Linking ≠ endorsement.
⇧ U.S.-Backed Clean Coal Project Hits Milestone, Utility Says – Bloomberg
… gasify coal and capture carbon dioxide emissions before they are released into the atmosphere ….
You don’t hear much about this. Did they do a smaller pilot project? If so, I never heard about it. Why spend so much if it’s not proven?
More importantly, why do it if there are better options, which there are?
Answer: There are people who stand to make money off the existing coal industry infrastructure: mining, transportation, etc.
I would be surprised if environmentalism is high on their list of priorities.
⇧ Waiting to Take Social Security
I will definitely be waiting until I’m 70. Plus, I do not plan to retire. I will work as long as possible. How about you?
⇧ What Is 5G? | PCMag.com
I include this because so many apartments and houses are now wired. Will that become completely obsolete? If so how quickly? The point concerns whether to undertake a wiring project now or simply wait to see what happens in wireless.
Here’s another thing to think about. What are the health impacts of all this technology around us and through us?
Oh, and wireless appears to still be more susceptible to hacking. How long will that last?
Plenty of apartment complexes are offering free wireless even now.
⇧ CRA leak about crackdown on B.C. real estate tax cheats heats debate – British Columbia – CBC News
Does a high percentage of high-value properties owned by people reporting low incomes equal a high likelihood of tax cheating?
⇧ Real estate group looks to spruce up downtown – StamfordAdvocate
As a landlord or manager, do you participate in civic discussions and decisions concerning upkeep of public and private property and infrastructure including appearance?
⇧ Utility clean energy rankings reveal ‘unprecedented shift’ in power sector paradigms | Utility Dive
Again, why gasify coal?
⇧ “We must tackle the housing crisis” — Lords Economic Affairs Committee | News | WhatHouse
Why is the House of Lords more progressive than the Commons?
⇧ George Osborne’s austerity choked off the recovery: Brexit is his legacy | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian
This is scathing but accurate. It supports the article’s title.
⇧ Anti-development Measure ‘LUVE’ Officially Lands on Santa Monica’s November Ballot – Curbed LA
Either we build up, down, out, or stop growing, as in population control.
⇧ Three-quarters of newspaper stories about Jeremy Corbyn fail to accurately report his views, LSE study finds | UK Politics | News | The Independent
No truth, no democracy. Real democracy requires transparency. We can’t have transparency if media is corporate-owned and those corporations are anti-truth.
Of course, they know that. It’s why they hate Jeremy Corbyn in the first place. They want a system where they filter what gets to the electorate. They don’t want transparency where the truth gets through to the voters because fully informed voters would vote against those corporations.
Not all corporations are anti-democracy, but the majority are.
⇧ Tenth Amendment Center | Judicial Supremacy: How Did this Far-Fetched Claim Originate?
I’ve known this since I was a young boy.
This issue isn’t whether or not it’s true. The issue is whether or not the executive (President) will enforce the decisions of the Supreme Court.
Presidents have been doing that. Everyone in the federal government that the President tells to enforce the Supreme Court’s decisions appears to go right along with that.
State governments end up going along with it too, one way or another.
How far could the Supreme Court go before enough people would refuse?
The Court changes with public opinion, and public opinion is changed by the Court.
It isn’t, however, democracy.
⇧ An expert on fighting poverty makes the case against a universal basic income – Vox
“Greenstein argued that adding a basic income on top of the existing safety net would require tax increases ….”
He’s completely wrong. Monetary financing rather than issuing bonds or increasing taxes would work perfectly well. His entire argument is based upon a huge gap in his knowledge and understanding of money creation.
We need to put to rest his argument before the debate gets framed by the corporate media.
⇧ ANALYSIS: Turkey watches death throes of a faction facing its end | Middle East Eye
I don’t have faith in the way Erdogan will handle this. He’s been awfully erratic. He showed promise at first. Then he swung way over to hyper-reactionary pronouncements and actions. Recently, he had been showing that he wanted to mend some of the damage with Israel and Russia (interesting combination that). Now he’s being hyperbolic about these likely anti-sharia military officers who wanted Erdogan out before Erdogan could purge them after solidifying himself as semi-official dictator (as President).
The “West” will have no choice but to deal with him, but he’s managed to get Turkey further and further away from becoming a member of the EU.
If he keeps it up, he may find himself the target of a US-led regime-change effort against him. It’s that serious.
Merkel and Putin must be shaking their heads at how problematic Erdogan has become.
Obama won’t be in office long enough to really do anything lasting. It will be up to the next President to set the new tone toward Erdogan if Erdogan doesn’t get assassinated first.
To all democrats out there praising the people of Turkey for putting down the coup as being undemocratic, just remember that Erdogan is becoming more and more undemocratic and wants to install sharia with himself as dictator (possibly dictator for life).
⇧ 5 Steps to Fix Clogged Pipes & Drains in Your Rentals
This is a pretty good overview.
Tip: If you’re a novice and take something apart that breaks while doing that, save the broken parts to take with you to the hardware store to match with your new replacements.
⇧ China’s Q2 GDP Growth Stable at 6.7 PCT YOY
China’s GDP grew at 6.7 percent year on year in the second quarter of 2016, at least officially. However, most analysts don’t believe the official figures.
I certainly don’t.
That said, China is making some dramatic and right moves on a few fronts. They’ve cut way back on planned coal-fired energy plants and lead the world by a rather significant percentage in the rapid adoption of electric vehicles.
⇧ Data Dump – Tim Duy’s Fed Watch
Tim’s a contrarian right now, as am I. I’ve been saying that I see a slowdown even in the face of all the rah-rah in the mainstream business/financial media.
… the doves should keep a focus on PCE.
⇧ Seattle, King County and Puget Sound keep on growing – Curbed Seattle
Growing, growing, grown, when will it stop?
⇧ Expandable Modular Home System from Open Building Institute | Vision Launch
I love these sorts of projects; however, plan ahead. Check zoning and building-code requirements before embarking on a project that might otherwise run into approval nightmares.
If you’re really interested and if the standard zoning or coding presents obstacles, then submit an application for waivers. If you also hook up with some ecologically minded local politicians, you might end up being pleasantly surprised.
Standard insurance coverage typically doesn’t automatically fit this sort of project. That doesn’t mean you can’t get an underwriter to turn it into a pet project.
Politicians get bragging rights. Well, so do forward-thinking insurance companies with smart PR people. Am I cyber-lobbying? You bet.
Am I plugging this project for donations? No, I can’t go that far. I haven’t done the due diligence even for myself. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check them out.
⇧ Leak reveals secret tax crackdown on foreign-money real estate deals | Real Estate | Business in Vancouver
Crackdown time: This isn’t China.
The briefing text says the crackdown will “review the top 500 highest risk files within our region.
If they net a high percentage of fish, they’ll likely keep going until the audits are no longer cost-effective.
If Canada lets cheaters move in en masse, whether those cheaters are rich or not, they’ll likely cheat in other ways too. Of course, one must consider the degree of draconian practices in the places those cheats left. Some places simply become unbearable, and it’s at least more understandable and forgivable in those cases if the cheating won’t continue in the freer place.
⇧ LA Times – Some local landlords are retrofitting their properties before the next big earthquake
One way retrofitting is a money-saver is that it allows landlords to ditch earthquake insurance, Schultz added.
That’s not necessarily a good idea. This link might help you. It’s by California, but the thinking is still generally applicable: https://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/105-type/95-guides/03-res/eq-ins.cfm
⇧ Louis Proyect: Misusing German History to Scare Up Votes for Hillary Clinton | naked capitalism
Do you really understand the history that was the lead-up to Hitler coming to power?
This article discusses Donald Trump and Jill Stein relative to what happened in Germany.
The vast, vast majority of Americans never learn this stuff because if they were to, ….
Another decade or so of declining wages and cop killings of Black people might precipitate the rise of a left party that has learned to avoid the reformist stupidity of the German SP and the suicidal ultra-leftism of the Stalinists. It is highly likely that people like Harold Meyerson and Ted Glick will be as hostile to it as they are to Jill Stein’s campaign today. Despite their foolishness, we should soldier on to final victory. The fate of humanity rests on it.
By the way, the biggest problem with Stalinism is coercion. Democratic socialism is democratic, not any more coercive than the system we have now. In fact, I’d say much less than laissez-faire capitalism could ever be, as it leads only to monopoly, whereas real democracy with its transparency, leads to cooperative prosperity, harmony, peace, a clean environment, and all the rest of the good.
⇧ Turkish Interior Ministry fires 9,000, detains others – The Washington Post [cached]
I think the following is the most important paragraph in the article:
Even before the weekend chaos, Turkey had been wracked by political turmoil that critics blamed on Erdogan’s increasingly heavy-handed rule. He has shaken up the government, cracked down on dissent, restricted the media and renewed fighting with Kurdish rebels.
Many people have been rushing to judgment in favor of Erdogan. However, Erdogan has been increasingly hostile to democracy.
Military coups that overthrow dictators so that democracy can be established or reestablished are far from coups that seek the reverse.
I do not trust Erdogan. My view is that he will do everything he can to use this coup attempt to only increase his personal grasp on power leading to his de facto dictatorship at the complete expense of republican government and, more importantly, real democracy.
⇧ After Nice, France Grapples With How to Combat Terrorism
The degree to which attacks are a direct consequence of foreign policy and constitute blowback is subject to debate. There can be no doubt that US and NATO foreign policy has not been good and has resulted in blowback that would not have occurred otherwise.
Regardless, the fact remains that militant jihadis are at war against everyone who is not with them. Those jihadis consider it a holy war against all infidels, including others who profess Islam but happen to subscribe to a different interpretation.
Individuals are increasingly heeding the call by IS to attack “infidels” everywhere not to terrorize, per se, but to “kill the enemy.”
“Terrorism” is a term in insurance, and there is such a thing as terrorism coverage. However, acts of war are not covered. You can see how this situation is unfolding in a way that directly impacts upon the insurance industry and insureds.
⇧ Black Lives Matter note found near firebombed police cruiser, authorities say – The Washington Post
As of this writing, I don’t know any more about this than what’s in this article. I only include it because militant jihadi and Black Lives Matter could easily overlap concerning some who turn destructive or violent. I don’t include it to make any statement for or against the BLM Movement, per se. I will say openly here that I definitely believe that Black lives do matter and matter every bit as much as White or other lives.
So, I mentioned terrorism insurance above. What happens when the lines between acts of war, terrorism, riots, and civil commotions blur? It can certainly make claims processing and handling much more difficult.
Riots and/or civil commotion coverage is often available. If you’re interested, check your policy.
Look at the perils insured against and at exclusions. Check for any extended-coverage premium on the declaration page. You really have to exhaust the policy before being sure. You have to look to see if anything cancels out anything else.
⇧ Homebuilder sentiment falls 1 point in July; still seeing ‘scattered softness’: NAHB
“We are still hearing reports from our members of scattered softness in some markets, due largely to regulatory constraints and shortages of lots and labor,” said association Chairman Ed Brady, a homebuilder and developer from Bloomington, Illinois.
Regardless, they’re still targeting the upper-middle class and above because the economy is still way too weak and poorly designed to boost the middle and lower classes.
⇧ Wisconsin housing market rebounds to pre-recession levels – Milwaukee – Milwaukee Business Journal
June’s home sales hit the highest level since 2005.
“We’re not just getting back to normal; we’re defining a new normal,” says RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist.
… plus jobs and wages are also coming back, bringing buyers back to a lot of American cities.
The economy is still very, very slow.
Nevertheless, finding highly profitable income-housing investments is much harder now.
⇧ Panama Papers: Argentina probes ties between ex-presidents, Miami real estate empire | Miami Herald
Concerned about their safety and privacy, foreign buyers often keep their names out of public records in the United States, even if they have violated no laws. It is possible Todisco was dealing on behalf of a legitimate but publicity-shy investor.
“Real estate is the major open territory for criminals, corrupt public officials and money launderers,” …. “The rewards are too great and the risks of being caught are too low.”
⇧ The 5 Lead Sources I Used to Find My 5 Latest Real Estate Deals
Yes, things are getting tight.
⇧ Tips & Tricks From an Attorney: Here’s How I’d Protect My Real Estate Assets
The elephant in the room usually regards when the LLC isn’t effective and the court says you have “pierced the corporate veil.” I don’t care about piercing the corporate veil. I anticipate that as a possibility when I use an operating shell LLC. Even if the court were to “pierce the veil” of my operating shell LLC, the worst case scenarios is that they can attack me personally. Guess what? I don’t own anything; my separate asset holding LLC does.
Rich people don’t own assets, and their operating shell LLCs don’t own assets, either. Under this type of legal strategy, even if they are able to pull every legal trick, the worst thing that someone can do is harm a credit score.
He said that. I didn’t.
Here’s what I will say. Never use this sort of set up to avoid doing the ethical thing.
By the way, I would never rent from anyone who hides the owner’s identity either. There are jurisdictions (states) in the US that help owners hide who they are. Most say that it’s to protect the owner from frivolous lawsuits and nuisance complaints. Most such landlords have management firms running their properties. Is it really worth it to hide?
I’m not suggesting that those who do are all up to no good.
⇧ Academics and civil society clash on money — Prime Economics
This fails to express the real argument. The real debate is over democracy versus capitalism.
I’m not, nor have I ever been, an advocate of “full-reserve banking” as some standalone cure for anything. I have only ever dealt with it in the context of the democratization of the economy, concerning which, my own proposals went and still go way, way beyond the Chicago Plan, which is quaint and could never fulfill the needs of modern society.
The monetary authority needs to be an opensource computer-program developed democratically.
There should be only one bank in the US: the US Treasury.
⇧ Apartment Storage Tips — Where to Look for Extra Space in Your Home | Brownstoner
The first thing I think about concerning anything like this is, who’s going to dust all of it?
⇧ Cameron’s housing legacy was a glut of luxury apartments — Theresa May must clean up ?the mess | Society | The Guardian
It’s a testament to the incoherence of Cameron/Osborne that, despite a massive monetary stimulus into the housing market, and very generous handouts of government land to private builders, they produced a glut of luxury apartments and a shortage of homes for working people.
⇧ China Blowup New Phase; Govt Helps Private Firms – ValueWalk
The last several days saw the release of the usual slue of monthly and quarterly economic stats out of China, which were mostly met with applause from the financial punditry as headline numbers beat expectations. A look under the hood, however, reveals quite a different story. The composition of growth in China again markedly deteriorated in the second quarter as did the debt dynamics. It appears the government is making every effort to prop up the slowing economy at any cost and with lower and lower marginal returns. The technical term is “pushing on a string”.
⇧ A Travesty of Financial History — which bank lobbyists will applaud – New Economic PerspectivesNew Economic Perspectives
If you leave out the completely superfluous argument about “money” as inherent debt, this article by Michael Hudson is excellent.
Let me point out that money as debt versus money as commodity ignores money created without debt issuance (no bonds) and the People not being subjected to taxes, which is completely doable.
Both interest and taxes can be completely eliminated under a fully democratized, highly dynamic economy. How long will it take for economists, including the Post-Keynesians, to realize that?
⇧ [Keynes was a socialist. Did you know that?] James Crotty and the Responsibilities of the Heterodox
The reason why I never considered Keynes a socialist, and still don’t, is because he left private enterprise. I’m a stickler that way. What Keynes wasn’t even remotely close to was an anarcho-capitalist (someone who wants to do away with the state and have only the capitalist marketplace make all the decisions; no democracy whatsoever).
So, he leaned way over in the socialist direction but kept the mixed economy.
⇧ Core Inflation Rate Falls to 1.4 Percent if Shelter is Excluded | The Center for Economic and Policy Research
It’s obvious, but so many “experts” don’t get it:
While higher interest rates will in general be expected to dampen inflation by weakening the labor market and putting downward pressure on wages, this would not be the case with rents. Higher interest rates will slow construction and in this way make the shortage of housing worse. For this reason inflation caused by rising house costs would not be a good rationale for raising interest rates.
⇧ Federal Government Sues California Homeowner for $25M over Wildfire
Wow! Keep your property maintained or face the Feds.
… the lid of the plastic box containing wires was warped and ajar ….
I wonder what the defense will be.
⇧ Emergency Declared in Oklahoma After Severe Storms
… Fallin has declared a state of emergency for 35 Oklahoma counties following three days of severe storms, strong winds, tornadoes and flooding.
⇧ What’s Behind Turkey’s Coup & Purge?
To me, Turkey’s coup & purge looks (so far) like Kemalists with little relative CIA-involvement.
The linked article is Libertarianish.
⇧ Haverhill microburst confirmed after Monday storm damage – The Boston Globe
Severe thunderstorms on Monday carried microbursts through parts of northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, toppling trees and damaging homes with strong, vertical downwinds, meteorologists said.
⇧ LA Times – Sewage spill in L.A. grows to 1.5 million gallons and forces closure of beaches in Long Beach
The top of a sewer pipe collapsed, sending debris into the pipe and clogging it, according to a statement from the Department of Public Works. Sewage overflowed and reached the L.A. River, and headed toward Long Beach.
⇧ Three Mega-Trends Shaping Real Estate | GlobeSt.com
… trends: generation-specific housing, co-urbanism and cyber risk in real estate.
⇧ Will Dallas’ hot housing boom melt? D-FW, Austin rank among markets for concern | Dallas Morning News
Smoke is predicting that price increases in the 10 hot U.S. markets will slow or stop when buyers can no longer afford properties.
The problem with that is that as more and more buyers have not been able to afford to buy, prices have still gone up because builders simply built more expensive properties that the richer folks can afford to buy. Eventually, that would reach a maximum generally, but the trend could continue for quite a while.
So, when does the lack of affordable housing actually constitute a housing bubble?
As a percentage of the total population than used to be the case, for many people, prices are too high. They aren’t, however, too high for the rich. It’s a definitional issue. What’s a bubble?
⇧ McDonnell unveils £500bn investment plan to win over Brexit Britain | LabourList
“As well as our proposal for a National Investment Bank, we would look to establish a network of regional banks, publicly accountable and locally managed, with specialist local knowledge,” McDonnell said.
It sounds like public banking (government-owned). We need more details. It would still be lending though. That’s slow incrementalism. They should move more boldly.
⇧ California ISO generated 8 GW of solar, topping last year’s record by 2 GW | Utility Dive
“California continues to lead the nation in adding clean resources to the system and writing a playbook for operating a low carbon grid.”
… “we are already showing it is possible to decarbonize an economy that large….”
⇧ ELEMENT 6: Preserve Open Space and Critical Environmental Areas
Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty, and the critical environmental areas that characterize and support coastal and waterfront communities
Smart Growth Principle
Natural and working lands play an essential role in the economic, environmental, and social well-being of communities. Natural areas and parks increase neighboring property values, attract businesses and residents, support tourism, offer opportunities for recreation, and provide scenic value. Farmlands provide food; working forests provide timber. Wetlands, forests, stream buffers, and other critical environmental areas provide many additional benefits, including water and air filtration, recharge of precious groundwater resources, protection of drinking water supplies, and habitat for plants, animals, and beneficial insects. Conserving these resources is important to the environmental health and well-being of any community as it grows or redevelops.
⇧ Six Things You Need to Know about International Real Estate | RISMedia
⇧ [Political Imprisonment with Chinese Characteristics:] China: End Abuse of Hunger-Striking Activist | Human Rights Watch
One of America’s most-favored trading partners:
Chinese authorities should cease their force feeding of imprisoned activist Guo Feixiong and ensure his immediate access to adequate medical care, Human Rights Watch said today. Guo, 49, a rights activist whose real name is Yang Maodong, has been on hunger strike at Yangchun prison in Guangdong province since May 9, 2016, to protest China’s authoritarian rule and its mistreatment of political prisoners.
Money for the rich is more important than democracy for all. That’s our shameful foreign policy.
⇧ The Job Guarantee: The Coolest Economic Policy You’ve Never Heard Of [Unless you have] — The Minskys
I wouldn’t call it the coolest, but it’s certainly better than what we have.
⇧ Populism and Nationalism Are Threat to Global Cooperation — Podcast with IMF’s Christine Lagarde | Center For Global Development
I’m all for globalization provided it’s 100% democratically controlled under real democracy, not the fake we have in the US and elsewhere.
By the way, that’s populist.
So is this: Representatives must be subject to instant recall and replacement by the party membership they represent.
People who use the label “populist” to refer solely to the right-wing are duped or attempting to dupe others.
Populism is the best ideology going.
⇧ First Six Months of 2016 Were the Warmest on Record for the Planet, NOAA Says
… June marked the 14th consecutive warmest month on record for the globe. It’s the longest stretch of months in a row that a global temperature record has been set, according to NOAA’s dataset.
La Nina will change things only for a while.
The sooner all vehicles are electric and the sooner all energy production is non-carbon-burning based, the better!
⇧ mainly macro: German macroeconomics revisited
I hope it does not need spelling out that this route out of demand deficiency only works by taking demand from other countries.  If Germany had its own currency and a floating exchange rate, any fall in domestic prices would be offset by an exchange rate appreciation.
⇧ Republican platform calls for return of Glass-Steagall – MarketWatch
This is the right move. The repeal of Glass-Steagall was utterly stupid: https://www.demos.org/blog/9/11/15/owning-consequences-clinton-and-repeal-glass-steagall
⇧ China’s Local Debt Problem Goes Global – Bloomberg Gadfly
Investors are attracted by the relatively higher yields these bonds offer, and the notion there may be some state backing. …
Returns may look decent at the moment, especially against the backdrop of negative rates from Europe to Japan, but with reward comes risk, and China has bucketloads of that.
Yikes! I can’t imagine bailouts for foreign investors in these bonds.
⇧ Don’t Try This Crazy Trick on the Economy – Bloomberg View
The Fed held the nominal interest rate near zero from late 2008 until late 2015 — a policy that, according to Neo-Fisherites, should have driven inflation expectations into negative territory. Yet they stayed roughly the same for most of that period. They started to slide downward only after the Fed began to tighten policy in May 2013 by signaling that it would pull back on the bond purchases known as quantitative easing. Also, the recent modest increase in the nominal rate has not led to a commensurate increase in inflation expectations.
Granted, that’s just one piece of evidence from one country. Nonetheless, it would be remarkably irresponsible to take the risk of raising rates based purely on a theoretical belief in macroeconomic self-stabilization.
⇧ The China Debate — Money, Banking and Financial Markets
For China to slow credit expansion and maintain the value of the RMB at the same time that it sustains adequate growth, the efficiency with which credit (and other sources of funding) are allocated will need to improve. That means cutting off inefficient state-controlled users of funds. It means cleaning up banks’ balance sheets. It means making bailouts so unpleasant that neither borrowers nor creditors will rely on the government going forward. And, it means acting quickly enough to stem the flow of new debt before the debt burden leads to bank runs or capital flight.
This is a tall order for any government, but given the country’s past successes, we are hesitant to say that it is beyond China’s capacity. At the same time, because of the country’s vastly increased importance in the world economy and the global financial system, the consequences of failure will be broadly felt, so everyone is watching. In that sense, this time really is different.
Time will tell. I won’t be holding my breath. I have very little confidence in Xi and his dictatorship.
⇧ Mississippi Study: Most Residents Ignore Wireless Emergency Weather Alerts
“The message is targeting the individual, but we act as a group. That was an interesting finding we didn’t expect. It’s really about peer decisions.”