News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. May 10, 2018

Linking ≠ endorsement. News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. May 10, 2018

Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) 1911 - A Trip Through New York City (speed corrected w/ added sound)

2) Sen. Bernie Sanders' Job-Guarantee Boondoggle [not]

3) Greenpeace is right to hold our feet to the fire on deforestation, says Unilever chief

4) How Scott Pruitt Helped Arkansas Poultry Giants Pollute One of Oklahoma's Prettiest Rivers

5) Is the economy overheating?

6) The threat of secular stagnation has not gone away

7) Renewable Energy Jobs Top Record 10 Million Led by Solar: Chart

8) Older Renters Are Getting Squeezed

9) Weedkiller products more toxic than their active ingredient, tests show

10) 4 Rules of 1031 Exchanges Every Investor Should Know

11) Student debt just hit $1.5 trillion

12) The State of the American Debt Slaves, Q1 2018

13) Bartlett: The Republican Tax Cut Myth

14) Tax evasion and inequality

15) California regulators approve plan to mandate solar panels on new home construction

16) Last Year's Monster Hailstorm Caused $2.3B Damage in Colorado

17) California Commissioner Ran a Climate Change 'Stress Test' on Insurers

18) Oil Companies Ask Judge to Kill NYC's Global Warming Lawsuit

19) All these vulnerabilities rarely matter

20) The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business - RAI with Rana Foroohar (1/6)

21) Apple, Market Manipulation and the Cult of Personal Finance - RAI with Rana Foroohar (2/6)

22) Clinton's 'Committee to Save the World' Unleashes Wall Street — RAI with Rana Foroohar (3/6)

23) Sociopaths Rise to the Top - RAI with Rana Foroohar (4/6)

24) The Rich Have an Escape Plan - RAI with Rana Foroohar (5/6)

25) Artificial Intelligence in Whose Interests? - RAI with Rana Foroohar (6/6)

26) Future cityscape will feature driverless transport, smart buildings and co-working says JLL

27) Fed's QE Unwind Accelerates Sharply

28) Richard Murphy — Why Positive Money is wrong [not]

29) Extensions of the New Tax Law's Temporary Provisions Would Mainly Benefit the Wealthy [and hurt the poorest of the poor]

30) Are Wildfire Policies and Preparedness Helping or Hurting Risk?

31) Companies May Need to Rethink Gig Economy After Court Ruling

32) Democrats and 'socialism': Look at the record of programs that work

  1.    1911 - A Trip Through New York City (speed corrected w/ added sound)

    Old film of New York City in the year 1911. Print has survived in mint condition. Slowed down footage to a natural rate and added in sound for ambiance. This film was taken by the Swedish company Svenska Biografteatern on a trip to America.

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  2.    Sen. Bernie Sanders' Job-Guarantee Boondoggle [not]

    It is not true that people couldn't be fired from the program. They'd fall back to the welfare safety-net. People are fired now from public jobs. That doesn't have to change at all. Everyone willing and able to work would be employed. Everyone else would be taken care of via different means, different programs.

    As for health coverage, we need single-payer anyway.

    As for productivity, what mentioned doesn't need doing? I didn't see anything. There's tons of really productive work going undone that could be, and should be, done. The payback would be huge in many, many ways.

    There are simply people who would hate the program working. They'd do everything they could get away with to break the program. They don't even want to give it a try, even though it would cost nothing if we simply created the money the way we create it for wars and such. We could even create it without borrowing a dime.

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  3.    Greenpeace is right to hold our feet to the fire on deforestation, says Unilever chief

    This is a great effort.

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  4.    How Scott Pruitt Helped Arkansas Poultry Giants Pollute One of Oklahoma's Prettiest Rivers

    Okay, say you're a libertarian-capitalist who pooh-poohs environmentalism and also bought investment property along the pristine Illinois River because it was so clean and added to your property's value on account of that. How would you feel now about the anti-environmentalism Administrator of the EPA, Scott Pruitt? Would you be upset about crony capitalism or the damage to the river or both or what?

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  5.    Is the economy overheating?

    ... if the claim of the fitted Phillips Curve is accurate, it certainly means we could not stay at 3.9% unemployment forever. If we were to try to do it for 5 years in a row, for example, it would predict an inflation rate at the end of 5 years that would be 2% higher than when we started. We could easily live with 2.4% inflation. But 4% inflation would be a problem.

    I wanted to hit 3% unemployment and 5% inflation before the Fed reacted, but that wasn't to be. We pulled stimulus and bailed out the bankers rather than the workers. Now we still don't know what the real desire is for people to participate in this severely underpaying economy. Plus, many Democrats are finally getting on board with full employment with the government being the employer of last resort, something I advocated back in 2009 to get us out of the Great Recession and completely back to where we were before it happen, which still hasn't happened. We've still lost ground we've not regained. That's atypical. In addition, there are so many political variables in play right now at a rate we haven't experienced since the Great Depression that it's anyone's guess as to what will happen in the short run. Nevertheless, I'm betting on recession because I just don't think the Fed or government will do the right things.

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  6.    The threat of secular stagnation has not gone away

    Larry Summers doesn't see overheating in the cards either.

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  7.    Renewable Energy Jobs Top Record 10 Million Led by Solar: Chart

    If we were to have a guaranteed living income and also have the government as the employer of last resort at a livable wage, we could then transition to clean energy without fearing that people would lose jobs with no replacements available or would go hungry for lack of funds and so forth. If we were to have single-payer Medicare for all and non-tuition public education through grad school, we'd have the most advance society in every aspect in short order.

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  8.    Older Renters Are Getting Squeezed News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. May 10, 2018

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  9.    Weedkiller products more toxic than their active ingredient, tests show

    It is not clear how much Monsanto itself knows about the toxicity of the full formulations it sells. But internal company emails dating back 16 years, which emerged in a court case last year, offer a glimpse into the company's view. In one 2003 internal company email, a Monsanto scientist stated: "You cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen ... we have not done the necessary testing on the formulation to make that statement. The testing on the formulations are not anywhere near the level of the active ingredient." Another internal email, written in 2010, said: "With regards to the carcinogenicity of our formulations we don't have such testing on them directly." And an internal Monsanto email from 2002 stated: "Glyphosate is OK but the formulated product ... does the damage."

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  10.    4 Rules of 1031 Exchanges Every Investor Should Know

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  11.    Student debt just hit $1.5 trillion

    Not having free college is incredibly counterproductive. Students who earn the grades shouldn't have to pay a dime to keep going. They shouldn't have to worry about housing, food, medical, transportation, materials and supplies, or anything else that has to do with going to school to get the best education possible.

    Schools shouldn't need to invest to try to earn interest to keep the doors open and the cost to students free or low.

    All students debts should be paid off by new US currency created without the government borrowing anything.

    The government should fund the whole system via bond-free and tax-free new currency. If price inflation pops up, then tax it out of the system.

    Forget interest rates. Forget borrowing.

    It's all that simple.

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  12.    The State of the American Debt Slaves, Q1 2018

    Student loans in Q1 jumped by 5.4% ($77.8 billion) year-over-year to $1.51 trillion. While a shocking increase, it was the slowest year-over-year percent increase going back to 2007, the beginning of the data series: In fact, between 2007 and Q3 2012, these year-over-year increases ranged from 11% to 15%!

    But it's not like more people are going to college. Higher-education enrollment had peaked in 2010 and declined at least through 2015, according to the last data available from the National Center for Education Statistics. And yet, over the 10 years from Q1 2008 to Q1 2018, student loan balances soared by 146%, from $619 billion to $1.521 trillion. Over the same period, the consumer price index rose 16.9%.

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  13.    Bartlett: The Republican Tax Cut Myth

    This is part of why I see a recession on the horizon.

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  14.    Tax evasion and inequality

    ... there is an industry — in Switzerland, Panama, and other tax havens around the globe — that provides wealth concealment services to the world's wealthiest individuals. This industry typically only targets the very wealthy (people with more than $20 million or sometimes $50 million to invest), as serving too many would-be evaders would increase the risk for these banks and law firms that they would be discovered violating the law. Moderately wealthy individuals (below the top 0.1%) do not have access to these services and therefore do not evade as much tax. Further down the ladder, the majority of the population only earns wages and pension income, which cannot be hidden from the tax authority.

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  15.    California regulators approve plan to mandate solar panels on new home construction

    Smart move!

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  16.    Last Year's Monster Hailstorm Caused $2.3B Damage in Colorado

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  17.    California Commissioner Ran a Climate Change 'Stress Test' on Insurers

    So far, I've been very favorably impressed by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. He's doing his job. He's getting out front of the issue. He's thinking ahead by using what-ifs, which are looking less and less like ifs (if we don't sequester carbon above the rate at which we're releasing it or cut way back on burning it in the first place).

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  18.    Oil Companies Ask Judge to Kill NYC's Global Warming Lawsuit

    The times they are a changing?

    "Defendants knowingly and substantially contributed to climate change," lawyers for the city argued in papers arguing that Keenan should let the case go forward. "They are not exempt from tort law claims requiring them to internalize the environmental costs of their products instead of foisting them onto property owners, local governments, and the public."

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  19.    All these vulnerabilities rarely matter

    ... cyber-insurance firms feel comfortable writing policies all day long, even if they know full well their clients are technically riddled with vulnerabilities, because statistically they know those issues are unlikely to be exploited or lead to claims. That last part is key — claims. Exploitation of a vulnerability does not automatically result in a 'breach,' which does not necessarily equate to a 'material business loss,' and loss is the only thing the business or their insurance carrier truly cares about. Many breaches do not result in losses.
    ...
    What's needed to enable better decision-making, specifically how to decide what known vulnerabilities to fix or not to fix, is a purpose-built risk matrix specifically for application security. A matrix that takes each vulnerability class, assigns a likelihood of actual exploitation using whatever available data, and containing an expected loss range. Where things will get far more complicated is that the matrix should take into account the authentication status of the vulnerability, any mitigating controls, the industry, resident data volume and type, insider vs external threat actor, a few other things to improve accuracy.

    He has the right idea, and insurance companies actually already do this in their own ways.

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  20.    The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business - RAI with Rana Foroohar (1/6)

    I'm going to post the whole series, not because I agree with everything said (though I agree with 99%+, but because it does map out recent history (1920's on) and what financialization has done to severely damage our economy and democratic prospects.

    On Reality Asserts Itself, Ms. Foroohar says financialization delivers stagnant wages, inequality and economic crisis; the Financial Times columnist and author of "Makers and Takers" says the financial sector represents only 7 percent of the U.S. economy, but takes around 25 percent of all corporate profit while creating only 4 percent of all jobs - with host Paul Jay.

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  21.    Apple, Market Manipulation and the Cult of Personal Finance - RAI with Rana Foroohar (2/6)

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  22.    Clinton's 'Committee to Save the World' Unleashes Wall Street — RAI with Rana Foroohar (3/6)

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


  23.    Sociopaths Rise to the Top - RAI with Rana Foroohar (4/6)

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  24.    The Rich Have an Escape Plan - RAI with Rana Foroohar (5/6)

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  25.    Artificial Intelligence in Whose Interests? - RAI with Rana Foroohar (6/6)

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


  26.    Future cityscape will feature driverless transport, smart buildings and co-working says JLL

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  27.    Fed's QE Unwind Accelerates Sharply

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  28.    Richard Murphy — Why Positive Money is wrong [not]

    Look, I don't agree with Positive Money's monetary-authority ideas, never have; but, that doesn't mean Positive Money is entirely wrong to want to limit commercial banks' credit creation to 100% reserves and to move the power to create currency entirely into the democratic/public rather than the private sphere.

    MMT in general has no problem with the usury industry, per se, nearly as is.

    Furthermore, when a bank lends you the money to buy a house, how is it that it isn't lending you money? Honestly, simple logic refutes the argument that banks don't create money when issuing loan proceeds. How is it that the Fed measures money as inclusive of bank-issued loan proceeds? Does the Fed not know what money is?

    What is M1? It's a measure of money in supply. It includes, among other things, checkable deposits. When a bank creates credit out of thin air, it creates what is recordable in a checkable deposit and which doesn't have to be entirely backed by reserves at the Fed. That's money!

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  29.    Extensions of the New Tax Law's Temporary Provisions Would Mainly Benefit the Wealthy [and hurt the poorest of the poor]

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  30.    Are Wildfire Policies and Preparedness Helping or Hurting Risk?

    Approximately one-third of homes in the United States are located where dense forest meets urban development, an area called the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI). Homes in the WUI are likely to be among the first to burn during a wildfire event.

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  31.    Companies May Need to Rethink Gig Economy After Court Ruling

    On Monday, the state Supreme Court effectively expanded protections for workers, handing down a ruling that implements what's called an "ABC" test. A similar model has been embraced by other states, including Massachusetts, creating a three-part standard to decide whether a worker is an independent contractor. If any one of the components isn't met, then the worker is considered an employee by law. The three conditions in California are as follows:

    (a) that the worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact; and

    (b) that the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity's business; and

    (c) that the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed

    Those get progressively more difficult to meet. A is the easiest to set up. B could be defined differently by different courts. C is the really tough test. Many people who are currently working under the label "independent contractor" are working for only one "client."

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  32.    Democrats and 'socialism': Look at the record of programs that work

    Truth be told, FDR saved capitalism from itself by implementing the safety nets needed to catch people who would otherwise fall through the capitalist cracks to their deaths or at best, into abject poverty. FDR was not a socialist. He was a die-hard mixed-economy guy. He wasn't even a social democrat in practice. At most, one could call him a capitalist tempered by welfare-state leanings of necessity and out of a real sense of compassion.

    The rollback of the New Deal has been a huge error, which caused the Great Recession and will cause more massive problems if not reinstated and greatly enhanced.

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