas, Oklahoma, Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan – a rapid shift is taking place that could have consequences for midstream companies with approvals to build oil pipelines.

    The Trans Mountain expansion, Keystone XL, Line 3 and Energy East proposals are all designed to move oil from Alberta's oilsands to the U.S. or foreign markets. But due to shifting patterns of new oil production, not all four pipelines are likely needed, Tertzakian said, whereas new pipeline capacity will likely be needed in the new unconventional oil and gas regions.

    "There are forces beyond just environmental issues here that may not see some of these pipelines get built."

    That's true, but earthquakes and groundwater issues surrounding the fracking industry are still huge. I also think electric from solar and other alternatives is coming on exponentially.

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  78.    Trump keeps talking about trade but he should be talking robots

    I can't say it often enough. People are looking at this all wrong.

    Teaching is far from automation proof. However, that doesn't matter. What matters is the notion of capitalistic competition: the idea that people must work to earn money to buy the things people and automation produce.

    Let me be extremely blunt about it. That system will not survive. It can't. Automation will replace so many jobs so quickly that it will be impossible for the competitive economy to survive on the salaries and wages being recirculated enough to keep the production "profitable" or even running in a "solvent" manner in capitalistic terms.

    The entire current US economic model is destined to be displaced by democratic socialism. It's inevitable, and it's not an evil of any sort.

    The real issue is how quickly we all get on the same page concerning the proper definition of democratic socialism. Right now, the term is being grossly misused, which is resulting in major misunderstandings and completely needless fears.

    The commercial banks will disappear. The Federal Reserve System will disappear. Governmental borrowing will disappear. National debts will disappear. Income taxes will disappear. Eventually, money, even in its cyber form, will disappear. However, money is really going to become only a way of keeping track of the free distribution of everything. It just won't be "earned" via mandatory work. Exactly when earning via non-mandatory work disappears is something I can't say. I do believe (I'm very confident/sure) it will happen.

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  79.    Head Smacker: Trump wrongly claims corporate taxes are too high – Coalition on Human Needs

    The idea behind cutting taxes is a race to the bottom. Large nations cannot engage in competing with the smallest nations willing to slash taxes. The smallest nations have few enough people that their leadership can live in luxury off a tiny fraction of the fees paid by huge corporations to run their taxes through those little countries.

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  80.    NAIC NEWS RELEASE: Changing Weather Patterns Means Homeowners Need to Rethink Insurance Risks

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  81.    Leaked NSA Malware Threatens Windows Users Around the World

    … the timing of the patch in question is interesting: If Microsoft truly did not receive any help from the NSA, as it claims, the fact that it fixed a litany of holes vulnerable to secret NSA tools exactly a month before those tools were made public is an amazingly fortunate coincidence (curiously, Microsoft skipped the usual acknowledgements section with the patch, which typically nods to how they were informed of the threats fixed in a given update).

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  82.    U-3 unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in March 2017; U-6 was 8.9 percent : The Economics Daily: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

    The unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in March 2017. The last time the unemployment rate was 4.5 percent was during the first half of 2007. The March unemployment rate of 4.5 percent resulted from there being 7.2 million unemployed people among the 160.2 million people in the labor force. People were counted as unemployed if they did not work for pay during the week that included March 12, had actively sought employment during the preceding 4 weeks or were waiting to be recalled from a temporary layoff, and could have started a job if they had received an offer of employment. The labor force is the sum of employed and unemployed people.

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  83.    ITEP Reports

    In recent years, the public's attention has been drawn to the elaborate tax avoidance mechanisms used by a few huge corporations such as General Electric, Apple, Microsoft and others. But as this report indicates, the scope of corporate tax avoidance goes well beyond these well-known companies and spans a wide variety of economic sectors. Moreover, the tax breaks that have allowed these companies to be successful in their tax avoidance are, by and large, legal and often have been on the books for decades.

    Congress and the Trump Administration are expected to renew their focus on corporate tax reform sometime this year. While both congressional tax writers and the president have been eager to lead with cuts in the corporate tax rate, the sensible starting point should be to critically assess the costs of each existing tax break-including those discussed in this report ….

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  84.    Job growth slows, but unemployment falls to 4.5% as wages climb – LA Times

    This is a good overview of some of the things to consider when evaluating the unemployment report. I particularly like the emphasis upon the impact the weather can have.

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  85.    China roars back to lift global outlook as U.S. consumer weakens

    Not all the news is good. The downside to China's acceleration is its reliance on an old formula: growth driven largely by credit-fueled investment in infrastructure and property.

    "The first quarter figure is undoubtedly upbeat and encouraging and it seems to have changed the short-term sentiment substantially," said Zhu Ning, author of "China's Guaranteed Bubble" and deputy director of the National Institute of Financial Research at Tsinghua University in Beijing. "But a large part of growth is achieved by another unprecedentedly large fiscal stimulus, infrastructure investment, and debt escalation, which is currently being camouflaged by increasing housing prices and land values," he said.

    That's an honest appraisal.

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  86.    China's First-Quarter Property Investment Accelerates, Defying Curbs | Investing News | US News

    Continuing the sober analysis:

    Most analysts agree an overheating property market poses the single biggest risk to China's economic growth, with increasingly tough government measures to cool soaring prices raising the risk of a nasty crash.

    Policymakers, however, expect to see some moderation in property activity going forward.

    "Because the latest round of cooling measures came out after March 17, their impact on the entire economy including home prices may show in April or later," Mao Shengyong, a spokesman from China's statistics bureau said at a briefing on Monday.

    He added houses are for habitation, not for speculative investment.

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  87.    Virtual technology can make landscaping easier | Features | muscatinejournal.com

    If you have a greenish thumb …

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  88.    The Growing Case for Geoengineering – MIT Technology Review

    Very interesting reading:

    Mitchell was opposed to geoengineering for most of his career. The idea that humankind should tinker with the finely tuned climate system struck him as impossibly arrogant. But like other researchers who spent decades staring at increasingly frightening projections while the world ignored the loudest warnings scientists knew how to sound, he reluctantly changed his view.

    It could take decades to learn which geoengineering methods might work, whether environmental side effects can be minimized, and whether it's ultimately too dangerous to try. The longer we wait to begin serious research, the greater the risk we'll deploy an unsafe tool in the face of sudden climate shocks, or not have one in hand when we need it. And no one really knows when that might be.

    I agree with him.

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  89.    Is San Francisco losing its technology talent to other cities? – MarketWatch

    Although Silicon Valley is not short of high-paying technology jobs, when adjusted for cost of living, the relative value of the earned salary is far from impressive. Among the seven metros studied, San Francisco's average technology salary ranks third at $93,171 after this adjustment, while San Jose ranks fourth at $92,577. Both are left behind by Seattle and Austin at over $97,000 a year.

    "Austin and Seattle are good examples of rising tech hubs, where the cost of living is still relatively low and there's a growing supply of tech jobs," Raj Mukherjee, senior vice-president of product for Indeed.com, told MarketWatch. In the last year, Facebook FB, -0.09% Apple AAPL, -0.34% and ORCL, +0.47% have built new facilities or expanded their presence in Austin, he said.

    New York and Seattle have a relatively low outbound job search rate – around 32% and 28% – compared to San Francisco. Among these six metro areas, Austin is the only one that has seen a decreasing percentage of outbound job search since 2012. Austin also has the highest inbound job search rate, meaning job seekers from outside of the area are looking for opportunities there.

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  90.    Why China is beating the U.S. at innovation | WHAS11.com

    In China, many technology companies are state-owned and so they don't have to worry if massive R&D spending yields losses until a product is commercialized, and even the research of private firms is often subsidized by the government, says Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. The Chinese government, he says, also gives the private sector specific timetables for achieving dominance in areas such as solar, printers, robots and drones.

    It's called a national industrial policy, and the US has foolishly lacked one for decades. An industrial policy has been considered anti-libertarian, and libertarianism has lessen US capacity, etc. Even if we yet create a real national industrial policy, will it be consistent? The article touches on that important aspect.

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  91.    Improving U.S. Economics, Modest Rent Growth Forecast Through 2019 – Urban Land Magazine

    New supply in the pipeline and/or higher interest rates are likely keeping real estate economists cautious, but more likely realistic as uncertainty about future growth remains a concern.

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  92.    Homebuilders: US homebuilder sentiment slips, but overall outlook positive, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate

    Despite the decline in the latest builder sentiment survey, sales of new U.S. homes have been robust this year and are expected to continue climbing.

    However, as expected by this blog, most analysts were grossly overestimating the supposed positive impact of President Trump's once promised economic plans.

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  93.    US housing starts total 1.215M in March vs. 1.25M starts expected

    As mentioned above, the weather …

    Construction in February was boosted by unseasonably warm temperatures. But temperatures dropped in March and a storm lashed the Northeast and Midwest regions, which could have accounted for the drop last month in homebuilding.

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  94.    A snapshot of downtown Louisville real estate, from Humana staying put to older offices becoming residential – Insider Louisville

    "Plans for the building seem to be swinging back and forth between keeping it as office space or converting it to residential," says Owen. "I think, from what we're seeing as the demand, they'd be smart to convert it to residential."

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  95.    We Must Track How Technology Is Changing Work – Scientific American

    Pie in the sky?

    Security and competition are huge obstacles to this.

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  96.    The Rise and Fall of American Middle Class – YouTube

    Wow! He has a handle on it. Very, very few people do.

    William Lazonick, professor at University of Massachusetts Lowell, explains how rationalization, marketization, and globalization characterize the U.S. economy during the past 50 years, and how the behavior of companies and fate of American workers have changed during this process.

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  97.    Tax Cuts for the Rich Aren't an Economic Panacea – and Could Hurt Growth | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

    Right on!

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  98.    Corporate Taxes Matter, But Not in the Way You Think

    We already saw that the George W. Bush tax cuts did little to nothing to help. However, we often hear people only refer to Reaganomics and his tax cuts. Well, they really weren't causative either.

    The sooner we retire libertarian economics, the better.

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  99.    Great idea: Incremental development | CNU

    This is a useful article for small rehabbers: buy and hold.

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  100.    Macri's Disappointing First Year in Argentina

    Macri … pursued a flawed macroeconomic policy approach. His administration needed to address the fiscal and external imbalances, without undoing the progress in social inclusion that had been made over the previous decade. His approach, based on four key pillars, has not achieved that.

    … overall situation remains bleak. At the end of Macri's first year in office, Argentina faced the same macroeconomic imbalances that it did when he took office, but with significantly higher external indebtedness.

    To escape its perverse debt dynamics, Argentina must reduce its fiscal deficit. But it can do so only in the context of a sustainable and inclusive recovery of economic activity – and that requires a more competitive economy. Under current conditions, attempting to resolve the problem through a fiscal contraction would merely aggravate the recession.

    Competition is the wrong word. Dynamic is the right one. Competitive implies a loser or losers. Dynamic doesn't have to. It can mean democratic without harming others (without any other nations being losers, regardless of Ricardian notions, which don't work anyway).

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  101.    What a State-Owned Bank Can Do for New Jersey | WEB OF DEBT BLOG

    Why the libertarian-capitalists hate public banking:

    In November 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported that the BND was actually more profitable than the largest Wall Street banks, with a return on equity that was 70 percent greater than for JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. This remarkable performance was attributed to the state's oil boom; but the boom has now become an oil bust, yet the BND's profits continue to climb. In its latest annual report, published in April 2016, the bank boasted its most profitable year ever. The BND has had record profits for the last 12 years, each year outperforming the last. In 2015 it reported $130.7 million in earnings, total assets of $7.4 billion, capital of $749 million, and a return on equity of a whopping 18.1 percent.

    They call it "unfair" competition. They do that while also claiming (falsely) that socialism never works. Well, the state-owned Bank of North Dakota works, obviously.

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  102.    The Savings And Stability Of Public Banking | The Huffington Post

    Presently, California and other states routinely deposit hundreds of billions of dollars in Wall Street banks at minimal interest, turn around and borrow for infrastructure construction and repair from the Wall Street bond market at much higher interest and fees.

    This is a ridiculous form of debt peonage, a lesson Governor Jerry Brown has yet to learn.

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  103.    A Bank Even a Socialist Could Love – In These Times

    The first new state-owned bank in a century, chartered in the shadow of Wall Street, could shift the landscape. What's more, blue-state New Jersey and red-state North Dakota agreeing on the same solution would highlight public banking's biggest asset: transpartisan populist support. "We have Tea Partiers and Occupiers in the same room liking public banking. What does that tell you?" asks PBI's Mike Krauss.

    "Regardless of declared conservative or progressive affiliations," says state Sen. Hasegawa, "regular folk … almost unanimously grasp the concept." He is working with Washington's Tea Partybacked treasurer, Duane Davidson, to advance public banking. "I go to eastern Washington, … they get the whole issue about independence from Wall Street and corporate control."

    In fact, Krauss is himself a Republican. "The biggest thing going on in America, people decided we don't have any control anymore," he says. "Whether it's Bernie's people or Trump's people, they're articulating the same thing but differently. … They want control of their money-and it is their money."

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  104.    Nonresidential Construction a Bright Spot in Disappointing Jobs Report, ABC Says

    "With the nation's unemployment rate now at just 4.5 percent, there is little reason to believe that securing construction talent is set to become easier," said Basu. "In fact, the skilled worker shortages already experienced by many contractors are likely to become more severe as the year proceeds. The average contractor can therefore anticipate sharper compensation cost increases, particularly as firms securing new work scramble to put together project teams."

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  105.    Making space for an economically democratic European Union – Prime Economics

    The problem posed by the rigidity and policy bias of the Treaties is urgent – and made more so by recent events such as the Brexit vote, and the election of President Trump in the US. Though both reflect what the US economist Brad Delong calls "nativism" among a wide set of discontented voters, the economic factors in that dissatisfaction are also evident. This is the culmination of a process long in the making. At present, it is the right-wing and far right forces that are gaining more support from those who are dissatisfied with the failure of European economic policy.

    Since 2009, and in particular with the emergence of enduring mass unemployment in many parts of the EU, and the lowering of real wages and living standards, we have seen the emergence of new radical political forces in Europe on both left and right. Many of these groups or parties do not share the economic policy goals of the EU and in particular of the Eurozone.

    At the country level a political system should enable the challenge from new groups to be integrated through democratic means. But many key economic and social policies are decided not through debate and elections, but as we have argued above, via inflexible EU Treaties which lay down a specific economic ideology and policy framework. No matter how they vote, citizens are not allowed to choose a truly different set of economic policies. The treaties themselves are enforced ultimately via the ECJ, and changeable only by unanimous agreement of all 28 Member States. Thus, we have a democratic blockage, and the imposition of a centrally-controlled economic policy that has in reality made the standard of living worse for many, especially for the less well-off.

    The situation is also particularly problematic for those on the left who have broadly supported the European project for all its economic flaws. The challenge (from which the UK has alas turned away) is to unite progressives across Europe in a socially and economically democratic European project – and at the same time to 'deconstruct' the economic hegemony embedded in the Treaties.

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  106.    Renters are staying put. Here's why

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  107.    Just a note

    US Capacity Utilization increased to 76.10% in March. Industrial production increased 1.5% and Manufacturing production increased 0.8%, both year-on-year.

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  108.    Rental Affordability Is Worst in Minority Communities – Zillow Porchlight

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  109.    New Data Shows Americans Fleeing High-Tax States

    Where are the new jobs? That needs to be a variable in this analysis. What's the spread between cost-of-living and overall compensation packages.

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  110.    The Pros and Cons of Accepting Section 8 Housing

    Screening is the most important factor. Once you're through that process, the guaranteed payment is solid.

    As for a tenant not reporting issues, the landlord and/or manager needs to inspect often enough to catch such problems.

    If the tenant is on Social Security, that will make the rent payments that much more unemployment and recession proof.

    Lastly, if your existing tenant is good and is chosen for the program, you have a pre-screened Section 8 tenant you know and trust. What's not to like? Well, nothing is foolproof.

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  111.    How to Pay Yourself When Buying an Apartment Building with Investors

    In our $1M apartment building example, you paid yourself $30,000 upfront, $500 per month while you own it, and another $30,000 when you sell it. Plus you're getting 20% of any profits.

    The more you can postpone gratification, …. However, if you don't take enough, you won't look like you think you're worth it. Psychology is important. Don't be a fake, but use psychology. There's nothing wrong with that.

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  112.    The Big 64-Point List of Landlording Tasks (& How to Outsource the Vast Majority of Them)

    We have managed our own properties since day one. On the couple of occasions we have attempted to hire a property manager, we leave with the realization that we do things ten times better! We don't say this to brag; we say this to inspire. It all comes down to knowing that nobody cares about your property or about your investment as much as you do. Anyone can manage, but managing effectively is a skill that must be learned and perfected.

    Landlords can hire in-house staff and managers (employees of the landlord's business). It's another level, but those employees are dedicated to handling your business only. It's something to think about.

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  113.    mainly macro: Henry Farrell on economists and austerity

    … when Farrell suggests that austerity could have been avoided if only economists had stayed united, I think he is wrong. If you view 2016 as an experiment to see if policy can really ignore the united view of academic economists, the result is that it can. While it is important to hammer home what a mistake austerity was, and that it was never the policy recommendation of the majority of economists, the key question is why on occasion that often overwhelming majority can be so easily ignored on issues economists know more about than anyone else.

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  114.    Americans are taking out the largest mortgages on record – MarketWatch

    Did you know?

    First-timers and other buyers of less-expensive homes are more leveraged now than they were at the height of the housing bubble a decade ago.

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  115.    The Unavoidable Pension Crisis | RIA

    There is a really big crisis coming.

    Think about it this way.

    After 8 years and a 230% stock market advance the pension funds of Dallas, Chicago, and Houston are in severe trouble. But it isn't just these municipalities that are in trouble, but also most of the public and private pensions that still operate in the country today.

    Currently, many pension funds, like the one in Houston, are scrambling to slightly lower return rates, issue debt, raise taxes or increase contribution limits to fill some of the gaping holes of underfunded liabilities in their plans. The hope is such measures combined with an ongoing bull market, and increased participant contributions, will heal the plans in the future.

    This is not likely to be the case.

    This problem is not something born of the last "financial crisis," but rather the culmination of 20-plus years of financial mismanagement.

    Okay, this article is a prime argument for a guaranteed living (not basic) income for all on top of single-payer healthcare and additional benefits for those who require additional help that the income and single-payer programs wouldn't cover.

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  116.    Rosenberg: Toronto housing bubble 'on par with what we had in the States' – Article – BNN

    "Where home prices are in Toronto, they absorb 13 years of average family income. That is completely abnormal. We've never seen this before."

    Rosenberg said he'd be singing a different tune if price increases were running in line with any of the usual economic fundamentals, such as job growth, rising incomes, or nominal GDP growth.

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  117.    The number of reluctant part-time workers is still higher than before the Great Recession – MarketWatch

    While 3.7% of white Americans work part time involuntarily, 6.8% of Hispanic workers and 6.3% of black people work part-time, but would rather be full-time

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  118.    China Is Playing a $9 Trillion Game of Chicken With Savers – Bloomberg

    The challenge for policy makers is to create an environment where troubled WMPs can inflict losses on investors without sparking a mass exodus. The government's most likely approach is to let loss-making WMPs fail, before stepping in to contain the fallout, according to Andrew Collier, managing director at Orient Capital Research and author of a book on shadow banking. That could result in a "limited financial crisis" centered on smaller banks, he says, adding that some institutions would likely be recapitalized by the government or merged with larger peers.

    Good luck with that.

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  119.    US companies now have £1.6 trillion stashed in tax havens and Trump's plans will make matters worse, Oxfam claims | The Independent

    …Oxfam warns that it risks accelerating a race to the bottom that will harm consumers in America as well as the world's poor as global tax rates plummet.

    They're right if we weren't to do anything to more than make up the difference. Unfortunately, Trump's plan (to-date) wouldn't.

    The only real concern we should have is inflation/deflation. Are taxes the right means to keep both in check? The whole interest-rate scheme of the Federal Reserve certainly causes more problems than not by far. Neither taxes nor monetarism is the best way to handle economics.

    Right now, the whole system is set up to benefit the wealthiest. It holds back progress. More real economic progress could be had via democracy rather than Ayn Randianism.

    The main problem is that the vast majority of the wealthiest only pay lip service, at best, to improving the general welfare. The most sympathetic, empathetic, compassionate, intelligent, and educated of our species are deliberately marginalized and are unwilling to resort to (or stoop to) the level of those who do that marginalizing.

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  120.    How Canada completely lost its mind over real estate – Macleans.ca

    Time to run away? What are the issues? Land costs? Labor costs? Material costs? At lack of skilled construction workers? Those are some of the factors we see in the US. This article tries to explain the Canadian situation.

    While canvassing the town, Small and Ross noticed an unusual number of homes that seemed to be unoccupied. "There was a shocking amount of them that were empty," Ross says. They later checked to see if these homes were available for rent, and couldn't find any listings. "It was clear whoever bought them had no intention of putting anyone in," Ross says.

    … Canadians have shown a willingness to plunge themselves deeper into debt, of course. Nationwide, the household debt-to-income ratio stands at 167.3 per cent, a record high. In Ontario, mortgage payments account for roughly 60 per cent of income, according to BMO; if the trend continues another 24 months, that figure will hit 1989 levels-the same year the market crashed.

    Of course, the foreign buyer tax was never meant to be a cure-all, and Toronto shouldn't expect it to be. But economists argue it's a decent ?rst step. If there's a negligible impact on housing activity, Caranci at TD says, then domestic speculation could be the larger issue that needs addressing. Scotiabank chief economist Jean-François Perrault suggests such a measure is in order. "Given there is evidence of speculation driving Toronto home prices to unreasonable, unjustifiable levels, you might want to make speculation a little bit more costly," he says. One way to do that is through a progressive tax on the sale of secondary properties. The shorter the duration of ownership, the higher the tax. This would likely have a bigger impact on the market, as it would apply to both domestic and foreign speculators, Perrault says.

    Some of the things that are happening are things that Canadians used to say they weren't doing and by not doing them, Canada avoided the US housing crash.

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  121.    China Finally Halts Outflows. Now What? – Bloomberg View

    … China hasn't addressed what is pushing capital out of the country in the first place: a lack of appealing investments. Last year, private companies were responsible for only 33 percent of fixed-asset investment in China. In an economy beset by overcapacity and rising costs, it's not surprising that they want to move capital abroad.

    In trying to prevent that, and forcing capital to remain inside China, the government is allowing banks to continue a lending binge. This is delaying much-needed financial reform and serious efforts at deleveraging. It is also leading to some absurdities as asset prices rise, including real estate priced at $1,000 per square foot in some cities, a surge in commodity-based wealth-management products, even a tripling of donkey prices.

    As I wrote before I saw it anywhere else, they (the Communist Party leadership) don't know what they're doing. All they seem to do is stick their fingers in the leaking dike.

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  122.    Vacant department stores make way for beer houses, sushi joints

    Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose.

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  123.    Feds knew of 700 Wells Fargo whistleblower cases in 2010 – Apr. 19, 2017

    Insufficient and lax regulations are major, major problems, exactly the opposite of what deregulators claim.

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  124.    Why Are Republicans Making Tax Reform So Hard?

    These guys don't care about facts, evidence, causality, etc. They are only pushing ideology to benefit those who've already benefited by the same ideology, not the poor, not the middle class.

    If Trump follows the advice in this article, he'll likely be a 1-term President. As noted above in this aggregation post, the Reagan tax-cut was not responsible for what they claim.

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  125.    Supply-side, trickle-down nonsense on the NYT oped page | Jared Bernstein | On the Economy

    Here's Jared Bernstein's takedown of the New York Times opinion piece immediately above.

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  126.    Calculated Risk: Comments on March Housing Starts

    I think most of the growth in multi-family [he's using stats that start at duplexes, not 5+ units] starts is probably behind us – in fact multi-family starts probably peaked in June 2015 (at 510 thousand SAAR) – although I expect solid multi-family starts for a few more years (based on demographics).

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  127.    Trump's Tax Cut Plan Will… Pay… For… Itself! | Mother Jones

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  128.    Toronto to impose 15% tax on foreign home buyers to regulate housing costs | World news | The Guardian

    No surprise.

    The tax, inspired by similar measures adopted in Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong, sent home sales in metro Vancouver plunging some 40% in the initial months. Prices have also tumbled, down 9% in March compared with one year earlier, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

    It would be interesting to see how government-revenue neutral this all is.

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  129.    Cincinnati Sues Seller of Foreclosed Homes, Claiming Predatory Acts

    Contracts for deed have a checkered history. In the 1950s and 1960s, high-interest seller-financed deals were blamed for further impoverishing black residents living in some Chicago neighborhoods.

    Not all contract sales are contentious, and some nonprofit organizations have recently tried using the arrangement as a vehicle to help get homeless families into homes.

    By the late 1990s, seller-financed home deals had largely disappeared. But such arrangements have had a revival in the wake of the financial crisis of a decade ago.

    Keeping tabs on the number of homes sold through contracts for deed or rent-to-own deals is difficult because the transactions are not always recorded.

    If you do it, if you utilize contracts for deed, please do so ethically.

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  130.    How technology will alter the role of human advisers in wealth management

    Let's look at computer processing power. Processing power is measured in teraflops. In 1997, the ASCI Red was built for the U.S. government by Intel to calculate weather forecasts and the impact of nuclear fallout. The world's fastest supercomputer at the time had 1.7 teraflops of computing power. The machine filled a room and cost $55 million to build. By 2006, the Sony Play Station 3 had 2.1 teraflops of processing power, fit comfortably on a shelf and cost just $499. Today you can buy an Xbox One with 6 teraflops (more than three times faster) for $299 or even a Pi Zero computer that is the size of half a kiwi, and costs a measly $5.

    Once any process gets digitized, exponential evolution compresses price, size and power at warp speed. DNA sequencing cost $2.7 billion in 1999, $350,000 in 2007, $1,000 in 2014 and will be free in the not-too-distant future.

    This is why I've said that computers, not humans, will regulate the money supply {when money is issued without our governments (plural, not possessive) borrowing a dime and when nobody will have to work to earn even a penny to buy all the necessities and more}. Hardware and software will replace credit, loans, interest, the Federal Reserve and all the other strangleholds on humanity's economic development potential, which is unlimited. Your futurist.

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  131.    Real Estate in the USA : Lexology Navigator Q&A – Lexology

    Geared toward commercial (which includes larger multifamily) but contains much useful info for new and small real estate investors …

    What due diligence should be conducted before conclusion of a real estate sale contract?

    The general US law of commercial real estate is 'caveat emptor', which means 'buyer beware'. In typical US commercial real estate transactions, the buyer must conduct all due diligence (eg, title, survey, physical condition, environmental, zoning, code compliance, litigation, leases and contracts) and the seller makes few representations and warranties. In residential real estate transactions, state law often provides additional warranties and protections to the buyer.

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  132.    Real Estate Investment, Affordable Housing Groups Latch On to Distributed "Green" Energy Locomotive – Microgrid Media

    Electrical storage for alternatively generated electricity is coming online.

    … advanced lithium-ion battery (LiB) energy storage capacity should provide 11 megawatt-hours (MWh) of rapid, automated demand response and enable KRC to reduce energy consumption and costs, as well as help SCE keep the local utility distribution grid operating smoothly. KRC already has a demand response program with SCE up and running, one that has earned it industry accolades ….

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  133.    We Just Breached the 410 Parts Per Million Threshold | Climate Central

    It's a fact.

    Carbon dioxide concentrations have skyrocketed over the past two years due in part to natural factors like El Nino causing more of it to end up in the atmosphere. But it's mostly driven by the record amounts of carbon dioxide humans are creating by burning fossil fuels.

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  134.    Can Portland build its way out of a housing crunch? | OregonLive.com

    This is why the federal government (We the People) must, at the very least, subsidize builders constructing affordable housing enough that everyone can have a decent, affordable place to live, whether owning or renting.

    … building homes for middle-income earners is a tall order, builders say, as land, labor and material costs have risen dramatically in recent years. Development fees have climbed, too, as cash-strapped cities look to raise revenue.

    "Those fees hit everybody hard, but they hit the guy trying to build the starter house the hardest ….

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  135.    Donald Trump Starts Dismantling Obama Financial Regulations | Fortune.com

    Please note the absence of the word nationalize. Nationalizing a TBTF entity should always be an available alternative to the government liquidating the entity. It can be vastly less disruptive. Often, the public entities are run better than by private hands. That's because the entities aren't bled for profits to the superrich.

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  136.    Fannie-Freddie Overhaul Is 'Very Important' Goal, Mnuchin Says – Bloomberg

    [Fannie and Freddie] have been under U.S. control since 2008, are the backbone of the American mortgage market. They buy loans from lenders, wrap them into securities and provide guarantees to investors in case of default. The government seized them during the financial crisis, eventually injecting them with about $187.5 billion in bailout money. The companies have since returned to profitability and paid the government more in dividends than they got in taxpayer aid.

    The only thing wrong with them now is that they have been loosening standards too much, but that's not what the Trump administration is concerned about. It's concerned with increasing the cut going to the wholly private sector. Fannie and Freddie are GSE (Government Sponsored Enterprises). The private sector wants the profits that are going back into the People's government (thereby keeping taxes lower) going to them instead. You won't hear them saying it though. They don't want it being discussed from that factual angle.

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  137.    Likeliest outcome of tax reform is a deficit-financed tax cut for the rich that will expire in a decade | Economic Policy Institute

    This article was written before it was announced that the GOP will be taking another run at altering the ACA. Nevertheless, I found the following to be spot on:

    … how could these cuts be made deficit-neutral? What we are likely to see are claims that the cost will be covered by economic growth. This isn't true. TPC already used so called "dynamic scoring" to take into account the limited growth impacts of cutting taxes-their $3 trillion number includes these dynamic effects. More importantly, the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation probably won't agree that tax cuts will pay for themselves with faster growth either.

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  138.    Trump invites trouble in targeting FDIC resolution powers | American Banker

    This one goes into a great deal more of the detail if you're interested. I read it and didn't change my mind.

    I'd like to see the Glass-Steagall barriers put back as well as see nationalization placed front and center. That's just for starters, as you'll no doubt have concluded based upon my commentary on other links in this and other posts on this blog (and elsewhere).

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  139.    Opinions conflict: Will low inventory hold back future home sales? | HousingWire

    … solid job gains, faster income growth ….

    That won't happen in any sustainable way without reducing neoliberal economics.

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  140.    Why records matter to worker safety | Economic Policy Institute

    Across this country, there are many responsible employers who recognize that protecting the safety and health of their employees is a core value. These employers, who maintain accurate injury records, deserve a level playing field. If this rule is overturned, then responsible employers will be at further disadvantage competing with employers who cut corners on safety.

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  141.    LA Times – Trump's anti-science budget will be a disaster for America's bottom line

    America ought to own the solar-electric industry. By rights, we ought to be exporting solar technology, not importing it. Our second-tier status, in a field that we once absolutely dominated, is a direct consequence of budget decisions made by President Reagan's Office of Management and Budget, and a go-along Congress.

    That's absolutely true.

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  142.    IMF members delete anti-protectionism pledge, keep currency commitments | Reuters

    "Fair trade" was progressive terminology. It meant that large trading nation shouldn't abuse smaller countries. What does it mean now?

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  143.    Institute for Financial Transparency It is time to break-up the Fed – Institute for Financial Transparency

    If we aren't to have major change (systemic change), then the tweaking suggested in this article is the least we should do.

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  144.    China's credit excess is unlike anything the world has ever seen | South China Morning Post

    … every 1 yuan in new fixed asset investment is now creating only 7 fen in GDP. Meaning that new credit creation is having an increasingly lower transmission into GDP growth. Simply put, credit growth must necessarily slow and be redirected towards more productive activities.

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  145.    Surplus or Stimulus

    What is being done to Greece is absolutely obscene: inhuman.

    25-30% of working age Greeks are unemployed (and that's just official numbers), well over 1 million people; over 50% of young people are unemployed. Only one in ten unemployed Greeks receive an unemployment benefit (€360 per month), and only for one year. 9 out of 10 get nothing.

    Which means 52% of Greek households are forced to live off the pension of an elderly family member. 60% of Greek pensioners receive pensions below €700. 45% of pensioners live below the poverty line with pensions below €665. Pensions have been cut some 12 times already. More cuts are in the pipeline.

    40% of -small- businesses have said they expect to close in 2017. Even if it's just half that, imagine the number of additional jobs that will disappear.

    But the Troika demands don't stop there; they are manifold. On top of the pension cuts and the primary surplus requirement, there are the tax hikes. So the vast majority of Greeks have ever less money to spend, the government takes money out of the economy to achieve a surplus, and on top of that everything gets more expensive because of rising taxes. Did I ever mention businesses must pay their taxes up front for a full year?

    The Troika is not "rebalancing Greece's public finances in a growth-friendly manner", as Dijsselbloem put it, it is strangling the economy. And then strangling it some more.

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  146.    America is Regressing into a Developing Nation for Most People, by Lynn Parramore

    Bravo.

    The richest large economy in the world, says Temin, is coming to have an economic and political structure more like a developing nation. We have entered a phase of regression, and one of the easiest ways to see it is in our infrastructure: our roads and bridges look more like those in Thailand or Venezuela than the Netherlands or Japan. …

    In the Lewis model of a dual economy, much of the low-wage sector has little influence over public policy. Check. The high-income sector will keep wages down in the other sector to provide cheap labor for its businesses. Check. Social control is used to keep the low-wage sector from challenging the policies favored by the high-income sector. Mass incarceration – check. The primary goal of the richest members of the high-income sector is to lower taxes. Check. Social and economic mobility is low. Check.

    What happened to America's middle class, which rose triumphantly in the post-World War II years, buoyed by the GI bill, the victories of labor unions, and programs that gave the great mass of workers and their families health and pension benefits that provided security?

    … Around 1970, the productivity of workers began to get divided from their wages. Corporate attorney and later Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell galvanized the business community to lobby vigorously for its interests. Johnson's War on Poverty was replaced by Nixon's War on Drugs, which sectioned off many members of the low-wage sector, disproportionately black, into prisons. Politicians increasingly influenced by the FTE sector turned from public-spirited universalism to free-market individualism. As money-driven politics accelerated (a phenomenon explained by the Investment Theory of Politics, as Temin explains), leaders of the FTE sector became increasingly emboldened to ignore the needs of members of the low-wage sector, or even to actively work against them.

    Exactly!

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  147.    Views on happiness and wellbeing as objectives of macroeconomic policy | VOX, CEPR's Policy Portal

    Wellbeing and happiness researchers tend to argue that government policy must take more seriously the impact of policy on wellbeing.

    I agree with them.

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  148.    The Hollowing Out of Middle-Skilled Labor Share of Income – IMF Blog

    Technological advancement and global economic integration have been the key drivers behind falling shares of labor income. Yet these are the very same engines of global prosperity. Policymakers need to figure out how to distribute their benefits more evenly.

    They don't need to figure that out. They already know. They need simply to do it. There is no alternative.

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  149.    MacroMania: Sectoral and Occupational Trends in the U.S. Labor Market

    Where is this middle class going? Largely to jobs in higher wage category, associated with non-routine/cognitive occupations. But there's also a moderate increase in the share of employment in the lowest wage category, in those jobs associated with non-routine/manual occupations. The phenomenon is exacerbated by the fact that real wage growth is much higher in the high-wage occupations.

    … It seems likely that an increasing number of tasks presently labeled non-routine will become routine (still lot's of room in manufacturing it seems, see here). We have seen this with robo-advisors in the financial sector and the emergence of artificially-intelligent doctor apps (see here) among many other places.

    Correct!

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  150.    The False Promise of Universal Basic Income | Dissent Magazine

    I use the term Universal Living Income, not Basic. Also, I say the money will come from creating it without increased taxes and without borrowing it but by matching the increase to the gains in productivity, which will continue to be exponential. Anyway, I got a kick out of being called a "luxury communist." You'll note the lowercase c there. It's not the Communist Party of the Bolsheviks, with whom I fervently disagree (always have). It's democratic through-and-through.

    … Karl Marx, Benjamin Franklin, John Stuart Mill, Oscar Wilde, and John Maynard Keynes all looked at soaring productivity with the certainty that it would soon be high enough to satisfy people's needs and wants with just a few hours of work a week. In the 1960s, with automation on the rise, it seemed so imminent that the question wasn't whether people would have more leisure time-it was what they would do with it. Would we get bored? Waste all our time in front of the TV? Lose our purpose in life?

    Such worries now seem charmingly naive. "We aren't bored to death," Bregman warns, "we're working ourselves to death." But it's not because the likes of Keynes and Mill were wrong-they just didn't account for politics. …

    The leftist-futurist version of basic income is often described as a non-reformist reform, per Van Parijs's quip: a goal that's achievable within capitalism but that has the potential to change the conditions of capitalism enough to lead beyond it. Basic income is the fully automated monorail to luxury communism, where we all own the robots and everyone gets what they need. This UBI isn't a backstop for bad jobs, but the material condition for human fulfillment. But not just any income will do: for it to be a genuine step toward a post-work society, it has to be genuinely universal and unconditional, provide enough income to actually live on, and supplement rather than replace the welfare state.

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  151.    Worthwhile Canadian Initiative: Statistics Canada's historical housing cost data is wrong

    Professor McInnis's story is also a valuable reminder that data is political.

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  152.    PassivDom.com – Passive house PassivDom Ukraine

    This is a very interesting development. It will be far from the only company that goes into this field. It's just the beginning.

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  153.    Satellites image crack in Antarctic ice shelf –

    Antarctica's Larsen-A and Larsen-B shelves collapsed in 1995 and 2002 respectively, a phenomenon scientists attribute to climate change.

    The collapse of Larsen-C will produce one of the largest icebergs ever seen.

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  154.    Trump's Canadian lumber tariff could cost US homebuyers about $1,200 per house

    Gene Myers, a homebuilder in Denver, said he could be constructing twice as many homes if the costs for land and labor were not so high.

    "Most of the materials that we use are global commodities, so anything that affects the free flow of those commodities across borders will have a price effect," said Myers, who is concerned that the labor issue also will get worse under President Donald Trump's immigration policies.

    Yes, but if we were to properly subsidize housing construction in the US, these things would not be issues and we'd have enough housing to go around so that children wouldn't have to grow up living in cars or under bridges, etc. We could also handle the problem without causing inflationary issues.

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  155.    How to Write a Rental Agreement That'll Keep Tenants in Line | realtor.com®

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  156.    Breaking Taboos: David Graeber's thoughts on the next crash – Positive Money

    Policy makers would benefit by adding Sovereign Money Creation (a form of People's QE) to their monetary policy toolkit. Allowing central banks to create money for the real economy would stimulate people's incomes without a corresponding increase in the balance of public or private debt. In effect, the public sector would not have to be so reliant on increased levels of private debt to fuel growth.

    In this sense, monetary-financing for the real economy could be an additional instrument added to the central bank's 'toolbox'. This is not to suggest that monetary-financing would be used for funding government deficits, rather it could be another macro-economic tool at the central bank's disposal to help manage the economy.

    That's true but way too timid. Monetary-financing should be used to pay off government deficits and to also fund all governmental expenditures from there on, including what's call welfare now and what we need, that is a universal living income (ULI). Matching the money supply to increased productivity (including that produced by technology) would result in no inflation or deflation. The only thing that would be required is proper planning derived democratically via a fully informed citizenry.

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  157.    D-FW apartment boom shows no sign of a slowdown with 50,000 plus units on the way | Real Estate | Dallas News

    Relatively deep dive …

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  158.    Movement out of Expensive California Housing Markets Dominated U.S. Migration Patterns in Early 2017 – The Registry

    The South and the Sun Belt are popular destinations for home seekers. Sacramento had the highest net inflow of users from other metro areas. Phoenix, Las Vegas, Dallas and Atlanta were also popular search locations, pulling homebuyers from coastal cities, including many from California.

    Among states, Florida and Texas were the most popular destinations for those people looking to migrate away from their home metro last quarter. These states have an attractive combination of warm climates, relative affordability, especially when compared with the most common user origins, and strong local economies and jobs markets.

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  159.    Middle Class Contracted in U.S. Over 2 Decades, Study Finds

    "Compared with the Western European experience, the adult population in the U.S. is more economically divided," said Rakesh Kochhar, associate director for research at Pew. "It is more hollowed out in the middle. This speaks to the higher level of income inequality in the United States."

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  160.    Canada's Ontario to pay guaranteed incomes to the poor

    The figures will be reduced for those holding part-time jobs – they will receive 50 cents less for each dollar earned.

    As a concrete example, a single person with a yearly salary of Can$10,000 will receive an additional payment of Can$11,989.

    That's an incentive to work but is a relative penalty for those who can't.

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  161.    Of Two Minds – Housing's Echo Bubble Now Exceeds the 2006-07 Bubble Peak

    Concerning the US, the issue is income, carrying costs, and equity. We don't have quite the same profile we had in 2007. The standards are not nearly as lax as they were, though they are sliding.

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  162.    Renton woman among three charged with filing false insurance claims | Renton Reporter

    Theresa Smith, 39, from Renton was charged with filing false claims by the Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and the Criminal Investigations Unit.

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  163.    Tracking phones: Insurers deny claims based on doubtful data – News-Sentinel.com

    I usually post fraud stories to make the point that fraudsters run a huge risk of getting caught. Well, I'm not judging the guilt or innocence of any party here but am interested in drawing attention to the issue of cellphone-towers data in claims investigations.

    Hours after the fire was out and she had returned to the campground, she checked her voicemail and her phone pinged a tower near the campground. A few minutes later, her mother called her, and her phone pinged a tower back in Clinton, 17 miles away. Minutes later, her husband called her, and her phone pinged a tower about 20 miles away, she said.

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  164.    Roofer accused of taking money from hail victims, never fixing roofs | 9news.com

    A man who owns a roofing business has been indicted on nine counts for allegedly taking payment from homeowners to fix their roofs, but never actually doing it.

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  165.    Father, daughter sentenced on Big Run arson charge | Crime | thecourierexpress.com

    A criminal complaint includes text messages between Schaffer and his daughter, Katie Schaffer, that show a discussion about burning the house to the ground after finding the roof leaking.

    Police said the duo discussed how to set the fire, where to set it and what to do with their dogs.

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  166.    Contractor Matthew Morris accused of cheating 18 flood victims indicted on 84 counts in Ascension Parish | Ascension | theadvocate.com

    … charged Monday with 84 counts related to 18 victims: 17 counts of residential contractor fraud; 14 counts of misapplication of payments; 9 counts of theft of assets of the aged; 11 counts of falsifying public records; 16 counts of engaging and contracting without a license; and 17 counts of insurance fraud.

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  167.    Why Hoarding Impacts Claims

    As a landlord, do not allow hoarding on your properties. Understand that it is a psychological issue, and be gentle but firm. Get the assistance of outside help if necessary.

    Make sure your rental agreement prohibits hoarding as a health, fire, and other safety issue.

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  168.    Thinning Forests to Reduce Fire Risk

    Let's hope they do it right and it helps.

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  169.    Judge Dismisses Oklahoma Earthquakes Suit

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  170.    Early Earthquake Warning System Expands to Oregon, Washington

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  171.    Sea Level Rise Could Reshape Inland Cities

    In a paper published … in Nature Climate Change, researchers estimate that approximately 13.1 million people could be displaced by rising ocean waters, with Atlanta, Houston and Phoenix as top destinations for those forced to relocate.

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  172.    Elevated Beach Homes the Norm Since Superstorm Sandy

    "It had 24 inches plus of water in the house after the hurricane," Halliday said.

    So he rebuilt it – eight feet off the ground.

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  173.    Anti-fraud tech evolving faster than speed of prediction | Coalition Against Insurance Fraud – JIFA

    There are more technology tools available to fight fraud today, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.

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  174.    New York City House Fire Kills 5, Including Children

    Terrible:

    … victims included two boys ages 2 and 10, two girls ages 16 and 17, and a 20 year-old woman.

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  175.    EPA Says 3 Injection Wells Source of Contamination in Oklahoma Creek

    For the longest time, the fracking industry insisted that it was not causing water pollution.

    They've reported "salt contamination" here; but, until we get more findings, we can't be confident that salt is the only problem. That's because fracking solutions typically contain other chemicals, some toxic.

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