Linking ≠ endorsement.
⇧ What most neighborhood activists don’t understand about real estate development | MinnPost
… he [Peter H. Brown] acknowledges that developers don’t have a pristine reputation. When teaching a class on real estate development at the Humphrey School, he invites students to shout out the terms that come to mind when they hear “real estate developer.”
The response flows so quickly that he has trouble writing them down: rip-off artists, greedy, bloodsuckers, rich white men, devils. Only after their contempt is spent does someone nervously offer terms like entrepreneur, visionary and risk taker.
During the panel discussion at Humphrey, Tom Fisher, who heads the Metropolitan Design Center, lamented that universities don’t do a better job embracing development as a profession.
“Our academic structure is misaligned with what you need to know to make cities,” Fisher said. “Planners are on one side of the river and the architects are on the other side of the river and the civil engineers don’t talk to either one, and the bankers are in the Carlson School. Why can’t universities structure universities in the way the world actually works?”
⇧ mainly macro: The financial crisis, austerity and the drift from the centre
During Labour’s astonishing leadership contest, Corbyn pitched his message solely against the background of the financial crash. At the beginning of each speech he proclaimed that the 2008 crisis was not caused by “firefighters, nurses, street cleaners, but by deregulation and sheer levels of greed”. As a climactic he declared: “I want a civilised society where everyone cares for everyone else. Enough of free market economics! Enough of being told austerity works!”
In contrast some Labour MPs
were thrilled when Labour’s acting leader Harriet Harman declared her support for Osborne’s proposed welfare cuts immediately after the party’s election defeat. They argued this was a sign of a ‘responsible’ opposition showing Labour had learned its lessons about being ‘profligate’ in the run-up to the 2008 crash. If those MPs had retained that early position, they would have been to the right of Duncan Smith – who resigned over welfare cuts – and to the right of those Conservative MPs who rebelled against the cuts to tax credits on the working poor last autumn.
One interesting question for me is how much the current situation has been magnified by austerity. If a larger fiscal stimulus had been put in place in 2009, and we had not shifted to austerity in 2010, would the political fragmentation we are now seeing have still occurred? If the answer is no, to what extent was austerity an inevitable political consequence of the financial crisis, or did it owe much more to opportunism by neoliberals on the right, using popular concern about the deficit as a means by which to achieve a smaller state? Why did we have austerity in this recession and not in earlier recessions? I think these are questions a lot more people on the right as well as the left should be asking.
“…to what extent was austerity an inevitable political consequence of the financial crisis, or did it owe much more to opportunism by neoliberals on the right, using popular concern about the deficit as a means by which to achieve a smaller state?” The latter, of course.
⇧ Money bags | The Economist
… Chinese firms with little international experience and lots of debt have emerged as the biggest buyers of global assets. They have announced nearly $100 billion in cross-border M&A deals this year, already more than their $61 billion of foreign acquisitions last year (see chart). … In recent years China has consistently accounted for less than a tenth of announced cross-border M&A deals; this year its share is nearly a third.
… Chinese banks see lending to Chinese firms abroad as a safe way of gaining more international exposure. The government has encouraged them to support foreign deals. As long as the firms to be acquired have strong cash flows, the banks are happy to lend against the targets’ balance-sheets, bringing debt to levels usually only seen in leveraged buy-outs.
… “You have to trust that the acquirer has become too big to fail,” says an M&A adviser.
⇧ Bernie Sanders predicts the Panama Papers in 2011 — free trade and corporate accountability – American Herald Tribune
… Senator and Democratic primary contender Bernie Sanders may very well have already come out ahead. In October 2011, Sanders criticized the Panama trade pact on the Senate floor.
“Panama’s entire annual economic output is only $26.7 billion a year, or about two-tenths of one percent of the U.S. economy. No one can legitimately make the claim that approving this free trade agreement will significantly increase American jobs.” Sanders then asks the Senate, “why would we be considering a standalone free trade agreement with Panama?”
The agreement in question, which was ultimately passed despite Sanders’ objections, is called The United States—Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA).
Sanders then answerd his own question in a haunting premonition of things to come: “Well it turns out that Panama is a world leader when it comes to allowing wealthy Americans and large corporations to evade U.S. taxes by stashing their cash in offshore tax havens; and the Panama free trade agreement will make this bad situation much worse. Each and every year, the wealthiest people in our country and the largest corporations evade about $100 billion in U.S. taxes through abusive and illegal offshore tax havens in Panama and other countries…”
The D.C.-based progressive think tank Citizens for Tax Justice proclaims “that tax haven use is ubiquitous among America’s largest companies,” citing its volumes of research.
In 2014, Fortune 500 companies held more than $2.1 trillion in accumulated profits offshore in order to evade taxes.
Hillary Clinton, Sanders’ opponent in the Democratic primary, argued vehemently for the TPA in 2011.
“The Free Trade Agreements passed by Congress tonight will make it easier for American companies to sell their products to South Korea, Colombia and Panama, which will create jobs here at home,” part of Clinton’s 13 October, 2011 statement read.
Strangely enough, her full statement no longe r exists on the State Department’s website.
Sanders has opposed all free trade agreements in recent memory, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Clinton has supported them and even criticized Sanders for his lack of support.
⇧ David Cameron left dangerously exposed by Panama Papers fallout | News | The Guardian
David Cameron appears to be ducking the issue by providing non-answers as to whether David (and his family) will benefit in the future from his late father’s offshored holdings. (More on this below)
⇧ Already Own 4 Investment Properties? Financing Available for More
Prior to 2009 investors that wanted to finance more than 4 investment properties at a time were limited by conventional loan guidelines. This meant that they either had to seek out owner-held financing or use subprime alternatives for buying and holding properties. However, lending regulations changed in 2009 allowing investors to have as many as 10 investment homes under mortgage. Here are some of the highlights of the program and how to increase your investment portfolio.
⇧ Non-Negotiable Knowledge to Have BEFORE Buying Rental Properties
Non-Negotiable Knowledge You Should Have Before Investing in a Rental Property
I put the word “should” in the title because I certainly can’t force you to have any or all of this knowledge before diving into a rental property, but I definitely think you should not consider going forward on a property without knowing at least something about these things.
I strongly disagree with the tax advice.
I’ve quizzed CPA’s (advertised as RE experts) on real-estate taxes and found them wanting.
If you don’t know anything about RE taxes, how are you going to know whether your RE-tax expert really is an RE-tax expert? Well, you could rely upon a recommendation from a seasoned RE investor, but it never, never hurts to know about the tax benefits. They are part of your number crunching for investing, and you can keep your accountant “honest” and on his or her toes.
⇧ My Sad Tale of a Deal-Gone-Bad, and an Important Lesson
We trusted the wrong people because we felt that they had a good grasp on what they were doing. We were convinced they understood that numbers are important, that timelines are important and that getting permits in a timely manner from the city is important. But unfortunately, they hadn’t really done that before, though we were led to believe they had.
And, boy, did that cost us.
What I hear there is a lack of contract administration. I was a contract administrator in a former life.
⇧ Construction Job Openings Rise to 107-Month High | Builder Magazine | Job-Costing, Index/Indices
Construction job openings continued to rise to a 107-month high, with a rate of 2.8% in February, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Tuesday morning.
We need to be training more people.
⇧ British banks at heart of Panama tax-haven leaks | Business News | Business | London Evening Standard
When they published the first wave of articles on the “Panama Papers,” you would have thought Putin was the ring leader for all the coverage he was getting over it. Nearly every major mainstream media outlet led with his photo, as if he is center stage in this whole thing, though his name apparently appears nowhere in the “Papers.”
Well, after that wave of deliberate propaganda, the names of entities that are directly linked have been being dribbling out with a promise of much more to come, including revelations about the US connections.
We’ve already seen how some US real estate notables have been named.
We shall see what happens.
Anyway, here’s news about British banks. We just saw David Cameron’s connection he doesn’t want to answer concerning (at least not as of the date of that linked article).
⇧ Revealed: the tycoons and world leaders who built secret UK property empires | News | The Guardian
Owning UK property through offshore companies is perfectly legal. However in some parts of the country, particularly in London, the use of offshore companies to purchase properties as investment assets rather than homes has helped fuel house price inflation.
Transparency campaigners have warned the secrecy of such arrangements can enable large sums of black money to be laundered through the property market. A senior National Crime Agency director warned last year that the capital’s housing market had been “skewed by laundered money”.
The British government recently launched a consultation into whether to force offshore property owners to disclose their identities after David Cameron expressed concern that UK properties “are being bought by people overseas through anonymous shell companies, some with plundered or laundered cash”.
⇧ Dovish Minutes – Tim Duy’s Fed Watch
… some other participants judged that the economy had not yet reached maximum employment. They noted several indicators other than the unemployment rate that pointed to remaining underutilization of labor resources; these indicators included the still-high rate of involuntary part-time employment and the low level of the employment-to-population ratio for prime-age workers. The surprisingly limited extent to which aggregate data indicated upward pressure on wage growth also suggested some remaining slack in labor markets.
The winter turmoil made the asymmetric risks all-too-real. They need to allow the economy to run hot to justify sufficient rate hikes to drive a wedge between policy and the zero bound. They need to make a choice: Risk inflation, or risk returning to the zero bound? They are coming around to seeing the former as a less costly risk as the latter.
… they will need to tolerate some overshooting to avoid cutting the recovery off at the knees. It will still be about the balance of risks until interest rates are much higher.
Smell the coffee.
⇧ What Real Estate Investors Can Learn from Keller Williams’ Systematic Approach
It’s best to view your business as a series of systems. There should be a how-to manual of sorts (not necessarily written down, although that’s good, too) for each major activity, be it marketing, selling, leasing, maintenance, rehab, financing, etc. These systems save valuable time and mental energy to be used on that creativity that rests atop your model versus wasting it on just trying to get through the day. They also allow you to replicate yourself so you can focus on higher level problems and opportunities.
This is the approach that Keller Williams took, and given their success, it should be apparent that such a systematic approach is also a successful approach.
⇧ How network effects hurt economies | MIT News
…for every dollar of value-added growth lost in the manufacturing industries because of competition from China, six dollars of value-added growth were lost in the U.S. economy as a whole.
… Proponents of government investment, such as the so-called stimulus bill of 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, have contended that government spending creates a “multiplier effect” in terms of growth. Opponents of such legislation sometimes assert that government spending crowds out private investment and thus does not generate more growth than would otherwise occur. In theory, a more granular understanding of these network effects could help describe and define what a multiplier effect is, and in which industrial areas it may be the most pronounced.
⇧ Apartment Fire in West Virginia Displaces 100 Residents
Fire officials have confirmed that smoke detectors inside a Huntington apartment complex didn’t go off when the building caught fire ….
⇧ The Emerged Hail Risk: What the Hail is Still Going on and Getting Worse?
Unless you work in the insurance industry, you typically won’t see articles such as this one.
Before you read it, let me say that there are plenty of lawyers, contractors, adjusters, and others who will have nothing to do with this sort of thing.
Also, while it is illegal for me to disparage the insurance industry, no industry is perfect, as the article rightly points out.
You should have insurance. You should file claims when doing so is the most cost-effective approach to the particular loss or losses. It is not cost-effective to drive up premium rates by working with scam artists, such as those described in this “insiders'” article.
The hail risk has emerged. The attack continues. And there is no balance. The scales are tipped far in favor of the assorted crooks and frauds.
⇧ US shuts door on tax inversions | Lex – YouTube
Lex’s Alan Livsey and Giles Wilkes discuss the decision by the US Treasury to remove the benefit of shifting a company’s tax residence abroad, and how this will affect the recent deal between pharmaceutical companies Allergan and Pfizer.
⇧ The Daily Shot; April 8 – Global Macro Currents
Now let’s look at the credit markets in the US where some 28% of all US consumer debt (~$1 trillion) is currently held directly by the federal government. Yes, these are student loans.
Next, consider the fact that (according to the Wall Street Journal) “more than 40% of student-loan borrowers aren’t making payments”. This is not going to end well.
Credit card balances in the US are now growing at 5.7% per year; much faster than wages.
Next, we have the auto loan balances in the US.
And here is the breakdown of prime vs. subprime auto ABS over time (asset-backed securities collateralized by auto loans).
Source: Morgan Stanley
⇧ LiftMaster® Provides Security and Safety Recommendations for Gated Communities
To ensure residents are as safe as possible, Underwriters Laboratories (a global independent safety science company dedicated to promoting safe living and working environments) has updated its safety standards for automatic gates, known as UL 325. The new 2016 standards require that in addition to safety devices such as photo eyes and/or sensing edges, gate operators bearing the UL Label must stop working if the safety devices are not functioning properly.
⇧ Extreme Wealth is Not Merited | Oxfam International
Inheritance aside, talent, effort, and risk-taking are necessary to become extremely rich. But monopoly skews the returns to talent, effort, and risk-taking. According to meritocracy, people who benefit from the various market failures discussed in this paper should be rich, but not as much as they are. In some cases, network externalities have generated wealth for a few individuals 10,000 times as high as the wealth that other gifted individuals could expect.
Cronyism and inheritance alone (the first three criteria alone) account for 50 percent of the world’s billionaire wealth.
Moreover, 100 percent of billionaire wealth has benefited from globalization, economic growth, and population growth, which boost extreme wealth over time regardless of individuals’ actions.
⇧ The Case for a Grand Bargain | International Selection Comment | Finanz und Wirtschaft
In effect, Japan, the Euro Area and China would all like weaker currencies to boost inflation and growth, but insofar as they are moving in the same direction they can’t all weaken their currencies against one another. In principle, they can all weaken their currencies against the dollar, but the Fed will resist further strengthening of the greenback, which has already created significant headwinds for U.S. economic growth. It will do so by delaying additional interest-rate normalization or even reversing direction and cutting rates if the U.S. economy weakens further.
… First, there would have to be a reassertion of non-ideological economic common sense in U.S. and German policy making circles. One doesn’t have to be a Keynesian to believe that record low interest rates in both countries create a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for infrastructure spending or to acknowledge that there are aspects of public infrastructure in both countries desperately in need of repair.
Skeptics will say that I am a dreamer for imagining this grand bargain. But the alternative to this dream is an ongoing economic nightmare.
⇧ Entergy Agrees to Review Fire Safety at Reactors After Probe – Bloomberg
Contract workers at Entergy’s Waterford 3 nuclear power plant in Louisiana falsified reports showing they had performed fire inspections that never occurred between July 2013 and April 2014, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
⇧ Officials Caution Tennessee Residents of E. Coli From Sewage Spill
Environmental officials in Tennessee are advising the public not to come in contact with water … where a broken sewer line has resulted in “an extremely high level of E. coli.”
⇧ New Jersey Gov. Adds $10M to State’s Lead Cleanup Efforts
… chunk of New Jersey’s housing stock pre-dates a 1978 ban on lead paint. In 2003, about a million homes statewide, many of them in low-income areas, posed a risk of lead poisoning ….
⇧ U.S. Storms in March Will Cost Insurers $2 Billion: Aon Benfield’s Cat Report
Insurers face a $2.0 billion bill following seven severe storm events across multiple states in March, according to Impact Forecasting ….
⇧ Climate and Health Assessment | Climate and Health Assessment
1. Climate Change & Human Health
3. Air Quality Impacts
4. Extreme Events
5. Vector-Borne Diseases
6. Water-Related Illness
7. Food Safety
8. Mental Health
9. Populations of Concern
A1. Technical Support Document
A2. Process for Literature Review
A3. Report Development Process
A4. Documenting Uncertainty
A5. Glossary and Acronyms
Climate change is a significant threat to the health of the American people. The impacts of human-induced climate change are increasing nationwide. Rising greenhouse gas concentrations result in increases in temperature, changes in precipitation, increases in the frequency and intensity of some extreme weather events, and rising sea levels. These climate change impacts endanger our health by affecting our food and water sources, the air we breathe, the weather we experience, and our interactions with the built and natural environments. As the climate continues to change, the risks to human health continue to grow.
Current and future climate impacts expose more people in more places to public health threats. Already in the United States, we have observed climate-related increases in our exposure to elevated temperatures; more frequent, severe, or longer-lasting extreme events; degraded air quality; diseases transmitted through food, water, and disease vectors (such as ticks and mosquitoes); and stresses to our mental health and well-being. Almost all of these threats are expected to worsen with continued climate change. Some of these health threats will occur over longer time periods, or at unprecedented times of the year; some people will be exposed to threats not previously experienced in their locations. Overall, instances of potentially beneficial health impacts of climate change are limited in number and pertain to specific regions or populations. For example, the reduction in cold-related deaths is projected to be smaller than the increase in heat-related deaths in most regions.
Every American is vulnerable to the health impacts associated with climate change. Increased exposure to multiple health threats, together with changes in sensitivity and the ability to adapt to those threats, increases a person’s vulnerability to climate-related health effects. The impacts of climate change on human health interact with underlying health, demographic, and socioeconomic factors. Through the combined influence of these factors, climate change exacerbates some existing health threats and creates new public health challenges. While all Americans are at risk, some populations are disproportionately vulnerable, including those with low income, some communities of color, immigrant groups (including those with limited English proficiency), Indigenous peoples, children and pregnant women, older adults, vulnerable occupational groups, persons with disabilities, and persons with preexisting or chronic medical conditions.
In recent years, scientific understanding of how climate change increases risks to human health has advanced significantly. Even so, the ability to evaluate, monitor, and project health effects varies across climate impacts. For instance, information on health outcomes differ in terms of whether complete, long-term datasets exist that allow quantification of observed changes, and whether existing models can project impacts at the timescales and geographic scales of interest. Differences also exist in the metrics available for observing or projecting different health impacts. For some health impacts, the available metrics only describe changes in risk of exposure, while for others, metrics describe changes in actual health outcomes (such as the number of new cases of a disease or an increase in deaths).
This assessment strengthens and expands our understanding of climate-related health i mpacts by providing a more definitive description of climate-related health burdens in the United States. It builds on the 2014 National Climate Assessment1 and reviews and synthesizes key contributions to the published literature. Acknowledging the rising demand for data that can be used to characterize how climate change affects health, this report assesses recent analyses that quantify observed and projected health impacts. Each chapter characterizes the strength of the scientific evidence for a given climate—health exposure pathway or “link” in the causal chain between a climate change impact and its associated health outcome. This assessment’s findings represent an improvement in scientific confidence in the link between climate change and a broad range of threats to public health, while recognizing populations of concern and identifying emerging issues. These considerations provide the context for understanding Americans’ changing health risks and allow us to identify, project, and respond to future climate change health threats. The overall findings underscore the significance of the growing risk climate change poses to human health in the United States.
⇧ Handouts Are Often Better Than a Hand Up – The New York Times
On average, children in poverty have lower I.Q. scores than their wealthier peers. Recent research has made it clear that just the stress of growing up in a poor family can be toxic to the growing brain.
… in 2011, 1.5 million families with children lived on $2 per person a day. Though food stamps help ease the burden, they are inadequate. To survive, these families depend on food banks, collect aluminum cans for refunds, do the occasional odd job and live in crowded, unsafe quarters.
Per-child cash allowances may have the greatest impact. They do not change if you find work; they are generally larger than standard welfare payments; and they don’t have eligibility requirements.
… A per-child allowance of $2,500 a year for kids under 6 (leaving the child tax credit intact) would raise more than three million poor children out of poverty. Its annual cost, the researchers estimate, would be $17.7 billion.
Why not just expand the child tax credit? That’s a good idea and perhaps more politically practicable. But the Columbia research shows that a dollar spent on cash allowances reduces child poverty more than the equivalent increase in the tax credit because the benefits reach the very poorest families, who don’t qualify for the tax credit. We should supplement new cash allowances with new jobs programs, but direct cash payments to parents is a widely tested and powerful weapon to combat the poverty that afflicts so many right now.
⇧ Sanders Over the Edge – The New York Times
Does Paul Krugman really believe that breaking up the mega-banks is solely about the 2008 crash? Does he not understand the raw power of their size and that it led to political power where those banks lobbied hard for deregulation that did cause the crash, regardless of whether some smaller fish also rode that deregulation wave?
Who’s Goldman Sachs? They were an investment bank that was turned into a commercial bank nearly overnight and against regulations. Why? To protect them, of course.
What are the mega-banks now? They are investment banks inside the shells of commercial banks. Why leave them that way while taxpayers will be on the hook for FDIC in the event of another “too big to fail” downturn.
I’m tired of dealing with Paul’s attempted character assassinations of Bernie Sanders. Bernie is ethical. He doesn’t need defending on that level.
⇧ How I’m Interviewing My 1st Property Management Company [Video!]
… we are expanding our portfolio to areas where managing ourselves is not possible. We currently have a 49-unit building under contract located two hours from our office. We are really excited about the opportunity, but it puts a task on our plate for the first time — having to hire a property manager.
Would you have considered hiring a live-in manager for 49 units? I would have. In fact, at just two hours away, I would probably have kept the management in-house and simply hired an accredited, live-in manager (couple).
⇧ The Problem With Hillary Clinton Isn’t Just Her Corporate Cash. It’s Her Corporate Worldview. | The Nation
Let’s assume that Paul Krugman doesn’t agree with Naomi Klein.
During this period, the investigation found, Clinton’s State Department approved the Alberta Clipper, a controversial pipeline carrying large amounts of tar-sands bitumen from Alberta to Wisconsin. “According to federal lobbying records reviewed by the IBT,” write David Sirota and Ned Resnikoff, “Chevron and ConocoPhillips both lobbied the State Department specifically on the issue of ‘oil sands’ in the immediate months prior to the department’s approval, as did a trade association funded by ExxonMobil.”
Did the donations to the Clinton Foundation have anything to do with the State Department’s pipeline decision? Did they make Hillary Clinton more disposed to seeing tar-sands pipelines as environmentally benign, as early State Department reviews of Keystone XL seemed to conclude, despite the many scientific warnings? There is no proof—no “smoking gun,” as Clinton defenders like to say. Just as there is no proof that the money her campaign took from gas lobbyists and fracking financiers has shaped Clinton’s current (and dangerous) view that fracking can be made safe.
… it’s very good that the Sanders camp isn’t abiding by Krugman’s “guidelines for good behavior” and shutting up about the money in a year when climate change has contributed to the hottest temperatures since records began. This primary isn’t over, and Democratic voters need and deserve to know all they can before they make a choice we will all have to live with for a very long time.
… At a bare minimum, it requires a willingness to go head-to-head with the two most powerful industries on the planet—fossil-fuel companies and the banks that finance them. Hillary Clinton is uniquely unsuited to this epic task.
While Clinton is great at warring with Republicans, taking on powerful corporations goes against her entire worldview, against everything she’s built, and everything she stands for. The real issu e, in other words, isn’t Clinton’s corporate cash, it’s her deeply pro-corporate ideology: one that makes taking money from lobbyists and accepting exorbitant speech fees from banks seem so natural that the candidate is openly struggling to see why any of this has blown up at all.
If the next president wastes any more time with these schemes, the climate clock will run out, plain and simple. If we’re to have any hope of avoiding catastrophe, action needs to be unprecedented in its speed and scope. If designed properly, the transition to a post-carbon economy can deliver a great many “wins”: not just a safer future, but huge numbers of well-paying jobs; improved and affordable public transit; more liveable cities; as well as racial and environmental justice for the communities on the frontlines of dirty extraction.
Bernie Sanders’s campaign is built around precisely this logic: not the rich being stroked for a little more noblesse oblige, but ordinary citizens banding together to challenge them, winning tough regulations, and creating a much fairer system as a result.
⇧ European Bankers Step Down as Panama Papers Pile on Pressure – Bloomberg
I just want to remind readers of “All Putin’s Men: Secret Records Reveal Money Network Tied to Russian Leader · ICIJ” ( https://propertypak.com/2016/04/05/news- real-estate-risk-economics-apr-6-2016/#0 4061637 ) wherein, the ICIJ cited Credit Suisse in the ICIJ’s hit piece on Putin. Please note that Credit Suisse is one of the banks that steered customers to Mossack Fonseca. Ironic, much?
European regulators pressed the region’s banks for details of their offshore business dealings, as two senior bankers resigned over allegations arising from the Panama document leak.
⇧ Why two-thirds of real estate investors will spend more in 2016
… The majority of real estate investors now believe the market will either “moderately” improve or remain “about the same” over the coming months. …
…KPMG’s report found that 71 percent of investors expect to increase their purchasing activity by up to 5 percent, with more than one-third projecting increases of more than 10 percent.
⇧ Will the Bank of England, together with the treasury now dampen Buy to Let for good? –
In my view the FCA is correct that “some lenders are applying standards that are somewhat weaker than those prevailing in the market as a whole.” Some brokers and specialist lenders truly understand why BTL [Buy To Let/Rent Out] works and why it fails. Many lending on BTL though haven’t been trained on lending as an ‘investment’. They don’t know to ask about the impact of taxation taking on another BTL may have on an investor eg losing all their child benefit payments, they don’t insist on properties being bought in the correct legal way or ensure landlords are protected financially. Neither do they do any checks to ensure the property will be let legally or even that the landlord has the appropriate landlord insurance.
⇧ Bernie Sanders: JPMorgan and GE are destroying the fabric of America
Sanders added that he believes that “to a significant degree” Wall Street’s business model is “fraud.” He pointed to the pre-crisis practice of bundling toxic mortgages with good ones and selling those securities to investors.
But since smaller entities were also involved as originators, Paul Krugman thinks Bernie is not only unethical but just wrong that the biggest banks should be broken up.
⇧ Big boost in Milwaukee’s multifamily market? Credit Baby Boomers | REJournals.com
Baby Boomers looking to downsize are helping to fuel the activity in Milwaukee’s multifamily market, according to the latest research from Marcus & Millichap. Marcus & Millichap’s first quarter multifamily report for the Milwaukee area says that a growing number of Baby Boomers are selling their single-family homes and searching for rental properties in and around the center of Milwaukee.
⇧ The Distribution of Apartment Rental Rates and Increasing Skew – MPF Research
There certainly hasn’t been a shortage of articles highlighting how remarkably strong apartment rent growth has been during this current cycle. … Although some of the gains in the earlier portion of the cycle were just recovering lost ground from the recession, the sustained growth and recent acceleration has led some to question the sustainability of this trend and the point at which operators will struggle to find tenants who can afford these rental rate increases.
It is important to consider that the current building spree of multifamily product really hasn’t begun to overwhelmingly change the housing stock. So, there is still a lot of affordable rental product in the market right now.
⇧ How David Cameron’s father stashed a fortune in Jersey | Daily Mail Online
David Cameron was rocked by fresh questions about his tax affairs yesterday as new details emerged about assets in an offshore tax haven that his father left in his will.
And the Prime Minister faced further embarrassment when it emerged that he intervened personally three years ago to water down an EU bid to reveal the beneficiaries of trusts.
Number 10, which has been forced on to the back foot over revelations in the so-called ‘Panama Papers’, said: ‘There are no offshore funds or trusts which the Prime Minister, Mrs Cameron or their children will benefit from in future.’
But the effort was undermined within hours when it emerged that his late father Ian left unspecified assets in the tax haven of Jersey where he had helped run a multi-million pound investment fund.
Shortly before his death the former stockbroker personally owned more than 6,000 shares in a Jersey fund he helped to manage, known by various names including the Close International Equity Growth Fund.
The assets in Jersey were left to the Prime Minister’s mother Mary in 2010, leaving open the possibility that Mr Cameron could eventually benefit from it in the form of an inheritance.
It was in 2012, after Ian Cameron’s death in 2010, that Blairmore, now valued at £21 million, was moved to Ireland. A source close to the firm told The Daily Telegraph it was moved as directors thought it was about to ‘come under more scrutiny’.
… the move to Ireland was made in the very month Cameron, who was by then Prime Minister, described tax avoidance schemes as ‘morally irresponsible’.
In June 2012 he vowed a crack down after it emerged celebrities including Jimmy Carr and Gary Barlow had used the K2 tax avoidance schemes.
He said at the time: ‘People work hard, they pay their taxes, they save up to go to one of his [Jimmy Carr’s] shows. They buy the tickets. He is taking the money from those tickets and he, as far as I can see, is puttin g all of that into some very dodgy tax avoiding schemes.
‘That is wrong. There is nothing with people planning their tax affairs to invest in their pension and plan for their retirement – that sort of tax management is fine. But some of these schemes we have seen are quite frankly morally wrong.’
⇧ Britain suffers biggest downturn in productivity since the financial crisis | Business News | News | The Independent
Britain has lurched further into its national productivity crisis, with hourly output at the end of last year registering its biggest quarterly fall since the 2008 financial crisis.
Productivity, the crucial statistical metric that underpins overall economic growth and sustainable increases in national living standards, fell by 1.2 per cent in the three months to December, the Office for National Statistics has confirmed.
That was the most severe fall since the final quarter of 2008, when the UK was in the grip of its most brutal economic downturn since the end of the Second World War.
… Yet under the Government’s plans, public sector net investment — a proxy for public infrastructure spending – is set to fall to just 1.5 per cent of GDP by 2019-20, down from 1.8 per cent currently and well below the 3.4 per cent rate from when George Osborne came into office in 2010.
⇧ Why the ECB should give money directly to People (Eric Lonergan) – YouTube
Macro-fund manager and economist Eric Lonergan argues that the European Central Bank should distribute money to all residents as an alternative to QE. According to Lonergan this is legally and technically possible in the eurozone.
I have made clear that in my view, negative-interest rates and other measures are a far distant second choice to People’s QE.
⇧ California housing market ranked nation’s 8th healthiest – The Orange County Register
California housing started 2016 as the nation’s eighth healthiest market and in the best shape it’s been in eight years, according to a novel real estate index.