Linking ≠ endorsement.
⇧ Rules of Appreciation: Why Small Homes Pay Off Big-Time | realtor.com®
Homes of less than 1,200 square feet have appreciated at 7.5% a year for the past five years. Meanwhile, homes larger than 2,400 square feet only inched up 3.8% a year. (But where?)
If you’re interested in appreciation over time, this is an interesting article.
Don’t confuse this list with what a fix-and-flip investor ought necessarily to do. Flipping is about ROI or the net-resale-value bang-for-the-buck (all the costs that go into purchasing and fixing). If you were only fixing for those who would follow this article, that would be different. Every buyer isn’t looking mostly for appreciation. Some are just looking for what will suit their very particular tastes regardless of how well those features will appreciate.
⇧ Moody’s downgrades Canadian banks: Beginning of the end for the housing market? | Globalnews.ca
Things are worse than they were and by quite a bit, but the banks are still not nearly as leveraged as the banks in the US were before the crash here.
“The first memorandum burned Papandreou, the second Samaras, the third Tsipras. The fourth will require a new prime minister,” he [Yanis Varoufakis] said.
Tsipras has been given way too much slack by the Greek People.
Yanis should run against him. Yanis would beat him in any debate, and he’d make a much better leader because he really could manage creating a new currency so Greece could get out from under.
⇧ 3 Technologies Changing the Way Landlords Manage Rental Properties
I understand the issue with the 2.75% credit-card fee, but one has to factor in the cost of handling transactions regardless. The question is whether the time spend doing it would be better spent on something else. Also, one must consider the convenience-factor for one’s tenants. That said, some tenants don’t want to run their rent payments through their credit card. Therefore, it would be unwise not to still take rent payments in old-fashioned ways.
⇧ Maine real estate groups warn of rental scam | WCSH6.com
The e-mail warns that scammers are offering “rentals” on Craigslist, even featuring the agent’s photos taken from online listing sites. The scammers collect a security deposit, send a fake lease, and collect the first month’s rent. Then, the “lister,” or scammer, virtually disappear, taking a person’s money with them.
⇧ Global Temps Could Hit 1.5°C Target in 9 Years: Research
There are plenty of people who are rightly extremely concerned. Unfortunately, there are way too many people who are not. The rate at which people are waking up to the fact of Anthropogenic Global Warming and its adverse impact is not good. If the very low rate of conversion continues, things are going to get much, much worse before they catch on. By then, it will be much, much more difficult to end the damage before plenty more damage (severe damage) occurs.
⇧ Deutsche Bundesbank – Topics – How money is created
The Central Bank of Germany has been forced to address this information due to the exposure the issue has been getting largely on account of the revival of The Chicago Plan but also the Rise in Modern Monetary Theory (which really isn’t a theory, as what the bank writes here confirms that what MMT has been suggesting for many years is, in fact, exactly how money is created). The Chicago Plan, however, predates MMT by several decades.
Most people make the mistake of taking a European explanation, such as this one from the Bundesbank, as also applying to the US without needing any elaboration. Unlike in Europe, the Federal Reserve requires banks to hold 10% regular reserves against loans made by the given bank. Any mount in reserves above the 10% is held as excess reserves, which can be lent to other banks to fund other banks’ cash needs to cover checks and the like. Those other banks may also borrow directly from the Fed (at interest: the discount rate).
Although central bank reserves have gone up sharply in the past few years, broader money has grown only moderately. In the April issue of the Monthly Report, the Bundesbank’s authors look at the role of banks, non-banks and central banks in the money creation process and also explain how non-standard monetary policy measures impact on money growth.
⇧ The Fintech Files: Understanding Blockchain | CFA Institute Enterprising Investor
Why I’ve opposed Bitcoin since the beginning:
Bitcoin is not acknowledged by a majority of countries or sovereign powers in the world, and it cannot do a verification of the Know Your Client or the anti-money laundering processes.
⇧ 7 Budget-Friendly Ways to Dramatically Enhance Your Rental Property
What do you think?
⇧ Ireland is world’s fourth-largest shadow banking hub
Speaks for itself …
⇧ The Economic School You’ve Never Heard Of
First of all, this is not some unknown school of thought/economics. Libertarian-capitalism is hardly unknown, not even close.
Second, this article does what these libertarians always, ALWAYS!, do. It says there are two choices: 1) libertarian-capitalism or 2) central planning. It’s a flat-out lie.
There are plenty of cooperatives in the world, and those are almost always democratic from the ground up, not top down. Also, there are plenty of welfare states that work better economically (all other things being equal) than the much more libertarian leaning USA. Furthermore, there are all sorts of other flavors of economics that this totally misleading article doesn’t even hint at, two of which are social democracy and democratic socialism.
The central-planning canard refers to an era that is nearly completely over. Very few nations have central planning. Even those that do have a great deal of market economics now, which is only increasing (not that such “market” economics is better than democratic economics).
Fortunately, the Internet is allowing anti-libertarian-capitalism voices, such as mine, to now be heard refuting the nonsense of the laissez-faire types.
⇧ How Germany’s financial surplus risks derailing eurozone and enraging Donald Trump | World | News | Express.co.uk
⇧ Tornadoes touch down, cause damage in Wisconsin, Oklahoma – CBS News
At least one person died and 15 others injured when a tornado hit a mobile home park Tuesday near a small town in western Wisconsin ….
⇧ Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel agree changing EU treaties ‘no longer a taboo’ | The Independent
Macron said … “I have never defended … the mutualisation of existing debt in the eurozone” ….
There’s Europe’s problem. They don’t have what we have in the US, and that’s why they won’t be as strong or unified but will likely fall apart. Change or disunite.
⇧ Tired of Tax Breaks for Wealthy Developers, Baltimore Activists Offer Affordable Housing Solution – YouTube
Somehow, we need to learn to balance things out so that everyone benefits.
A broad coalition of Baltimore housing advocacy groups are proposing a dedicated trust fund managed by community members to finance fixing vacant homes and building more affordable housing.
⇧ E-Commerce Drives Record-Low Industrial Vacancy Rates On Both Sides Of The Atlantic
Last mile, last mile, last mile is the new location, location, location, though it is location.
⇧ What the Heck’s Going on With Cryptocurrencies? | Wolf Street
Observers say many individuals are trading alt-coins from corporate IT departments, concentrated in the financial sector and falling under the radar of senior executives. Many are sitting on virtual fortunes, but are unable to liquidate their cash as banks clamp down on measures to avoid money laundering.
“Systems are being used here by employees to increase their own individual wealth. In the process, corporate systems are coming into contact with the fringes of the criminal world,” Brian Lord, former deputy director for intelligence and cyber operations at the UK’s electronic espionage agency GCHQ and now head of cyber practice at security group PGI, told the FT.
I’ve been opposed since before Bitcoin was even released.
⇧ Amazon stock vs. Seattle real estate: Which was the better investment over the past 20 years? – GeekWire
Just for fun …
⇧ Inflation Isn’t Cooperating With the Fed – Bloomberg
They just haven’t caught up with what has changed. The transmission mechanism isn’t as sensitive or straight forward as it used to be. That’s been clear for many years now. There’s plenty more slack because wages are sooooo low relative to the upper class. They haven’t been accounting for that enough. Their models are off. Tweak the models, not the rates prematurely.
⇧ How Tales of ‘Flippers’ Led to a Housing Bubble
Behavioral economics is completely valid; however, Robert didn’t mention the removal of lending standards that allowed and even encouraged people to become hugely overextended (overly leveraged). The real reason for the crisis was deregulation and ratings-bureau capture by lenders and securitizers: fraud!
⇧ Saudi Arabia and Russia Are at Odds on Almost Everything, Except Oil – Bloomberg
Just to be clear, the profit margin isn’t there anymore to make oil grabbing the reason for wars unless grabbing to then drastically cut production would be the goal. That, however, would just light a bigger fire under solar and wind, etc., driving energy costs down competing with oil. Now that’s what I call a virtuous circle.
… the relationship could break down as quickly as it was forged. Shale production is surging so fast that America’s crude output is projected to reach records exceeding 10 million barrels a day next year, according to the Energy Information Administration. That’s more than Saudi Arabia is pumping at the moment.
The trend won’t do much to inspire Russian-Saudi symbiosis. In recent days, Sechin called on the Russian government to draw up a plan for an orderly exit from the cuts and pledged to be “ready for a competitive battle.” Rosneft had already warned in March of the “risk of a resumption in the price war.”
If U.S. producers can’t be persuaded to limit supply alongside the Saudis and Russians, the resulting battle for market share could “destroy the market,” Yusufov, the former Russian minister, warned.
⇧ Donald Trump’s Path-Independent Theory of Mind – Bloomberg
With one exception, I have been taking this position on Trump since before he announced his candidacy.
I’d argue that Trump’s path independence operates on multiple levels. It’s evident at a meta-political level when he takes a stab at sweeping campaign promises that he never intends to fulfill. It’s also visible at the micro level, even within a given sentence: In his very strange recent interview with The Economist, for example, he kept attempting to adjust his message to obtain approval from his interviewers. He keeps things vague, and then pokes his way into a given explanation, but leaves himself room to change direction in case he senses disapproval.
It doesn’t always work for him. That said, he probably can’t act any other way. Consistency has no attraction for him, because he is fundamentally principle-free.
Trump’s problem now is that the audience isn’t refreshing. It’s all of us, nationwide and globally. We remember what he said and did yesterday. We notice when he changes his story, and we’re not amused. Meanwhile, he’s left truly confused as to why things aren’t working out in his favor.
So, what’s the one exception I mentioned? It’s that “he probably can’t act any other way.” He can. He’s still playing with approaches. He’s going to play with them until he gets what he’s looking for: reasonably high approval ratings. He’s going to play with them until he finds the right path and then become more consistent.
He’s not a genius, but he’s not nearly as stupid as people think he is. He has not imploded, and I don’t expect he will. It’s not in his nature to give up. He won’t fall on his sword either. He’ll retreat to fight on and on and on and on until he’s worked his way in.
None of that is to say that he’s remotely on the right path. He’s lived in a vacuum. He has no clue about economic realities. He hasn’t figured out yet that his plan isn’t being accepted not because the People are too slow but because they know it won’t work for the masses. He’ll have no choice but to learn.
He’s going to ask until someone smart enough tells him, he tries it, and it works. Who’s going to tell him?
Right now, his circle is too small. It was wider when he was running and citing even progressive economists, citing them to Tea Partiers no less.
Of course, if people are bound and determined that he not be allowed to learn …, then all bets are off.
⇧ Greece debt crisis latest: Germany’s Schaeuble and Gabriel clash over bailout programme | City & Business | Finance | Express.co.uk
Foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel undermined the finance minster Wolfgang Schaeuble’s policy on Greece ….
⇧ It’s Time for the Government to Give Everyone a Job | The Nation
“How would this plan have helped after the Great Recession, when 800,000 people a month were losing jobs, including skilled workers with college degrees?” asked Stephanie Kelton, economics professor at the University of Missouri—Kansas City and former budget aide to Bernie Sanders. “If we’re genuinely trying to achieve full employment, we shouldn’t be targeting 79 percent labor-force participation. We should eliminate involuntary unemployment.”
The job guarantee is sometimes placed in opposition to a universal basic income for all Americans, but both address the same problem and can coexist. There are “participation income” proposals, for example, that tie a basic payment to making a contribution to society. But a job guarantee combines the baseline benefit to the dignity of work and self-reliance with tangible benefits to productivity and the economy. It also can set labor force benchmarks, on wages and benefits, that a UBI, normally pegged at a sub-poverty level of $10,000—$12,000 a year, just cannot provide.
Now that’s what I call aiming low.
⇧ Why the Fed is wrong to obsess about wages – MarketWatch
If demand is there and liquidity is there, then desired products and services will be bid up. However, if the profit margin is high enough, then suppliers will seek to sell more to meet the demand, which if they are successful, will hold down prices. However, if labor is in short supply for whatever reason and if labor can’t be cost-effectively replaced with automation and if raising wages will allow the supplier to better compete for workers, then wages will go up. That will eventually require raising prices to maintain the profit margin. It will also place more money in circulation bidding up prices again.
In other words, it’s not an either/or. It’s both.
The Phillips Curve is not as strong as once thought, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist at all. At times it doesn’t, such as at the zero lower bound (which needs modifying due to negative rates).
⇧ Tesla completely inhuman automated factory – Business Insider
The overarching goal is to get past the limits of human speed. A fully automated factory could, in Musk’s thinking, be operated by a few human experts, but otherwise, raw materials would go in one end and finished cars would roll out the other. In between, robots would do everything, a very high speed — speeds too dangerous to risk around frail human bodies.
Look, that is the proper way forward. Musk is right that humans can be doing better things with their time. If it’s jobs and wages you’re worried about, that’s why I’ve been calling for a Universal Living Income that would allow everyone to have a Tesla or whatever.
⇧ Is carbon removal technology a high-stakes gamble? | Stanford News
Stanford scientists explain the risks of betting the world’s future on massive-scale deployment of carbon removal technologies.
In other words, better safe than sorry.
⇧ If China Can Fund infrastructure with Its Own Credit, So Can We | WEB OF DEBT BLOG
Who’s listening? More and more people are. This is catching on and will continue doing so until we finally prevail.
⇧ Relying on 20th and 19th century infrastructure is like playing Russian roulette: Expert
Scott Rechler, RXR Realty chairman and CEO, weighs in on infrastructure, tax reform and real estate.
I sure like it that he understands that societal investments, governmental investments, for the benefit of all come before his own short-term, shortsighted profits. It is only with that attitude that public/private is at all trustworthy. I still prefer democratic (grassroots) public-ownership over privatization.
⇧ mainly macro: But do the numbers add up?
This is about the Labour Party in the UK. They have put forth a non-laissez-faire economic plan. The “libertarian” types (the Tories or conservatives) don’t want People to understand and embrace it (as the People should) because it would work. It would benefit the whole rather than further enriching the rich at the negative expense of that whole.
⇧ Flood insurance: How high should Congress let your rates rise?
In contrast to the battle over health insurance, there has been bipartisan support to renew the National Flood Insurance Program, but action before a Sept. 30 deadline is not guaranteed.
The People, through their government, are partly underwriting those living in increasingly more flood prone areas, increasingly due to global warming. What are we all going to do about these problems?
⇧ Trump Wants Toll Limits Lifted, Infrastructure Bond Caps Eased – Bloomberg
President Donald Trump proposed relaxing restrictions on tolling interstate highways ….
I cannot overemphasize how much I disagree with the movement to privatize.
Margret Thatcher privatized the rail system in Britain. The British people overwhelmingly say that it made matters much worse, not better. There is a strong and growing movement there to reverse the privatizations.
Toll roads, toll bridges, and the like do only one thing well. They line the coffers of the privatizers. What they don’t do well is provide better roads and bridges at less expense to use for ordinary citizens, rich or poor.
The rich can afford to pay the tolls. The poor cannot! How is that good for getting the poor into jobs or for them to move where the jobs are or to commute once they have the jobs, etc.?
All such privatizing does besides further enrich the rich is increase hardship and inequality.
⇧ Fed’s Hot-Or-Not Confusion on Economy to Shape Rate-Hike Debate – Bloomberg
From Germany to Japan to the U.S., central bankers have been flummoxed about why low jobless rates aren’t giving prices some lift. There could be many reasons. Greater dominance over labor markets by large firms gives them more pricing power in wage setting. Output per hour is low, giving firms little margin to raise wages without eating into profits.
They’re revisiting their models, as I said they must. They need to stop being paranoid. Just leave rates alone until inflation is above target. Plus, their target is too low, as clamping down at 2% would just send things plummeting again.
⇧ The neoliberal road to autocracy | International Politics and Society – IPS
The title is a play on Hayek’s book, “The Road to Serfdom,” in which Hayek claimed socialism was that road.
Of all these promises, the one that globalisation’s advocates proclaim most strongly is the fall in poverty worldwide. But in fact the decline in absolute poverty is part of a longer trend that has been traced from 1820, according to World Bank data. And much of that fall is not due to open, global markets, but to scientific and especially medical advances. Indeed, the numbers of those living on less than $1 a day fell most rapidly between 1950 and 1970. During the “Keynesian” era, absolute poverty (measured in US$ terms) fell as rapidly as in the neoliberal era.
To take another example, under communism, life expectancy rose broadly as much as it did under the capitalism of the pre-globalisation era. Leaving aside and despite China’s disastrous Great Famine, life expectancy rose from 44 years in 1950 to 65 by 1970 — well before Deng Xiaoping took power in 1978.. In Russia life expectancy also increased steadily until after the end of Khrushchev’s administration. It stagnated through the Brezhnev era, and then collapsed in 1991 as a direct result of financial ‘liberalisation’ and ‘shock therapy’.
Employment rose everywhere. Politicians and economists cared about unemployment, and worked to reduce it. Inequality and income distribution narrowed. Productivity rose. Demand was strong. Public debt fell. There was a downward trend in those living in absolute poverty. The average annual increase in world GDP — the expansion of economic activity — was higher in the period 1952-75 than in the period since 1975, although that expansion in economic activity was somewhat faster in the advanced economies.
⇧ Meet the Most Nimble-Fingered Robot Yet – MIT Technology Review
How many jobs did you say were safe from robottics replacing them?
The new robot learns without needing to practice ….
⇧ Colorado Hailstorm on Pace to be Most Expensive in State History
… preliminary insurance losses for the hailstorm … roughly $1.4 billion.
⇧ Connecticut Lawmakers Urged to Help Crumbling Foundation Homeowners
… estimated that as many as 30,000 homes could be affected by the crumbling foundation problem, which has been traced to a concrete mix containing an iron sulfide.
That raises questions.
⇧ 100 Residents Evacuated, 1 Killed in Pittsburgh High-Rise Apartment Fire
The building wasn’t equipped with sprinklers ….
⇧ It Gets Stranger: How Trump’s Tax Plan Impacts Homeowners & Real Estate Investors
I was pleasantly surprised by this analysis (and entertained).
⇧ [Must Watch!] Trump Budget Slashes Vital Programs to Enrich the Wealthy – YouTube
Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research says President Donald Trump’s new budget makes unprecedented cuts to already subpar levels of social assistance and “redistributes upward” to wealthy Americans.
This is why Dean Baker is one of my main go-to economists. He is data driven! He also knows the history, which is required if the data is to drive one to the proper conclusion.
⇧ [Buy New or Build New to Rent] Foreclosures Dry Up and a Hot Wall Street Trade Gets New Look – Bloomberg
It was a rare lucrative business for Wall Street in the aftermath of the financial crisis: snapping up properties in foreclosure and renting them out. So good, in fact, that now, as the distressed pool dries up, some investors are refusing to let the rental-model fizzle. They’re building more and more of the houses themselves.
⇧ Labour pledges to abolish tuition fees as early as autumn 2017 | Education | The Guardian
“The Conservatives have held students back for too long, saddling them with debt that blights the start of their working lives. Labour will lift this cloud of debt and make education free for all as part of our plan for a richer Britain for the many not the few,” Corbyn will say.
“We will scrap tuition fees and ensure universities have the resources they need to continue to provide a world-class education. Students will benefit from having more money in their pockets, and we will all benefit from the engineers, doctors, teachers and scientists that our universities produce.”
Who’d want that? Sane people.
⇧ Colorado’s Front Range Provides Perfect Environment for Hail Formation
… hailstone … spent close to an hour aloft in a cloud growing to the size of a small volleyball, then plunged to earth at more than 100 mph, struck the ground … weighing nearly 2 pounds …
⇧ Meyers guilty of murder, arson, other charges – News – The Evening Tribune – Hornell, NY
The prosecution said the motive was to collect $140,000 in insurance coverage that Iryn Meyers’ held on the house, her possessions that she kept in the house and O’Dell’s life.
⇧ Man and girlfriend conspired to burn house for $100,000 insurance payment, records state | AL.com
If convicted of the arson charge, Hudson faces up to life in prison. Rickard’s arson charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
⇧ Oconomowoc’s Islami gets 6 years in long-running arson, fraud case
… Islami, 61, pleaded no contest to starting that fire to collect fraudulent insurance money, and Carter found him guilty.