News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Sept. 6, 2017

Linking ≠ endorsement.

Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) Donald Trump tariffs could bring back stagflation – Business Insider

2) Texas Regulators Offer Guidance to Insurers on Harvey Response

3) Houston Is Drowning—In Its Freedom From Regulations

4) HUD extends disaster relief to Hurricane Harvey victims: Estimates 200,000 FHA-insured homeowners live in disaster area

5) How Climate Change Fueled Hurricane Harvey | WIRED

6) How to give government a bigger say in printing money – Financial News

7) Detroit's tiny homes offer a big chance for struggling residents – Aug. 25, 2017

8) House flippers triggered the US housing market crash, not poor subprime borrowers, a new study shows. — Quartz

9) How climate change could turn US real estate prices upside down | Environment | The Guardian

10) Chastised by EU, a Resentful Greece Embraces China's Cash and Interests – The New York Times

11) Revealed: England's fire services lose a quarter of safety officers since 2011 | UK news | The Guardian

12) Pension deficit of UK's leading companies equivalent to 70% of their profits | Business | The Guardian

13) Born-Again Fiscal Hawks Turn Into Doves – Bloomberg

14) Opinion: Must Hurricane Harvey Victims File Insurance Claims Before September 1?

15) BBB warns of scam artists in the wake of Harvey

16) Harvey: As Houston copes with floods, 1,000 die in India monsoon

17) ECB's German Problem Owes a Lot to This Munich-Based Think Tank – Bloomberg

18) [The title is meek. The article is not.] Hurricane Harvey and the Failure of the Free Market

19) [Because Google cache doesn't last] Hurricane Harvey Is When We Need Price Gouging, Not Laws Against It

20) Millennials Believe That Technology Is Creating Jobs, Not Taking Them Away

21) New study: We're outpacing the most radical climate event we know of | Ars Technica

22) Harvey hits mortgages as flood-stricken homeowners are unlikely to pay

23) Harvey pounded the nation's chemical epicenter. What's in the foul-smelling floodwater left behind? – LA Times

24) Central Banks Can't Ignore the Cryptocurrency Boom – Bloomberg

25) Hurricane Harvey's Flooding Could Leave Dangerous Mold – CityLab

26) Harvey's ravaging of Houston is perfect reason to kill the flood insurance program – MarketWatch

27) Texas just passed a law making it harder to sue insurance companies that 'abuse' policyholders

28) Climate Change and Hurricanes — The Worst Is Yet to Come

29) Harvey Could Reshape How and Where Americans Build Homes – Bloomberg

30) Arkema backtracks, refuses to provide chemical inventory to the public – Houston Chronicle

31) Post-Harvey FAQ on insurance, assistance, housing, health, schools, utilities & more – Houston Chronicle

32) 10 Ways to Make Your Tenants Love and Respect You

33) SoftWear Automation's t-shirt sewing robots can make as many shirts per hour as 17 factory workers — Quartz

34) Saving the International Economic Order

35) Employment Situation Summary

36) Help for Victims of Hurricane Harvey | Internal Revenue Service

37) Analysis: 4 Things Houston Area Must Do to Prevent Future Flooding Disasters

38) As Harvey Winds Down, Hurricane Irma Waiting in Wings

39) Nonresidential Construction Plunges Again; Public and Private Sector Down in July

40) Job Growth Slows in August | Jobs Bytes | Data Bytes | Publications | The Center for Economic and Policy Research

41) Homeowners faced an Airbnb nightmare as renters left them facing huge fines, angry neighbors

42) Bay Area heatwave: Record falls in San Francisco

43) Air Quality Dropping to Unhealthy | KIMA

44) Harvey's Devastation From Above: Aerial Photos Show Massive Damage, Flooding in Texas

45) Hurricane Harvey | Google Crisis Map

46) Here's how to deal with those clumps of floating fire ants in Houston

47) Mnuchin Says Debt Limit Hike Should Be Linked to Harvey Aid – Bloomberg

48) AP EXCLUSIVE: Toxic waste sites flooded in Houston area

49) How to deal with flooded cars in Harvey's wake | Motor Vehicle | wacotrib[.]com

50) Development and Disasters — A Deadly Combination Well… — ProPublica

51) Newsletter: Climate Breakdown | PopularResistance[.]Org

52) What Kind of Insurance Do You Need as a Real Estate Investor?

53) FEMA: 53,000 Hurricane Harvey victims are in hotels | NOLA[.]com

54) China's Central Bank Declares Initial Coin Offerings Illegal – Bloomberg

55) As Hurricane Irma grows stronger, Miami and South Florida residents prepare | Miami Herald

56) What Consumers Should Do to Get Fair Claims Payments in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey · Consumer Federation of America

57) Populist Hopeful Shunned by Italian Elite on Shores of Lake Como – Bloomberg

58) Scottsdale [Arizona] ranks No. 1 in US for rejecting apartment applicants

59) New water-cooling solar panels could lower the cost of air conditioning by 20% | Science | AAAS

60) Locky ransomware: Why this menace keeps coming back | ZDNet

61) Massive Wave of MongoDB Ransom Attacks Makes 26,000 New Victims

62) Hurricane Irma Public Advisory

63) Russia's Central Bank Issues Warning on Cryptocurrencies and ICOs – CoinDesk

64) EPA Response To The AP's Misleading Story | US EPA News Releases | US EPA

65) China Just Completely Sidestepped One of the Biggest Issues Facing Cryptocurrencies – Bloomberg

66) This—and not North Korea—is why scared investors are buying gold – MarketWatch

67) EY teams with Microsoft, Maersk to use blockchain for marine insurance

68) 'We don't have anything': landlords demand rent on flooded Houston homes | US news | The Guardian

69) Dubai real estate project first to be priced in bitcoin: Michelle Mone

70) Phil Murphy, Lead Gubernatorial Candidate Shares His Public Banking Plan – Public Banking Institute

71) Harvey Leaves Texans to Clean Up Amid Health and Environmental Dangers

72) Florida Apartment Fire Caused by Lightning Strike Displaces 38 People

  1.    Donald Trump tariffs could bring back stagflation – Business Insider

    This article is wrong. All tariffs do not lead to stagflation. Linette Lopez would be well served to study the American School of Economics, which is something the "open market," laissez-faire in name only, crony capitalist, global corporatists definitely don't want people to do.

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


  2.    Texas Regulators Offer Guidance to Insurers on Harvey Response

    If you think governments, regulations, and/or licensing requirements are necessarily the enemy, please reconsider.

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


  3.    Houston Is Drowning—In Its Freedom From Regulations

    Being against regulations because thinking regulations are inherently bad or because the "market" will take care of it all, is not born out by the facts.

    I've always been for zoning and building codes and the like. When I first heard that Huston didn't use zoning, I thought it was a very bad idea for a whole host of reasons. One that didn't occur to me was urban planning designed to insure the ability of the ground to handle water from rain, etc.

    I do live in a place where such things are regulated very extensively. I love it. We need more of it, not less.

    Sure, there would come a point at which it would be overkill, but we're not even close to that yet.

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


  4.    HUD extends disaster relief to Hurricane Harvey victims: Estimates 200,000 FHA-insured homeowners live in disaster area

    Here is the disaster assistance HUD announced it is extending to the Houston area: …

    That's governmental.

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


  5.    How Climate Change Fueled Hurricane Harvey | WIRED

    So, in my last published new aggregation, I mentioned that Harvey developed a great deal in a very short time and that I'd post it if others discuss it. Well, here's the general-consensus reason:

    As Harvey approached the Texas coast last week, the Gulf ocean temperature rose 2.7 to 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit above average. "That provided a deep, warm pool of water used as fuel," says Dalia Kirschbaum, a research scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center who studies hurricane hydrology. Harvey used this hot spot to shift from a tropical depression to a category 4 hurricane in roughly 48 hours.

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


  6.    How to give government a bigger say in printing money – Financial News

    Okay, I think this is needlessly overly complicated and insufficiently democratic, but I include it here because it does stimulate thinking and widens the horizons compared to the limited scope of change typically still under consideration. Obviously, Yanis is being more incremental than I desire for Europe and the world. His plan, however, would be better than the status quo and by a long shot.

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


  7.    Detroit's tiny homes offer a big chance for struggling residents – Aug. 25, 2017

    Would you buy these to rent them out?

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


  8.    House flippers triggered the US housing market crash, not poor subprime borrowers, a new study shows. — Quartz

    The only people I know of who blamed the poor were libertarians.

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


  9.    How climate change could turn US real estate prices upside down | Environment | The Guardian

    "Real estate investment may no longer be just about the next hot neighbourhood, it may also now be about the next dry neighbourhood."

    … it would take only "a few climatic events in a row" for a collapse in property values "that will make the housing crisis [of 2008] look small".

    "Will there be a massive decline in the property values of the flooded areas in Houston? Common sense would say yes. And if that's combined with new legislation that's going to require full disclosure, then wow."

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


  10.    Chastised by E.U., a Resentful Greece Embraces China's Cash and Interests – The New York Times

    This is all due to Germany always thinking small. Germany blew the perfect opportunity to be the European social-democratic hub of a more unified and prosperous Europe. Instead, it clung to ordoliberalism, which is neoliberal economics with German characteristics. The German people need to wake up and smell the coffee. The time for Ms. Merkel's quaint reunified Germany is way beyond its shelf life. If they don't wake up soon, Germany will end up suffering a rude economic-consequences awakening.

    China is a vehemently anti-democratic, one-party dictatorship with an increasingly power hungry leader. Why feed the beast?

    The Chinese People need grassroots democracy, not fake-communist totalitarianism. The South China Sea is not China's! The fact that Xi claims that it is speaks volumes about just how dangerous he is.

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


  11.    Revealed: England's fire services lose a quarter of safety officers since 2011 | UK news | The Guardian

    … fire safety officers have been saying to me for years that one day, there would be a big fire in a multiple occupancy building, which would make everyone sit up and take notice of the lack of fire safety provision. Tragically, that's what happened at Grenfell Tower."

    "The government's current approach to fire safety is business-friendly and very soft-touch. We are saying that this is wrong, and that we should be enforcing safety legislation ….

    Cuts are due to fiscal cuts. Fiscal cuts are due to administrations shrinking government for the sake of privatization. People die needlessly on account of it. If it weren't for greed, it wouldn't be happening.

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


  12.    Pension deficit of UK's leading companies equivalent to 70% of their profits | Business | The Guardian

    Austerity is cutting life expectancy, and that's good for pension funds? Austerity cut productivity and growth, which squeezed the pension funds. Get the priorities straight.

    What's next, we're going to hear how great it is to be cutting "the surplus population"?

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


  13.    Born-Again Fiscal Hawks Turn Into Doves – Bloomberg

    This is pure Keynesianism layered on top of the nonsense of independent central banking through which the government must borrow rather than issue its own currency, interest free and directly into the main street economy via fiscal spending.

    Name one good reason the government borrows. You can't. If you offer up any reason, it will be wrong. A good reason for the US government to borrow does not exist and can't be conjured up.

    So, for whose benefit was the government forced into borrowing money?

    We need our freedom. We don't have it. We won't have it as long as our government borrows and we can't democratically decide to end it and issue the money we need for what we need in the right amount so there won't be any price inflation or deflation out-of-control spirals, ever.

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


  14.    Opinion: Must Hurricane Harvey Victims File Insurance Claims Before September 1?

    I highly recommend you read this article.

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


  15.    BBB warns of scam artists in the wake of Harvey

    You don't necessarily have to repair or rebuild. Read your policy to see exactly all your options.

    You might not want to rebuild in the area that flooded because you may be uncertain about what preventative measures will be taken governmentally going forward. In addition, reconstruction requirements might change. Rebuilt housing might have to be elevated more than before or made with different materials.

    Ask questions. Do your best to verify the accuracy of what you're told. Try to get things in writing. Keep a journal where you record every conversation and communication with the who, what, where, when, why and how much of it all.

    Mitigate further damage, but do so only if you can do it safely. Flooded property can pose all sorts of toxic and dangerous issues.

    Consider all your policies and what they might be able to contribute to making you as whole as possible.

    Look into any FEMA assistance too.

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


  16.    Harvey: As Houston copes with floods, 1,000 die in India monsoon

    A number of months ago, I stop posting numerous international stories about catastrophes outside the US. The sheer number of them was the reason. Weather/climate catastrophic events will only increase as we don't do enough to stem the tide of Anthropogenic Global Warming.

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


  17.    ECB's German Problem Owes a Lot to This Munich-Based Think Tank – Bloomberg

    "German concerns about the euro have not been corroborated by facts and there is a risk that by exaggerating them you end up crying wolf too often, and that can weigh on your reputation."

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


  18.    [The title is meek. The article is not.] Hurricane Harvey and the Failure of the Free Market

    When you argue that selling $99 cases of bottled water in a disaster area is a good thing, you need to reinvestigate your humanity.

    Two days ago, libertarian-leaning Forbes blogger Tim Worstall published a post titled "Hurricane Harvey Is When We Need Price Gouging, Not Laws Against It." I would link to the story, but Forbes seems to have pulled it after the post received tremendous blowback from people who were outraged by Worstall's pro-price-gouging post.

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


  19.    [Because Google cache doesn't last] Hurricane Harvey Is When We Need Price Gouging, Not Laws Against It

    Hurricane Harvey has hit Texas and is doing a great deal of damage to both life and property. Which is exactly when we need, positively desire, there to be price gouging, instead of the laws we have against it. The basic underlying economics being that we want whatever scarce resources there are to be applied to their most valuable uses. Further, we want to encourage the provision of more supply of them–both of these being the things which the price system manages for us. That is, allowing prices to rise in the aftermath of a disaster does exactly what we want to happen.

    No, it doesn't. It does the exact opposite. If one wants poor people to simply die because they don't have the money to live, if one puts capitalism before the life or death needs of others (and let's not forget the innocent children and others hit by Harvey), one is beyond anti-democratic.

    In the interest of openness, I confess that I saw Tim's article by title available to read but chose not to read it because it disgusted me that much. That's not to say I'm opposed to freedom of the press or of personal expression. I am though for the freedom not to read what thoroughly disgusts me before I even look at it.

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


  20.    Millennials Believe That Technology Is Creating Jobs, Not Taking Them Away

    … the idea that machines will take all the jobs is an exaggeration ….

    This article misses the bigger picture. Technology will continue increasing until working for money will become obsolete, unnecessary, a relic. There's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing to fear in it if we have democracy driving the decisions concerning how we each and all will take care of ourselves and one another. We need to aim as high as possible. We need to plan for what most would call utopian democratic socialism. If it sounds to good to be true, you're aiming too low.

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


  21.    New study: We're outpacing the most radical climate event we know of | Ars Technica

    … there are some small bits of good news here. For one, the fact that volcanism put a large majority of carbon into the atmosphere suggests that no big tipping points lie ahead of us in terms of atmospheric carbon. People have considered the prospect that warming could destabilize methane deposits in the oceans or release massive amounts of carbon from thawing permafrost. While this might occur to a degree, the fact that these sources don't seem to be needed to produce the PETM suggests that it's difficult for a warming climate to release carbon from them on a global scale.

    The other good news here is that the climate's sensitivity to carbon dioxide doesn't seem to change as the Earth warms up. If it got more sensitive under warmer conditions, then existing emissions would be setting the stage to make future emissions that much worse.

    Before fracking started but was planned, I said it would cause earthquakes. The industry said that was spewing nonsense. Well,, the cumulative impact of human industrialization could be setting things up to include exactly an increase in volcanic emissions. Typically, we think volcanoes dim the Sun, which cools things or reduces the increase in warming. However, we know that's not always the case, as this article makes clear.

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


  22.    Harvey hits mortgages as flood-stricken homeowners are unlikely to pay

    Diana Olick does a fine job of reporting on this.

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


  23.    Harvey pounded the nation's chemical epicenter. What's in the foul-smelling floodwater left behind? – LA Times

    This article drives home what I was saying above about toxic floodwaters, the need for tight regulations, and part of the reason we need to end carbon-fuel burning to start reversing global warming.

    I'm hopeful for a CO2 sequestration breakthrough, but I don't want to gamble the planet and humanity on it. Also, such sequestration won't address all the other toxic problems and other hazards associated with the carbon-fuel industry, cradle to grave.

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


  24.    Central Banks Can't Ignore the Cryptocurrency Boom – Bloomberg

    "It is time to realize that they are the real barbarians at the gate."

    I said Bitcoin was a terrible idea even before it was released to the public.

    If we are ever to have a democratic money, we must have a centralized, single legal tender. Bitcoin was designed to oppose democratic government. It's anarchistic by nature.

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


  25.    Hurricane Harvey's Flooding Could Leave Dangerous Mold – CityLab

    The focus on mold …

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


  26.    Harvey's ravaging of Houston is perfect reason to kill the flood insurance program – MarketWatch

    I don't agree with the approach, but this is a discussion we must have.

    Some people must move. Many must move. However, we must reverse global warming. We must work on better zoning, construction codes, prevention, protection, and many other factors.

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


  27.    Texas just passed a law making it harder to sue insurance companies that 'abuse' policyholders

    If you've read the links above about the change in law, you'll see gaps in this mainstream report, not that it sheds no light at all. I simply prefer more thorough reporting wherein the reporter seeks out the reasons given in the various directions.

    It will be more difficult to sue, but fraudsters will be slowed and stopped in many cases. As I mentioned above, that serves policyholders too and in very important and substantial ways.

    As for insurance companies abusing policyholders, policyholders can always take their allegations to the Texas Insurance Commissioner.

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


  28.    Climate Change and Hurricanes — The Worst Is Yet to Come

    This is a deeper dive into warming and the modeling of impacted weather events.

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


  29.    Harvey Could Reshape How and Where Americans Build Homes – Bloomberg

    Here's another deep dive, this one into building codes, which Texas lacks in spades.

    … debate pits insurers, who favor tighter building codes and fewer homes in vulnerable locations, against homebuilders and developers, who want to keep homes as inexpensive as possible. As the costs of extreme weather increase, that fight has spilled over into politics: Federal budget hawks want local policies that will reduce the cost of disasters, while many state and local officials worry about the lost tax revenue that might accompany tighter restrictions on development.

    Now, the debate shouldn't leave out the very real and practical solution about affordable construction by addressing governmental subsidies via debt-free (that's bond-free) money issuance exactly for the purpose. All sides would win that way. Plus GDP would increase but without inflation running ahead of the people's abilities to pay.

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


  30.    Arkema backtracks, refuses to provide chemical inventory to the public – Houston Chronicle

    Obviously, this issue cuts both ways.

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


  31.    Post-Harvey FAQ on insurance, assistance, housing, health, schools, utilities & more – Houston Chronicle

    Good, quick overview with links …

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


  32.    10 Ways to Make Your Tenants Love and Respect You

    Of the items on the list, I've found these to be the most important: Repairs (clean up afterwards too), rules (noise is big), and security. I'd add, don't be invasive. Inspect, but don't over do it. Also, maintenance and repairs are two different things. Maintenance is important. Keep common areas neat and clean. Of course, as an insurance broker, I'd say safety is critical. Liability exposure must always be kept in mind.

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


  33.    SoftWear Automation's t-shirt sewing robots can make as many shirts per hour as 17 factory workers — Quartz

    This is just the tip of the iceberg for automation replacing human workers. Those who think AI isn't going to end up out thinking those in "high skills" jobs and do so at currently unimaginable speeds, are mistaken in my book.

    Do I fear automation? Only if it's devised for the wrong ends and placed in the wrong hands.

    Automation will enhance us while relieving us from having to toil for money to pay to live. That will be a good thing.

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


  34.    Saving the International Economic Order

    Please note the glaring absence of two terms in this article: democracy and dictatorship.

    The current "world order" (as is clear in the article) is run by banking/bankers. That is not planned to change under the Chinese dictatorship of Xi, heading up his one-party dictatorship of the nation-state.

    He was not democratically elected (not even close), yet we hear nothing against that in the US corporate mainstream media. Why is that? We hear it about all sorts of other nations where they even hold popular elections.

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


  35.    Employment Situation Summary

    This is a very modest report. Mostly, things remained the same. However, sectors that haven't been gaining much appeared to receive the emphasis this month. Also:

    The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised down from +231,000 to +210,000, and the change for July was revised down from +209,000 to +189,000.

    It will be interesting to see what impact Harvey will have. Initially, it should be bad jobs-wise. Once manufacturing and construction and the like kick in to repair things, employment should be helped by that. Let's hope the powers that be make the right choice and fully fund the recovery. There's zero reason to fear inflation as a result.

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


  36.    Help for Victims of Hurricane Harvey | Internal Revenue Service

    The IRS is providing help to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Special tax relief and assistance is available to taxpayers in the Presidential Disaster Areas. We are monitoring the situation closely to resolve potential tax administration issues as they are identified. The IRS often updates its information on disaster relief efforts related to Hurricane Harvey. For the latest news, check this page frequently.

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


  37.    Analysis: 4 Things Houston Area Must Do to Prevent Future Flooding Disasters

    Shameful:

    … officials put up visible flood gauges in low-lying coastal areas meant to show how the high water could get during hurricanes, but real estate agents revolted and the signposts were removed.

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


  38.    As Harvey Winds Down, Hurricane Irma Waiting in Wings

    Harvey has sent shockwaves through the transportation, energy, and retail industries, causing supply shortages and billions in losses.

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


  39.    Nonresidential Construction Plunges Again; Public and Private Sector Down in July

    "Earlier today, we received information indicating that hiring among nonresidential construction firms was brisk in August," said Basu. "Job growth was significant among nonresidential construction specialty trade contractors and heavy and civil engineering firms, among others. Interpreted independently, this would suggest growing activity in private and public segments.

    "But today's construction spending report points in precisely the opposite direction. … recent events in Texas and Louisiana imply that negative trends in nonresidential construction spending will be reversed as rebuilding commences."

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


  40.    Job Growth Slows in August | Jobs Bytes | Data Bytes | Publications | The Center for Economic and Policy Research

    Dean Baker sees it the same way I do.

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


  41.    Homeowners faced an Airbnb nightmare as renters left them facing huge fines, angry neighbors

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


  42.    Bay Area heatwave: Record falls in San Francisco

    How long will it be before supplying refrigeration is required by building code and retroactively?

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


  43.    Air Quality Dropping to Unhealthy | KIMA

    Are we going to have to add indoor air-filtration capable of cleaning smoke from the air? If we don't correct global warming, we're going to be facing untold problems. Maybe AI will finally whip it, but who wants to live through it while we wait for that to happen? We should do the right things now, which means putting environmental health before corporate-executive mega-compensation packages!

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


  44.    Harvey's Devastation From Above: Aerial Photos Show Massive Damage, Flooding in Texas

    Simply jaw-dropping, heart-wrenching images …

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


  45.    Hurricane Harvey | Google Crisis Map

    I looked hard for this. Look at the options for showing different map views and different images taken on various days.

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


  46.    Here's how to deal with those clumps of floating fire ants in Houston

    The hazard list is long.

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


  47.    Mnuchin Says Debt Limit Hike Should Be Linked to Harvey Aid – Bloomberg

    More than 311,000 Texans had already applied for federal disaster relief funds as of Thursday morning and more than $530 million already has been granted, Vice President Mike Pence said. About 100,000 homes were damaged by the storm, White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert said.

    Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on CNN's "State of the Union" that $120 billion was needed to respond to Hurricane Katrina and that he expects the damage from Harvey will require more funding.

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


  48.    AP EXCLUSIVE: Toxic waste sites flooded in Houston area

    Kara Cook-Schultz, who studies Superfund sites for the advocacy group TexPIRG, said environmentalists have warned for years about the potential for flooding to inundate Texas Superfund sites, particularly the San Jacinto Waste Pits.

    "If floodwaters have spread the chemicals in the waste pits, then dangerous chemicals like dioxin could be spread around the wider Houston area," Cook-Schultz said. "Superfund sites are known to be the most dangerous places in the country, and they should have been properly protected against flooding."

    The US has been dragging its feet for many decades now on cleaning up extremely toxic sites. Our system put short-term corporate profits over stopping long-term, worsening health and environmental damage.

    The EPA complained about this report. The link to the EPA's statement is below at number 64.

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


  49.    How to deal with flooded cars in Harvey's wake | Motor Vehicle | wacotrib.com

    I don't typically post about auto coverage, but this is a good overview and warning. I'm not going to set a precedent here. The lack of posts on all the various types of insurance coverage out there does not mean I think those other coverages are less or not important. One of the reasons I clicked through on the article myself was because I was wondering whether leakage from flood vehicles into the general environment would be discussed, as such leakage can impact all sorts of other property and people's health and safety, etc. The issue was not addressed, only leakage of water into the fluid systems of the vehicle.

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


  50.    Development and Disasters — A Deadly Combination Well… — ProPublica

    "Across the Gulf Coast in areas of low topography, we have completely built beyond what's reasonable in terms of rain events of this scale," Colten said. "We're still seeing municipalities resisting safe planning in the interest of economic development and a more robust tax base."

    Well, there's no reason to tell my readers which side of this issue I come down on. I think the old adage "penny wise and pound foolish" is very apt here.

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


  51.    Newsletter: Climate Breakdown | PopularResistance.Org

    This is an extremely hard-hitting article about the immediate politics of Anthropogenic Global Warming. If we don't want to see highly aggressive civil disobedience, then we must convince politicians to act responsibly in the interest of reversing the warming trend and very, very soon or replace those politicians with people who will. It's proper risk management.

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


  52.    What Kind of Insurance Do You Need as a Real Estate Investor?

    This is a very bare-bones article but a good starting place for the novice contemplating coverage.

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


  53.    FEMA: 53,000 Hurricane Harvey victims are in hotels | NOLA.com

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


  54.    China's Central Bank Declares Initial Coin Offerings Illegal – Bloomberg

    This is the smartest thing I've seen China do in the economic/financial sphere in a long time.

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


  55.    As Hurricane Irma grows stronger, Miami and South Florida residents prepare | Miami Herald

    … Ronald Jackson, executive director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, said by phone. "I can't recall a tropical cone developing that rapidly into a major hurricane prior to arriving in the central Caribbean."

    The warmer water is really making a huge difference.

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


  56.    What Consumers Should Do to Get Fair Claims Payments in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey · Consumer Federation of America

    This is pretty good. Don't take it as exhaustive though.

    If you have access to your policy or can get access via the Internet, read it and concentrate also on the section typically headed "Duties in the Event of a Loss" or words to that effect.

    You may also want to hire a fully licensed public adjuster (who would do an estimate and could negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf). Typically, lawyers and insurance brokers can legally handle claim adjusting too but might not do so, as it is an area of some expertise where experience, etc., could make a significant difference.

    If your claim is small, you might consider whether the deductible would make it worth while filing. The more claims on your claims history, the more difficult it can become to obtain coverage.

    Whatever you do, do not engage in any fraud in filing your claim. The slightest fraud can cause the entire claim to be legally denied, cause your coverage to be terminated, make it impossible too obtain replacement coverage, and land you in court (and possibly jail)!

    What I just told you isn't exhaustive either.

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


  57.    Populist Hopeful Shunned by Italian Elite on Shores of Lake Como – Bloomberg

    The euro referendum plan is simply "a last resort," he added, to force reforms of the European Union and "a currency tailor-made for the German economy."

    The jig is up?Let's hope so.

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


  58.    Scottsdale [Arizona] ranks No. 1 in U.S. for rejecting apartment applicants

    The top reason apartment owners give for rejecting renter applications across the U.S. is late credit-card, car or other big monthly payments.

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


  59.    New water-cooling solar panels could lower the cost of air conditioning by 20% | Science | AAAS

    Imagine:

    … heat is then radiated out by the plastic at a wavelength in the middle region of the infrared (IR) spectrum, which is not absorbed by the atmosphere and instead travels all the way to outer space.

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


  60.    Locky ransomware: Why this menace keeps coming back | ZDNet

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


  61.    Massive Wave of MongoDB Ransom Attacks Makes 26,000 New Victims

    Bitcoin, the "currency" of choice for cyber criminals …

    It's no wonder why China has outlawed it. When will the rest of the planet catch up? Russia had been out front, but China just leapfrogged them. The US is a distant what?

    Russia is planning to shut down residential Bitcoin mining due to such mining being an extreme energy hog: another reason to dump it and ban it.

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


  62.    Hurricane Irma Public Advisory

    US Dept of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Hurricane Center:

    …POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE ….

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


  63.    Russia's Central Bank Issues Warning on Cryptocurrencies and ICOs – CoinDesk

    This morning, Hong Kong's chief securities regulators issued a warning of their own on ICOs, remarking that some tokens may constitute securities — echoing statements issued by officials in Singapore, Canada and the US in recent weeks.

    This is not about the underlying technology of distributed ledgers. It's about avoiding the utter chaos of, and risk of severe economic and financial damages by, anarchistic currencies.

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


  64.    EPA Response To The AP's Misleading Story | U.S. EPA News Releases | US EPA

    Nerves are frayed, and AGW deniers have been put on extreme defense. This is the most political statement I've ever seen from a governmental agency. I'm not saying that it contains no valid points but only that it undermines professionalism. It's fit for a rather informal discussion but not, in my view, epa[dot]gov.

    There is more at stake than this one hurricane. There's an entire history of gross (totally irresponsible), highly risky under-regulation.

    Everything needs discussing but more so, action headed in the right direction.

    Carbon-fuel burning has been and remains a huge problem. We need to make it totally affordable for the whole of society to get off carbon immediately.

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


  65.    China Just Completely Sidestepped One of the Biggest Issues Facing Cryptocurrencies – Bloomberg

    What is the underlying value? If national currencies move to "cyber" more and more, what will happen to the speculative "value" of these "private" tokens?

    Use at your own risk. I refuse to take them. I will not buy them to spend them either. Businesses have already lost me as a customer because those businesses moved to tokens only (no credit cards or other traditional, standard payment methods).

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


  66.    This—and not North Korea—is why scared investors are buying gold – MarketWatch

    The investor-value of gold is purely psychological. It's just Bitcoin without the tech. What's the underlying value? There is utility value, but beyond that … ? The more people catch on to the fact that gold is vastly mostly psychological, the sooner the run out of gold will start. I think gold as a speculative investment is the wrong signal, the wrong direction, not what's good for our system.

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


  67.    EY teams with Microsoft, Maersk to use blockchain for marine insurance

    As if right on cue …

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


  68.    'We don't have anything': landlords demand rent on flooded Houston homes | US news | The Guardian

    … under Texas law, rent must still be paid on damaged dwellings, unless they are deemed completely uninhabitable.

    Under the Texas property code, if a rental premises is "totally unusable" due to an external disaster then either the landlord or tenant can terminate the lease through written notice. But if the property is "partially unusable" because of a disaster, a tenant may only get a reduction in rent determined by a county or district court.

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


  69.    Dubai real estate project first to be priced in bitcoin: Michelle Mone

    This is a BIG mistake. I won't be a bit surprised to see the decision reversed. Of course, contract language could make it tied to a USD-conversion rate.

    It sounds like she sits on her Bitcoin rather than immediately converting it. Will she get out before the crash?

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


  70.    Phil Murphy, Lead Gubernatorial Candidate Shares His Public Banking Plan – Public Banking Institute

    Wave of the future … under this mixed economy …

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


  71.    Harvey Leaves Texans to Clean Up Amid Health and Environmental Dangers

    It's depressing reading, but it's necessary reading if we want to be armed with reasons we simply must rein in the carbon-fuel industry.

    The pollution also will be in the runoff that will end up in the Gulf waters. Pollution will be left in the dirt for wind to kick up with the dust and such. It will seep into the ground where some of it will go into the ground water.

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


  72.    Florida Apartment Fire Caused by Lightning Strike Displaces 38 People

    Fortunately, there were no injuries reported.

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


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