News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Nov. 14, 2017

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Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) Phil Murphy wins in NJ! Public Banking on the ballot and wins! – Public Banking Institute

2) Living in 'gas chamber' Delhi? Here are top 10 developments on air quality | Business Standard News

3) Jeremy Corbyn calls for all council high rises to be fitted with sprinklers in wake of Grenfell disaster – Mirror Online

4) United States Living Wage Individual | 2014-2017 | Data | Chart | Calendar

5) British mainstream media spreading dangerous MMT ideas | Bill Mitchell — billy blog

6) Brick-and-Mortar Meltdown Sinks Property Prices | Wolf Street

7) Former Tory minister backs Jeremy Corbyn's demand to end austerity in Autumn budget | The Independent

8) La Niña Conditions Have Arrived and Are Likely to Remain Through Early 2018, NOAA Says | The Weather Channel

9) How to fight the global Wall Street landlords | openDemocracy

10) SF losing homebuyers to cities building more housing, says report – Curbed SF

11) The Unsung Role That Ordinary Citizens Played in the Great Crime Decline – The New York Times

12) Bean counters: Lost in Paradise – Renegade Inc

13) Stumbling and Mumbling: Tories' austerity doublethink

14) Seattle releases full housing affordability rezone plan – Curbed Seattle

15) China Makes Historic Move to Open Market for Financial Firms – Bloomberg

16) How Corporations and the Wealthy Avoid Taxes (and How to Stop Them) – The New York Times

17) Why the US Needs a Federal Jobs Program, Not Payouts – The New York Times

18) How Amazon Could Change the Condo and Apartment Market Forever

19) Multinationals scurry to defuse House tax bill's 'atomic bomb' | Crain's Cleveland Business

20) Well Owners Told to Lower Water Injection Levels after Oklahoma Quakes

21) Damaging Southern California Fire Was Lit by Ember From Old Blaze

22) Is it dementia or Alzheimer's disease? Know the signs

23) The real estate industry needs to adequately outline risk – Baltimore Sun

24) Renting homes is overtaking the housing market. Here's why

25) Good news: Soil could be a much larger carbon sink than we hoped – ScienceAlert

26) Senate Tax Bill Has Same Basic Flaws as House Bill | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

27) Bill would make Seattle landlords pay when tenants are priced out – Curbed Seattle

28) The 'tiny little problem' with Chicago economics | Real-World Economics Review Blog

29) The YIMBY movement has a simple solution for the housing crisis

30) It's time to call the housing crisis what it really is: the largest transfer of wealth in living memory – New thinking for the British economy

31) Big Insurers Brace for Perilous Future as Climate Risks Escalate

  1.    Phil Murphy wins in NJ! Public Banking on the ballot and wins! – Public Banking Institute

    Will it be passed in the legislature there? Let's hope so.

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


  2.    Living in 'gas chamber' Delhi? Here are top 10 developments on air quality | Business Standard News

    Deadly carbon burning and dust …

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


  3.    Jeremy Corbyn calls for all council high rises to be fitted with sprinklers in wake of Grenfell disaster – Mirror Online

    I'm all for retrofitting the towers with sprinklers, but how many years are we going to have to wait before the democratic socialist known as Jeremy Corbyn starts openly stating the fact that the government doesn't have to set aside money for such a project but simply needs to issue/create the money directly for it. Lord knows that it won't cause hyperinflation, especially considering the anemic British economy. Even if there is some overheating of the economy due to direct money creation and spending by the government, just tax the excess away from the uber-rich, not the poor. Keep doing that until there's no unjust inequality. It will take years if not decades.

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


  4.    United States Living Wage Individual | 2014-2017 | Data | Chart | Calendar

    Living Wage Individual in the United States increased to 1540 USD/Month in 2017 ….

    We keep hearing about the guaranteed basic income and how that should be about $1,000 a month. We hear people using the term "living" and still citing $1,000 a month. That's not enough! Even the $1,540 mentioned in the article is just barely making it and doesn't handle more expensive places to live or being able to do anything but barely make it. We need to distribute enough for people to pay for a high quality of life, not just barely making it. All the arguments against it have been handled.

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


  5.    British mainstream media spreading dangerous MMT ideas | Bill Mitchell — billy blog

    … the core of MMT — they want the government to go on a spending spree and just ignore the inflationary consequences. They hide that by saying that "public spending cannot be unlimited and must be commensurate to the capacity of the economy" ….

    So, I've posted Bill Mitchell before and disagreed with him about devolving to the nation-state rather than pushing for supranational democracy (as direct as practicable), but that doesn't mean I disagree with his understanding about governments and their sovereign-money position sarcastically stated in the quote just above.

    His post is funny, especially if you've ever debated with libertarians about the very issues he raises. They do tend to sound just like he states, although they do so while sounding quite serious.

    Plenty of them are not stupid people but simply misinformed and lacking in exposure to the full statistical evidence supporting the facts upon which the MMT expressed in the post is based.

    MMT is a rather vague concept because there are so many ideas pushed as a result of MMT's core economic points.

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


  6.    Brick-and-Mortar Meltdown Sinks Property Prices | Wolf Street

    Personally, I see apartments still being underdeveloped. However, people must have the money to pay for even rentals. Office is not needed as much as most seem to still think it is, though it can often be converted into residential. Even malls can be converted to many different uses.

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  7.    Former Tory minister backs Jeremy Corbyn's demand to end austerity in Autumn budget | The Independent

    A Tory speaks some truth to waining power:

    "We should stop trying to cut [the deficit] any further," said Mr Boles, who has written a book on how to boost Tory fortunes.

    "We should drop our surplus target because the urgent priority now is to get productivity up and to get real wages up.

    "The only way to get productivity up is by increasing investment. I think we now need to make that the focus of government."

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  8.    La Niña Conditions Have Arrived and Are Likely to Remain Through Early 2018, NOAA Says | The Weather Channel

    During last winter's weak La Niña, the West and Upper Midwest had one of the wettest winters on record, while a large swath of the East, South and Midwest had one of the warmest winters since record-keeping began.

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


  9.    How to fight the global Wall Street landlords | openDemocracy

    As a landlord, figure out how to be for your tenants. Don't be about financially raping them (I'm not saying you are financially raping them, but some do financially rape their tenants). Get them to help you make your community better for everyone. Share your ideas.

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


  10.    SF losing homebuyers to cities building more housing, says report – Curbed SF

    Common sense … but read through to the end …

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  11.    The Unsung Role That Ordinary Citizens Played in the Great Crime Decline – The New York Times

    Local nonprofit groups that responded to the violence by cleaning streets, building playgrounds, mentoring children and employing young men had a real effect on the crime rate. That's what Patrick Sharkey, a sociologist at New York University, argues in a new study and a forthcoming book. Mr. Sharkey doesn't contend that community groups alone drove the national decline in crime, but rather that their impact is a major missing piece.

    "Any time people's basic needs are met, violence goes down — that's not new," said Noreen McClendon, who directs the nonprofit Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles.

    "We're not part of the crime-reduction world, or the public safety world, in the same way that we're part of the health and education and housing world," …. "It never occurred to us that we're not getting the credit, because we don't even know that world is out there."

    The lesson in that response, and in Mr. Sharkey's work — that effective crime prevention doesn't necessarily look like stop-and-frisk, or hot-spot policing, or mass incarceration — is particularly relevant today as cities rethink policing.

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


  12.    Bean counters: Lost in Paradise – Renegade Inc

    This is such an important subject. It's a real shame that it is such a fight just to get it a hearing. Fortunately, the youth are learning and taking action. Let's hope they're in time and have the staying power. Those who want this info to disappear down the memory hole have way too much wealth, power, and control. We need real democracy, or we'll never succeed.

    Until the Big Four accountancy firms are accurately viewed as enablers of corporate offshore dealing, regulatory arbitrage and ardent defenders of the neoliberal order, not the 'reputable' objective independent arbiters of the public interest as they claim, society will continue to be taken for a ride, and public services and social cohesion will continue their long decline ….

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


  13.    Stumbling and Mumbling: Tories' austerity doublethink

    After I wrote in an above link that a Tory speaks some truth, I ran into this linked article that explains partly why I said "some."

    However, I want to go on record again as saying that I couldn't care less about getting "us away from the zero bound."

    Getting away from the zero bound to be ready for lower rates when another recession hits is illogical. Raising rates will bring on a recession. If balance is the goal, stop destabilizing, not that our system even if reformed would be able to predict the unknown unknowns.

    If the Fed were to not raise rates before a recession were to hit, then the Fed could simply tell Congress to create money and spend it into the main street (real) economy.

    That's how it should be done anyway.

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


  14.    Seattle releases full housing affordability rezone plan – Curbed Seattle

    I like the thought but find this overly complex. Plus, using the median average is problematic.

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


  15.    China Makes Historic Move to Open Market for Financial Firms – Bloomberg

    This is a 100% technocratic article that completely ignores the hazards of Xi's dictatorship and his absolute hatred of democracy.

    What he's doing here is planning to suck in foreign money while he retains ultimate control. He could easily undemocratically divest all those foreign owners of their "control" and supposed assets. Of course, if money is all one cares about and if one is willing to take the gamble of trusting Xi …

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


  16.    How Corporations and the Wealthy Avoid Taxes (and How to Stop Them) – The New York Times

    I don't agree with the exact proposal but do agree with this rhetorical question:

    The onus here is on the United States and the European Union. Why do we allow criminals, tax evaders and kleptocrats to ultimately use our financial and real estate markets to launder their wealth? Transparency is the first step in making sure the wealthy can't cheat their way out of contributing to the common good.

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


  17.    Why the U.S. Needs a Federal Jobs Program, Not Payouts – The New York Times

    Hey, a really good public-jobs program is a fine idea but

    The basic income is defeatist

    idea is utter nonsense.

    Well, I'm not for simply meeting the minimum needed to merely survive, as that's some sort of libertarian idea to keep the bottom down so the super-rich can keep wages low so the rich can keep more for themselves.

    Regardless, automation is going to take over whether Robert Rubin (the deregulation czar of the Clinton admin: causing the Great Recession) thinks so or not.

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


  18.    How Amazon Could Change the Condo and Apartment Market Forever

    Amazon Key Changes the Apartment and Condo Game

    If you're unfamiliar with Amazon Key, it's a lock-camera-application system Amazon just announced in October (Amazon Home Kit currently starts at $250). In theory, it completely solves the delivery issue mentioned above and makes the locker somewhat unattractive to landlords for the cost.

    Well, just how hackable is it? Amazon is one of the most sophisticated companies in the world when it comes to software and such, but what test-pilot programs have they executed for this? I have to see it. I'd have to become satisfied that it was large enough and well-known enough that many hackers (black-hat type) tried to break it and break in, etc., and couldn't, at least not the full-release version 1.0, which I'm assuming they are still on (but maybe 1.1 for a security patch or two or three or …).

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


  19.    Multinationals scurry to defuse House tax bill's 'atomic bomb' | Crain's Cleveland Business

    The tax would apply to billions of dollars in intellectual-property royalties that technology and pharmaceutical firms make to their overseas affiliates each year — payments often linked to tax-avoidance strategies. But it would also hit U.S. companies' imports of generic drugs, cars and other products from their affiliates. Global insurers would incur the levy on the cost of "reinsurance" they buy from foreign affiliates.

    'Trade War' Concern

    The provision, which is estimated to raise $154 billion over a decade, "could trigger a trade war," Friedman said — stirring other countries to tax their companies' imports from U.S. units.

    For investors, the impact would appear as higher overall expenses in corporate financial statements across a range of industries — potentially depressing earnings, said Robert Willens, an independent tax and accounting expert.

    For consumers, the result might be higher prices for imported goods and insurance premiums — a message that various lobbying groups have been eager to share with House tax writers.

    "We expected significant feedback there, and it's exactly what we got," Brady told reporters Monday. He added: "Insurance is an industry where I think there are some unintended consequences from the first draft. I am re-examining those provisions to make sure we got it right."

    Insurers' Complaints

    The Coalition for Competitive Insurance Rates, a lobbying group that includes the U.S. arms of Zurich Re, Allianz Re and Swiss Re, came out swinging after the bill appeared.

    In the wake of recent hurricanes that ravaged Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida, "it is unfathomable" that the bill proposes "a measure that will shrink competition in the insurance marketplace and increase the cost of insurance for consumers," it said in a Nov. 2 statement. Large global insurers, not smaller U.S.-only ones that wouldn't face the tax, typically insure against most major disasters.

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


  20.    Well Owners Told to Lower Water Injection Levels after Oklahoma Quakes

    Before they started injecting, I heard nobody from the industry being publicly published stating that earthquakes would happen. Now the authorities are trying to dial back the injections without stopping them altogether. It remains very high-stakes gambling.

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


  21.    Damaging Southern California Fire Was Lit by Ember From Old Blaze

    "We regret that our road flare may have been involved in starting Canyon Fire ….

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


  22.    Is it dementia or Alzheimer's disease? Know the signs

    I included this because it's logical and proper for landlords, managers, and staff to be able to notice warning signs concerning aging tenants. It's a delicate matter. Sensibilities are involved. Gentleness and genuine concern without being invasive (except for true emergencies) is important.

    Who would be contacted? What would be the acceptable parameters? Who'd be authorized to make such contact? What record (including concerning any contact) would be kept, and would it be secure for privacy reasons?

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


  23.    The real estate industry needs to adequately outline risk – Baltimore Sun

    The real estate industry should help prospective buyers understand and weigh the full picture of reasonably expected risks. For this to be possible, counties and the state should require disclosures of sea level rise risk as part of a real estate transaction.

    Absolutely.

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


  24.    Renting homes is overtaking the housing market. Here's why

    Investors who have fewer than 10 units own 87% of all single-family rentals, while investors who have only one rental unit own 45%.

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


  25.    Good news: Soil could be a much larger carbon sink than we hoped – ScienceAlert

    The info on this is swinging back and forth from optimistic to pessimistic and back again. We posted in an earlier blog post about mineral-capturing of CO2 on an industrial scale. I truly believe there's great promise in all sorts of efforts but do not want to continue the carbon-burning regardless, as it present so many other environmental problems besides global warming.

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


  26.    Senate Tax Bill Has Same Basic Flaws as House Bill | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

    Just one example of the fundamental unfairness of the plan:

    Under the bill, a single mother with two children working full-time as a home health aide at the federal minimum wage and earning $14,500 would see a $75 increase in her CTC, while a married couple with two children earning $1,000,000 would receive a new CTC worth $3,300.

    Why? The only answer seems on the face of it to reward campaign donors.

    This plan will not be good for your average tenants.

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


  27.    Bill would make Seattle landlords pay when tenants are priced out – Curbed Seattle

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


  28.    The 'tiny little problem' with Chicago economics | Real-World Economics Review Blog

    Chicago economics is a dangerous pseudo-scientific zombie ideology that ultimately relies on the poor having to pay for the mistakes of the rich. Trying to explain business cycles in terms of rational expectations has failed blatantly. Maybe it would be asking too much of freshwater economists like Lucas and Cochrane to concede that, but it's still a fact that ought to be embarrassing. My rational expectation is that 30 years from now, no one in economics will know who Robert Lucas or John Cochrane was. John Maynard Keynes, on the other hand, will still be known as one of the masters of economics.

    "Every dollar of increased government spending must correspond to one less dollar of private spending" is " utterly and completely wrong," but I've never heard is posited as Say's Law (which is also wrong).

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


  29.    The YIMBY movement has a simple solution for the housing crisis

    The Bay Area does need to build more, Zuk said. But, she said, "There's no reason to think that everybody's going to be better off if we just build a lot more housing. There's no reason to believe that if we just let the market do its thing and let development happen, the housing problems for low-income housing would be solved."

    Leaders of San Francisco's YIMBY movement counter that they are pushing policies that make it easier for developers to build subsidized, affordable housing — not just market-rate homes. And without more building, they argue, rents will continue to soar.

    And only the very richest of the rich will be able to be landlords because nobody else will be able to purchase to rent.

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


  30.    It's time to call the housing crisis what it really is: the largest transfer of wealth in living memory – New thinking for the British economy

    We have known since the days of Adam Smith and David Ricardo that land is not a source of wealth but of economic rent — a means of extracting wealth from others.

    It's a simplistic view — a narrow context. It doesn't have to be that way. You don't have to hold your head down in shame simply because you own land. It depends upon what you do with it and/or your money (profit).

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


  31.    Big Insurers Brace for Perilous Future as Climate Risks Escalate

    It's taking the insurance industry at least a couple of years longer than I thought it would to grasp the urgency of the situation. The article helps explain why.

    "Climate change fundamentally challenges the existing insurance business model because it is rendering actuary analysis in many places obsolete."

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


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