Linking ≠ endorsement.
⇧ Taxed off: Tax-free properties mean you pay more
Property in New York is worth about $2.8 trillion. About a third of it isn’t taxed.
There are pros and cons to changing the system.
⇧ House Prices and the Possible Fed Effect – theMReport.com
I would hate to sound like Pollyanna, but I think it’s pretty positive.
Sounds like Pollyanna to me.
⇧ News Release: Gross Domestic Product
Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.9 percent in the third quarter of 2016 (table 1), according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 1.4 percent.
The Bureau emphasized that the third-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see “Source Data for the Advance Estimate” on page 3).
⇧ Facebook Lets Advertisers Exclude Users by Race – ProPublica
⇧ HGTV’s ‘Flip or Flop’ Star Defends Real Estate Seminar After Scamming Accusations – ABC News
⇧ Detroit’s Rebounding Housing Market Transforms Write A House
Median house prices in the city’s Midtown neighborhood have climbed to $300,000, almost double 2013’s median house price of $167,900.
It would be useful to factor in rehab costs versus pure appreciation.
⇧ Delinquent properties, lake up for sale in Mahoning County | WKBN.com [cached]
These are properties that originally went up for auction by the Sheriff’s Office, but no one bought them.
⇧ Older Arctic Sea Ice Disappearing – YouTube
Arctic sea ice has not only been shrinking in surface area in recent years, it’s becoming younger and thinner as well. In this animation, where the ice cover almost looks gelatinous as it pulses through the seasons, cryospheric scientist Dr. Walt Meier of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center describes how the sea ice has undergone fundamental changes during the era of satellite measurements.
Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.
⇧ Oil Production Could Have Caused Century-Old California Earthquakes – Scientific American
“We need to start recognizing that there’s a growing body of evidence that oil and gas production activities can generate large-magnitude, damaging earthquakes. ….”
⇧ Program allows takeover of derelict properties – Mississippi Business Journal
Mayor Whitney Rawlings said it was not ideal to spend several thousand dollars to clean a property and put a lien on it, only to sell it for far less, “but if it means the neighborhood is improving and the grass is being cut, then I think it’s a good deal.”
⇧ Tiny Houses for the Masses: 84 Lumber Launches Packages Starting at $7K – Curbed
The missing part of the puzzle is, of course, the tricky zoning stuff—that is, where, if at all, will cities allow people to park and live in these tiny houses, and not just as second dwellings attached to primary residences? As the crop of tiny home ventures (Rentable rural micro retreats! Eco-friendly pod dwellings!) continues to expand though, surely communities will soon have to take a stance.
⇧ At least 10 hurt after massive Arizona apartment complex fire caught on video | Fox News
⇧ Why did China axe Finance Minister Lou Jiwei? – BBC News
… according to Brian Jackson of IHS Global Insights, his taxation experience will be an asset when formulating and implementing a national property tax – something China wants by 2018.
A lot of good that’ll do.
⇧ The 10 Hottest Real Estate Markets for Investors in 2016
Although the real estate market is showing strength nationwide – these 10 cities made real estate investors a lot of money in 2016!
Note that this study looks at average fair market rents and appreciation, before expenses in calculating returns.
⇧ TREASURIES-Yields soar as Trump victory lifts inflation bets | Reuters
This does not bode well for real estate mortgage rates.
⇧ Real estate industry applauds amendment blocking new taxes on services – Kansas City Business Journal
The Missouri constitutional amendment, which passed 57 to 43 percent, bars new state and local sales, use or similar taxes on services that weren’t taxed as of Jan. 1, 2015.
Taxes are such an inefficient way to run governments.
⇧ The global climate 2011-2015: hot and wild | World Meteorological Organization
The World Meteorological Organization has published a detailed analysis of the global climate 2011-2015 — the hottest five-year period on record – and the increasingly visible human footprint on extreme weather and climate events with dangerous and costly impacts.
The record temperatures were accompanied by rising sea levels and declines in Arctic sea-ice extent, continental glaciers and northern hemisphere snow cover.
All these climate change indicators confirmed the long-term warming trend caused by greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide reached the significant milestone of 400 parts per million in the atmosphere for the first time in 2015….
⇧ One of America’s Richest Towns Could Be In For a Housing Market Meltdown
Look at that house. It’s the size of an apartment complex.
According to a report recently released by the Treasury Department, over 25% of buyers using limited liability companies (LLCs) who purchased high-end homes in Manhattan for more than $3 million and Miami for more than $1 million were linked to a “suspicious activity report.” This is an “indication of possible criminal activity.” So, as the government cracks down, expect more foreign buyers to pull back.
⇧ LA Times – Fear of a Trump-triggered recession gives way to hope for short-term economic boost
This is it:
Trump’s fiscal plan, for example, includes tax cuts of roughly $6 trillion and infrastructure spending of $1 trillion over 10 years. His policy advisers have argued that the lost tax revenue would be offset by growth generated from the stimulus of lower taxes and other policy changes involving trade, energy and government regulations.
Skeptics say conservatives have long predicted that so-called supply-side economic policies would offset higher spending but that those larger revenues have failed to appear and deficits have gotten bigger, not smaller.
What do the deficit hawks do in the face of that? They always call for spending cuts. What do they always call to be cut? Welfare state spending. They also always call for selling off federal property and for privatizing whatever is public.
Does it ever work to the general benefit of the nation? Never!
⇧ New real estate site aims to outdo Zillow, Redfin – seattlepi.com
⇧ Public bank idea returns for more discussion | Albuquerque Journal
Contrary to negative comments in the article, size in general does not matter at all. The public bank would fit the economic zone, just the way the state bank in North Dakota fits the whole state.
“Forty to 45 percent of city funds go to Wells Fargo Bank. After that, we don’t know how it gets used,” she said. A public bank would keep the money here and the interest on loans would go back into the bank. Interest paid and earned would stay within the local economy, she said.
“If we keep the money local, we’re using it for our purposes and we’ll be able to see what’s happening to it,” she said. “It’s not a silver bullet, but it would be one piece to the solution to our economic challenges.”
⇧ Ruling Against Wall Street Watchdog Decried as ‘Reckless and Partisan’ – Truthdig
Perhaps, said Liz Ryan Murray, policy director for People’s Action Institute, “the CFPB is fulfilling their chartered mandate just a little too well for predatory lenders, shady bankers, and abusive debt collectors.”
If it’s unconstitutional, is the Fed also? I’ve seen arguments that it is, but I’ve always figured the courts would say that the Congress has the authority to outsource.
⇧ Construction Employment Rebounds with Strong September Report
The labor force has expanded by roughly 2.1 million workers through the first three quarters of 2016. The last time the labor force grew that much through the first nine months of the year was 2000, the penultimate year of the dot-com bubble.
However, that’s not what’s happening here. We are not about to see a bubble pop. We’re just coming out of the longest recession since at least the Great Depression.
⇧ Contractor Confidence Dips in First Half of 2016
“There remains of course a near-constant worry about skilled labor shortages, which have predictably worsened as the duration of the recovery has lengthened,” said Basu. “The multifamily residential building boom has also rendered it more challenging for nonresidential contractors to secure available workers and subcontractors, leading to rising construction costs. In many instances, purchasers of construction services continue to behave as if the buyers’ market for construction services remains in place. This has helped to produce flatter margins, with construction firm revenues unable to keep up with rising compensation costs. After two years of decline, materials prices also represent a growing inflationary risk to construction firms.
⇧ Nonresidential Fixed Investment Expands Again During Solid Third Quarter, ABC Says
Residential investment continued to fall, declining 6.2 percent in the third quarter after falling 7.7 percent during the second.
⇧ Nonresidential Construction Spending Down in September, but August Data Upwardly Revised
“A number of primarily publicly financed construction segments have experienced declines in spending over the past year, including sewage and waste disposal (-18.8%), water supply (-13.7%), public safety (-13.0%) and transportation (-11.3%).”
Well, Donald Trump ran on a platform of dramatically ramping up infrastructure spending. Let’s see if he can do it without ramping up the deficit and without cutting the welfare state right out from under those who voted for him.
⇧ Tory MPs have a nerve to attack the Bank of England — Prime Economics
… where, you ask, are all the orthodox economists who landed us in this mess? Hiding away in university departments, a long way from the site of battle. One is promoting a new book on whether we need cash, others are mulling over their next peer-reviewed article on micro-economic theory, while all the while effectively asserting that the mess the world currently finds itself in, is ‘nothing to do with me guv’.
⇧ Macroeconomics: there’s hope — Prime Economics
A fundamental failing of neoclassical macroeconomics is that it ignores the effect of money and debt on the economy. In a recent paper Steve Keen plotted debt change against unemployment in the US from periods containing “normal times” and economic crisis (including the Great Depression and the 2008 crisis). The correlation is very high in all cases. The same was found for debt acceleration. While these data contradict neoclassical theory, they support alternative theories with endogenous money, i.e. theories that correctly posit that commercial banks create money out of “thin air” when they make loans. The real effect of endogenous money on the productive economy is a key pillar of the heterodox post-Keynesian school of economics.
⇧ Controlling Eurozone current account surpluses – revisit the Treaty of Rome! — Prime Economics
… Article 105 required the member states to co-ordinate their economic policies
In order to facilitate attainment of the objectives set out in Article 104, Member States shall co-ordinate their economic policies. They shall for this purpose provide for co-operation between their appropriate administrative departments and between their central banks. The Commission shall submit to the Council recommendations on how to achieve such co-operation.”
These sensible provisions were swept away by the Hayek-influenced [US libertarian, German ordoliberal], central banker-drafted, provisions of the 1992 Maastricht Treaty for “economic and monetary union” – which provided for monetary union while ignoring the need for a complementary economic union. The Maastricht Treaty also ignored the balance of payments issue completely, and replaced the 1957 object of “ensuring” full employment with that of “promoting” full employment.
⇧ Brexit and its consequences — Prime Economics
… the economic profession’s deflationary, liberal finance bias, and the failure to include money, debt, and banks in economic analyses and modelling made it nigh impossible for the profession to correctly predict, prevent, or mitigate the ongoing crisis. Perhaps most symbolically, even the Queen suggested that they did not know what they were doing.
The economic model that fostered the crisis remained intact after 2009, with only some tinkering at the margins of the banking system. As a result, today’s policy-makers struggle to stabilize an unbalanced global financial system, and doggedly oppose expansionary policies needed to ensure employment and recovery. The necessary restructuring and rebalancing of the global economy have been postponed.
With the historic Brexit vote, the British people rejected this flawed brand of economics—and in particular the dominant liberal finance narrative. And they did so because the hardship they are experiencing—repressed wages, diminished public services, rising housing costs and shortages, and insecure employment—is indirectly a consequence of the theories and policies of the mainstream economics profession. Economists led the way to the re-regulation and ‘liberalization’ of the finance sector over the past 40 years and to soaring levels of debt, crises, and financial ruin. Economists dictated the terms for austerity that has so harmed the British economy and society over the past ten years. On 14 February 2010, 20 of the most senior UK economists wrote to The Sunday Times castigating the Labour government for inadequate efforts on deficit reduction and setting the tone not only for the general election of that year but seemingly ever since (Chick, Pettifor, & Tily, 2016, p. 3). As the policies have failed, the vast majority of economists have refused to concede wrongdoing, nor have societies been offered alternatives. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the British public did not find the opini on of the ‘experts’ backing the Remain campaign compelling.
The Remain campaign chose to focus on the economy—to the exclusion of almost all else. All the heavyweights of the economics profession—10 Nobel Prize-winning economists, the OECD, the IMF, the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the NIESR, the Institute of Fiscal Studies, the London School of Economics—were wheeled out to warn the British people of economic facts known, and understood apparently, only to ‘experts’. The Financial Times amplified their voices and repeated their dire threats and warnings over and over.
But the ‘experts’ and the economic stories they tell have been well and truly walloped by the result of this referendum. And rightly so, because while there is truth in the story that international and in particular European cooperation and coordination are vital to economic activity and stability, there is no sound basis to the widely espoused economic ‘religion’ that markets—in money, trade, and labour—must be unfettered, detached from democratic regulatory oversight, and must be left to ‘govern’ whole countries, regions, and continents.
The British people by voting Brexit rejected this mainstream, orthodox economics, a strain of fundamentalism that they rightly judge has proved deleterious to their own economic interests.
⇧ Real estate and unions bring 421-a tax break back from the dead – Archpaper.com
Union leaders and real estate power players have brokered a deal to revive an expired property tax break that many see as key to developing affordable housing in New York.
The two groups agreed on a multipart deal to revive 421-a, one of the largest property tax exemptions for rental housing in the city. In its expired version and its just-forged incarnation, 421-a gives developers tax breaks for constructing multi-unit buildings on vacant land in certain areas of the city.
⇧ Florida anti-solar energy law rejected in state-wide vote – Archpaper.com
Former Florida senator and governor Bob Graham blasted Amendment 1, Jimmy Buffett recorded a video about it, and Elon Musk tweeted about it, calling it a “calculated attempt to deceive Florida voters about solar.” While solar expansion in the Sunshine State still has a long way to go, the amendment’s rejection was a bullet dodged.
⇧ Trump’s $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan: Lincoln Had a Bolder Solution | WEB OF DEBT BLOG
We keep bringing this up over and over and over (for decades now), but it does not become viral. Why not? What part of this is too difficult to comprehend? I’m not talking down to anyone here. I’m sincerely wanting to know why it hasn’t gone viral.
⇧ Jonathan Gray | Blackstone | Donald Trump Real Estate
“It does appear like we’re going to have lower taxes, less regulation and probably more fiscal spending, particularly around infrastructure. All of that should be good for growth,” Gray said, adding that economic growth tends to increase income from real estate. But the flipside, according to Gray, is that the kind of debt-financed government spending spree Trump has hinted at could lead to higher inflation and higher interest rates.
⇧ Benton County Woman Faces Arson, Insurance Fraud Charges — TBI Newsroom
… multiple points of origin of the fire were discovered within the structure.
⇧ Older myths crumbling under weight of newer arson science | Coalition Against Insurance Fraud – JIFA
The fire-investigation industry’s knowledge has improved exponentially in the past 25 years. Many beliefs about evidence were scientifically tested in the 1990s. The beliefs often were found to be myths. Well-known examples include collapsed bedsprings, “crazing” of glass and concrete spalling. All once were considered signs of ignitable liquid. Fire investigators today far better understand the implications of flashover — when fire generalizes throughout a room — and its potential to mask patterns the fire might have deposited in its early phases.
⇧ Middletown man arrested on arson, insurance fraud charges
⇧ Arsonist to insurers: Check fire claims more closely: Closer look deters arsonists, discovers scams, benefits all policyholders
Insurers were easy to defraud, Allen says. Their adjusters were so intent on making customers happy — he contends — that they rarely asked tough questions. Insurers could’ve quickly exposed the claims for burned homes as money grabs with a little more effort.
Kenny went straight after nearly five years in federal prison. He admits he screwed up, and today gives workshops for investigators ….
⇧ Jeffco couple torched house, hid belongings in insurance fraud scheme, police say | AL.com
Authorities carried out search warrants at three different locations: the house that the insurance company was renting for the couple, a storage facility and a mobile home that also belonged to them. “In each location,” Whitfield said, “we discovered items that they had claimed as lost in the fire.”
⇧ Arson and Insurance Fraud Charges Over Blaze on Woodstone Lane Lead to Arrest–4 Years Later | FlaglerLive | FlaglerLive
A can of gasoline was later found in the living room, in the middle of the house. Carpeting the fire marshal had analyzed showed evidence of gasoline. The fire had been set intentionally, an investigation concluded—by the man who, that night, firefighters found sitting in a lawn chair in his backyard, watching the fire ….
⇧ Sister of missing Kilgore woman arrested for insurance fraud | KYTX.com
⇧ Calipo to be sentenced for arson – Story | YourErie
⇧ Jury convicts man of arson, insurance fraud for Susquehanna Township fire in 2014 | WPMT FOX43
… Manzoor [allegedly] set a gasoline fire at 3507 Elmerton Avenue in Susquehanna Township. This property was a rental that Manzoor owned.
⇧ Fifth Richmond Hill explosion suspect Glenn Hults pleads guilty
Glenn Hults was the last domino to fall in the yearslong prosecution of the Richmond Hill case, the November 2012 explosion that killed two people, injured 13 and damaged dozens of homes.
⇧ CoreLogic’s New Model Confirms a Statewide Quake Possible for California
… earthquake along the San Andreas fault … could cause up to 126 percent more residential property damage than previously thought ….
⇧ Report Finds New York Officials Aware of Soil Contamination Since 1987
State officials first uncovered evidence of contaminated soil in parts of an upstate New York city about 30 years ago, but didn’t officially warn residents until last month.
⇧ THIS is Hands Down the Best Indicator of Tenant Quality
Use credit score, without fail, as a deciding factor to include or exclude candidates for your rental. You should still have criminal criteria and other factors, but use the credit score as a line in the sand.
I disagree. I’m saying to not use it at all, but one must take various factors into account for why a credit score might be down as a fluke and not as an indication of the potential tenant’s credit worthiness. Divorce is one such circumstance.
⇧ What’s behind a sudden foreclosure spike
“While some states are still slogging through the remnants of the last housing crisis, the foreclosure activity increases in states such as Arizona, Colorado and Georgia are more heavily tied to loans originated since 2009 — after most of the risky lending fueling the last housing boom had stopped,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at Attom Data Solutions.
⇧ mainly macro: Ann Pettifor on mainstream economics
I think Simon Wren-Lewis is reading too much into what Ann Pettifor wrote. I could be wrong, but I didn’t read in Ann’s article that she meant every non-heterodox economist the way Simon seems to have taken it.
⇧ ‘Trump Thump’ whacks bond market for $1 trillion loss | Reuters
“It is a bit early to be calling the Big Rotation,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York, referring to the idea that the three-decade-old rally in bonds is ending.
“We’ve been declaring that rotation for years. … I’m afraid it’s hard to think about that happening in the current demographics we have. Baby boomers have more investable assets than millennials do.”
I’m afraid the Fed will jump the gun and cause more slowing than they expect.
⇧ How to Preserve Family-Run Real Estate Companies
… these family businesses will now be focusing on any changes to their business in the new administration. While the firms have enjoyed the low interest rate environment and “the demand for our product in New York is hot—it’s by far the safest big city—change is coming,” Jeff Gural said. “Whether it’s Donald or four years from now…it’s somebody else, I just feel in my bones that we can’t go on like this where it’s such a tiny piece of the population that’s doing extremely well and everybody else is struggling. It’s going to be interesting.”
⇧ Millennials Drive the Housing Market, and More Surprises From New Zillow Research – Zillow Porchlight
… the stereotype of millennials as urban hipsters is not entirely dead: A third of millennial homeowners live in the urban core. No other generation has so many people living downtown.
Renting still looks good
Although millennials are jumping into the homeowner pool in greater numbers than previously believed, it is not without second thoughts. Two-thirds of millennial buyers consider renting at the same time they shop for a home — and one in three seriously consider it.
⇧ FEMA Adds 4,400 Properties to High-Risk Zones in Tennessee’s Davidson County
⇧ The bond vigilantes are back, and Donald Trump better be careful
“Well, we’ve now got fiscal policy again and in spades, suggesting … that bond investors are once again important,” Christopher Whalen, senior managing director at Kroll Bond Rating Agency, said in a note to clients this week. “More, the prospect of higher interest rates and inflation could even herald the return of the bond vigilantes.”
The term specifically refers to bond investors who sell their holdings in an effort to enforce fiscal discipline. Fewer buyers drive prices down — and drive yields up — in the fixed income market. That in turn makes it more expensive for the government to borrow and spend.
Trump’s economic vision calls for sharp tax cuts for businesses and individuals and upwards of $1 trillion in spending to rebuild roads, bridges and other parts of America’s crumbling infrastructure. Doing so likely would result in higher debt and budget deficits, though the president-elect insists that increased economic growth will pay for his plans.
⇧ Another Financial Warning Sign Is Flashing in China – Bloomberg
When loans exceed deposits, banks are forced to rely on wholesale funding that can quickly vanish during market dislocations, Cornish said. In such an event, the central bank — which sets benchmark rates for deposits as well as loans — would be forced to raise interest rates to draw in deposits, according to Liao. That, in turn, would make it harder for companies coping with slower economic growth to repay loans, putting further stress on banks, he said.
Some banks are already pushing into danger territory. Bank of Jinzhou Co.’s adjusted loan-to-deposit ratio stood at 153 percent at the end of 2015 and the lender got 43 percent of its funding from interbank borrowings last year, S&P estimates. At mid-sized Industrial Bank Co., the broadly adjusted ratio was 115 percent while 39 percent of its funding came from the interbank market, according to S&P.
⇧ Portrait of a Long-Term Renter: Crossing Generational Divides – Zillow Porchlight
Obamacare is a public/private hybrid, and this recent episode with the 2017 premiums should teach us that dialing back the public side is not the way forward. To the contrary, the private sector never has and never will provide the health care Americans want and need on its own.
⇧ Handouts With a Twist: Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure – The New York Times
… exceed the poverty threshold.
If we can exceed the poverty threshold, we can exceed it 10-fold too. I think a minimum 3-fold should be the baseline for discussion. There’s nothing to fear in it at all if public jobs are a requirement to get it for those young enough and healthy enough to work. It should be a democratic decision made by a fully informed public though, not mere technocrats.
⇧ A Note on the Jeffersonian Road Not Taken in American Economic History
The Jeffersonian current in American politics was indeed strong. A generation after Jefferson, the president was Andrew Jackson. Andrew Jackson’s enemies were: Amerindians, bankers, corrupt government contractors, and anyone who favored literacy or property tests that kept the vote from the (white, male) rural adults with their hunting rifles whom Jackson as president believed had come down the Mississippi at the end of 1814 and so enabled him to win the Battle of New Orleans. A Jefferson-Jackson United States would have been rural, Anglo-Saxon, Southern and Border-Southern, and not a technological-leader but rather a technological-follower nation.
What would have been the long-term consequences if America had not taken the Hamiltonian turn? What would the world in 1900 have looked like if the United States had focused on specializing in its comparative advantage of resource-intensive products and bought most of its manufactures from Britain and Europe?
It’s a valid question but quite limited. There were other options to Jefferson, Jackson, and Hamilton, though Hamilton gets more of a bad rap than deserved. The problem with Hamilton is usury (interest). Debt is bad enough. We should never have had it either.
⇧ Economic Research | FedViews: November 10, 2016
… the “new normal” or “trend” employment growth is now estimated to be approximately 80,000. Alternative assumptions about future participation rates imply estimates varying between 50,000 and 100,000 jobs per month.
Employment growth has been above trend
These estimates suggest that even if employment growth declines substantially from its current pace of 161,000 jobs to less than 100,000 per month, such a decline is still consistent with a healthy labor market where unemployment is close to its natural rate.
I don’t even believe in this “natural rate” notion. The Fed shoots for systemic unemployment for the sake of bankers and corporatist employers so they may take a larger share of profits rather than paying out higher wages.
… the report also concludes that reversing the rule would primarily benefit people with high incomes.
⇧ A badly designed US stimulus will only hurt the working class | Larry Summers
Many of the highest return infrastructure investments — such as improving roads, repairing 60,000 structurally deficient bridges, upgrading schools or modernising the air traffic control system — do not generate a commercial return and so are excluded from his plan.
That would be the case except Donald Trump sees making deals to allow those who fix the things to charge tolls. I hate the idea. I want money financing (creating the money without borrowing it) of the infrastructure spending.
⇧ Helicopter money: are they doing it anyway, and, if so, so what? | longandvariable
Speaking of money finance … read the article.
Now, this is why I said years ago before I heard anyone else say it that the Fed could simply leave the bonds alone rather than selling them in some “unwinding” requirement. I said at the time that unwinding is not required.
Why doesn’t the Fed come right out and call it what it is? If they were to do it, they’d be proving that governmental borrowing has never been necessary. They’d be openly stating that people who agree with me are right. That would make the bankers into useless eaters rather than lords of the universe.
⇧ Hong Kong Needs a Champion – Bloomberg View
Wealth, power, and control over democracy:
… worrying is the possibility, floated by Leung last week, that the government may now reintroduce controversial anti-subversion legislation aimed at treason, secession and sedition against China. While Hong Kong is bound to enact such legislation at some point, the government has held off ever since a first draft provoked massive street protests in 2003. Meanwhile, the central government in Beijing has made clear there will be zero tolerance for any form of social activism that promotes Hong Kong’s separate identity from the rest of China.
Hong Kong citizens find themselves in a lonely place — desperately in need of a champion who will stand up for their interests, but with none in sight. The city’s government has failed them, led by a Chief Executive who appears more concerned with pleasing Beijing and winning reelection next year than with maintaining Hong Kong’s place as a vibrant financial hub. Britain, bound by treaty to defend Hong Kong’s autonomy, is increasingly reluctant to ruffle the feathers of an important trading partner.
⇧ Homelessness down 3 percent nationwide but increased in some cities – UPI.com
It’s amazing we don’t have a war on homelessness by simply providing decent housing to everyone. The lack of funding certainly isn’t the issue, as we can create all the money we want just as quickly as we want. The only thin lacking is compassion within the system that favors the capitalists (in the Marxian sense of the term).
Homelessness in Washington, D.C., increased 14.4 percent; 6.5 percent in Los Angeles County; and 6 percent in Seattle.
“There’s no doubt that the lack of affordable housing is the big driver in our homeless numbers,” Suchar told the Los Angeles Times, referring to soaring housing costs in those cities.
Home construction soared 25.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted 1.3 million in October, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That is the biggest gain since July 1982. New construction is also at the highest level since August 2007, months before the Great Recession began.
⇧ Will China’s Financial Bust Ever Come?
“We’re not going to see a banking crisis in China the way we did in the west in 2008 or in Europe in 2011,” Nobel laureate Robert Engle, a professor of finance at New York University’s Stern School of Business, told Bloomberg Television in September. Still, Engle, who studies systemic risk, sees a threat of economic stagnation because of the drag on productivity from misdirected credit.
⇧ Canadian province to give every citizen $1,320 income boost to overcome poverty | The Independent
One in five children live in poverty in Canada, according to Unicef, and a recent poll of some 1,500 Canadians found two-thirds of those polled were open to the idea of basic income.
Great, but it’s stupid to give so little.
⇧ EconoSpeak: Privatization of Public Infrastructure
I hate privatization. It’s never approved by a fully informed electorate.
… old story — government officials selling taxpayer assets to private companies at bargain prices.
⇧ THE INNOVATIVE HURRICANE-PROOFING MEASURES HURRICANE SANDY INSPIRED IN NYC
⇧ FRB: Testimony–Yellen, The Economic Outlook–November 17, 2016
Contrary to prevailing wisdom, I don’t read in Janet Yellen’s statement any indication that the Fed will move this year. I’m not saying it won’t.
I think it would be unwise. It would be wise to wait to see what President Trump will do and be able to do. His moves will impact everything. If he is seen as being significantly slowed in his ability to overheat the economy, the economy will likely slow from where it is now. The Fed moving this year would only make that worse.
⇧ Trump’s Truthful Heresy On Globalization And Free Trade
Steve Keen, one of the world’s preeminent heterodox economists, shreds David Ricardo’s “Comparative Advantage” theory. Thank you, Steve!