News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 2, 2018

Linking ≠ endorsement. News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 2, 2018

Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) Akara Partners Buys Land for Downtown Phoenix Tower

2) New York man admits to rigging local elections in effort to develop real estate

3) The Los Angeles renters' guide: Everything you need to know about renting in LA

4) Introducing EarthTime: animations which show how our planet is changing

5) Bitcoin Drops to $5,860, Lowest since October 2017. True Believers with Fake Hopes Got Cleaned Out by Early Movers

6) How to Upgrade Your Property Just Enough

7) Strict curbs on global warming would buoy world economy

8) Robots? Training? Factories Tackle the Productivity Puzzle

9) Hyping the Cost of Regulation

10) China Begins to Question Whether It's Ready for a Trade War

11) Flooring Face-Off: Engineered Flooring vs. Hardwood Flooring: Can Engineered Flooring Stack Up Against True Hardwood?

12) Asset Prices Divorced From Economic Reality More Than Ever

13) US-China Trade: "It's complicated" is a gross understatement

14) Are Markets Too Concentrated?

15) Another Building in San Francisco Appears to Be Sinking

16) Dozens of Homes in North Florida Damaged by Wildfire

17) Storm Scammers Are Out

18) Protecting Your Property

19) Can manufactured homes help the housing crisis?

20) The Globalising Wall: globalisation, conflict and division

21) Oil industry is 'peddling misinformation' about electric vehicles

22) The great firewall of China: Xi Jinping's internet shutdown

23) Rising Risks: Baton Rouge emerges from devastating floods to lead the battle against rising water

24) Controlled Burn Sparked Fire That Destroyed 36 Florida Homes

25) Profiles in European Denial

26) The Washington Post Really Really Hates Markets When It Means Higher Pay for Ordinary Workers

27) Electric vehicles are gaining momentum, despite Trump

28) Man arrested for starting Colorado wildfire [review of regional fires too]

29) 4 Tests Investors Can Use to Find Holy Grail Real Estate Deals

30) Why Give Your Money to the IRS When You Could Keep it? [Cost Segregation]

31) End of the bailouts and onto a path to a new bankruptcy

  1.    Akara Partners Buys Land for Downtown Phoenix Tower

    The 23-story building is slated to have a total of 320 units, with a floorplan mix ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments.

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  2.    New York man admits to rigging local elections in effort to develop real estate

    It sounds like something from a movie. I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes one.

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


  3.    The Los Angeles renters' guide: Everything you need to know about renting in LA

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


  4.    Introducing EarthTime: animations which show how our planet is changing News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 2, 2018

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


  5.    Bitcoin Drops to $5,860, Lowest since October 2017. True Believers with Fake Hopes Got Cleaned Out by Early Movers

    Have you gotten out yet, or are you planning to ride it into the ground losing your entire stake?

    The True Believers have simply gotten run over by events.

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


  6.    How to Upgrade Your Property Just Enough News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jul. 2, 2018

    This article is actually very sensible.

    What we really want is to just be slightly above market-average quality, bring in top-of-market rent, and to last for the (very) long haul.

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  7.    Strict curbs on global warming would buoy world economy

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


  8.    Robots? Training? Factories Tackle the Productivity Puzzle

    If productivity growth is essentially fixed in the short term, as traditional models assume, then rising wages will most likely lead to faster inflation, as companies pass on higher costs to customers. That would most likely force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates more aggressively to prevent the economy from overheating.

    But if companies instead respond to the tight labor market by taking steps to increase productivity, then wages could rise without causing inflation. Under that approach, raising rates too quickly could be a costly mistake for the Fed, snuffing out the recovery before companies can make productivity-enhancing investments. That would be a particularly costly mistake because those investments carry long-term benefits — robots installed during a boom can keep running even when the economy slows.

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  9.    Hyping the Cost of Regulation

    This is a scathing article against the deregulation-at-any-cost industry.

    It turns out that the $2 trillion regulatory cost figure cited by President Trump as the basis for his regulatory reform promise also has been cited in dozens of congressional hearings and in the 2016 House Concurrent Budget Resolution that called for many of the regulatory "reforms" now being implemented or proposed. Yet the $2 trillion figure itself derives from two studies that were never published by an external source, much less peer reviewed. They were funded by organizations having a strong financial or institutional stake in the outcome of their studies. The studies completely ignore the benefits of regulations that might justify the actual costs.

    Most of all, as seen below, these studies employ cost-estimation methodologies so fundamentally flawed that the resulting numbers should not even be taken seriously, much less made the basis for a major policy shift.
    ...
    Ultimately, the Crain and Crews "studies" prove nothing at all about the cost of federal regulation. But they do reveal the existence of a highly influential echo chamber of scholars-for-hire and industry-funded centers dedicated to driving deregulation by hyping the cost of regulation and peddling bogus findings to powerful lawmakers. And they make a strong case for bipartisan pre-screening of studies used to inform legislation.

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  10.    China Begins to Question Whether It's Ready for a Trade War

    If Trump really means it, he can't lose. There are people who don't want him to succeed no matter what. They will say that the US can't win. They will only focus upon negatives for certain sectors of the US economy. If Trump were to subsidize negatively hit sectors, things would be different.

    My major beef against China is my beef against one-party dictatorships and one-leader dictators of such parties. I'm for grassroots democracy: economic democracy.

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  11.    Flooring Face-Off: Engineered Flooring vs. Hardwood Flooring: Can Engineered Flooring Stack Up Against True Hardwood?

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


  12.    Asset Prices Divorced From Economic Reality More Than Ever

    Right on:

    Their error was twofold: 1) not fully recognizing or believing the risk of asymmetric mark-to-market, where asset prices are variable, while liabilities remain fixed, and 2) not understanding the economy had morphed into a giant asset-driven feedback loop, where the wealth effect drives growth (both consumption and investment confidence), which drives asset prices, which drives the wealth effect. Wash, rinse, repeat.

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  13.    U.S.-China Trade: "It's complicated" is a gross understatement

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  14.    Are Markets Too Concentrated?

    "You don't want to inhibit firms from taking advantage of economies of scale," says Schmalensee. "On the other hand, you don't want those economies to get baked into monopoly positions that are defended by unfair means."
    ...
    ... many have called for more vigorous antitrust enforcement or new laws to address the rise in industry concentration. Carl Bogus, a professor of law at Roger Williams University, wrote in a 2015 article that antitrust law prior to the rise of the University of Chicago view was concerned not only with the economic consequences of large firms, but also with the political consequences as well. Bogus argues for using antitrust law to curtail corporate political power, even if doing so may result in some economic inefficiencies.
    ...
    More than a century after the passage of the 1890 Sherman Act, which established American federal antitrust law, it remains a challenge for policymakers to balance concerns about large firms wielding too much market power with a desire not to punish companies that have succeeded on their own merits.

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  15.    Another Building in San Francisco Appears to Be Sinking

    Transbay says the Millennium Tower's "inadequate foundation" is the cause of its sinking. Its foundation uses piles driven 60 to 90 feet into landfill, rather than having drilled down more than 200 feet to bedrock.

    Drill down there and engineer the fix so the building will stand up straight again, or take the building down?

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  16.    Dozens of Homes in North Florida Damaged by Wildfire

    As many as 20 to 30 homes may be complete losses ....

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


  17.    Storm Scammers Are Out

    ... be on the lookout for scam artists posing as contractors ....

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


  18.    Protecting Your Property

    Good advice for wind- and flood-prone areas.

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


  19.    Can manufactured homes help the housing crisis?

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


  20.    The Globalising Wall: globalisation, conflict and division

    American deficits, even after they returned to their pre-2007 levels, could no longer stabilise globalisation. The reason? Socialist largesse for the few, and ruthless market forces for the many, damaged aggregate demand, repressed the entrepreneurs' sales expectations, restricted investment in good jobs, diminished earnings for the many and, surprise surprise, confirmed the entrepreneurs' pessimism that underpinned low investment and low demand. Adding more liquidity to that mix made not a scintilla of a difference as the problem was not a dearth of liquidity but the dearth of demand. Abysmal inequality was merely the symptom.

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  21.    Oil industry is 'peddling misinformation' about electric vehicles

    Well, I still have a landline (the sound is vastly superior, so far), but otherwise, I agree.

    The real point for the landlord is charging stations. Do you install receptacles at parking spots?

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


  22.    The great firewall of China: Xi Jinping's internet shutdown

    ... the paradox inherent in China's efforts to promote itself as a champion of globalisation, while simultaneously advocating a model of internet sovereignty and closing its cyber-world to information and investment from abroad.

    This doesn't come up often when people discuss Trump's trade war with Xi. Even Trump doesn't bring it up.

    Xi touts dictatorship as the model for the world simply because China has been allowed to get away with being an increasingly totalitarian dictatorship while still having nearly totally unobstructed access to export to the rest of the world. Talk about undermining democracy.

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  23.    Rising Risks: Baton Rouge emerges from devastating floods to lead the battle against rising water

    ... investors, financial institutions that fund real estate projects, are paying more attention to the impacts of climate change on their portfolios.
    ...
    There seemed to be no question that the dangers of rising water and increasingly extreme weather are only getting worse.

    "We're planning for a future event that is actually going on," said Hebert.

    That means not just rethinking how to rebuild, but reimagining how to live.

    "We are preparing ourselves for the worst," said Ehrenwerth.

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  24.    Controlled Burn Sparked Fire That Destroyed 36 Florida Homes

    ... officials said they were suspending the practice of control burns statewide while they investigate what happened.

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  25.    Profiles in European Denial

    From perhaps my favorite political economist:

    Even before the Meseberg Summit, Macron had diluted his proposals to the point of surrender. The common bank deposit insurance scheme and the recapitalization fund were pushed into an implausible future in which the eurozone periphery's banks have to shed their bad loans before a proper banking union is forged. The common unemployment insurance scheme was not even discussed. Last but not least, a common debt instrument to underpin a eurozone budget amounting to 2-3% of eurozone aggregate income — the main prerequisite for a macroeconomically significant fiscal union — was unceremoniously consigned to the dustbin.

    Yanis Varoufakis would make a very fine European Finance Minister. He'd have to be serving under a democratic governmental-structure to be able to save Europe from itself, though. Therefore, Yanis is pushing democracy to push proper political economy. Is he tilting at windmills?

    I think Europe is in for a rude awakening, just as is the US. The current leadership in both places will fail, and the people will be told why it happened, which political-economic policies and practices that should have been followed, and could have been followed, to avoid the failures were not followed, were not allowed to be followed, were censored, etc.

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  26.    The Washington Post Really Really Hates Markets When It Means Higher Pay for Ordinary Workers

    There are a bit less than 1.3 million production and non-supervisory workers in the trucking industry. Suppose their pay went up by an average of $20,000 a year, which would be more than a 40 percent increase. (The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts their average pay currently at just $46,000 a year.)

    This huge pay increase would then add $20 billion to costs in the economy, or roughly 0.1 percent of GDP. (It's a bit less than 10 percent of what we pay our doctors each year.) It would be very interesting to see if the Post could find any economist who would say that this would lead to "uncontrolled inflation."

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  27.    Electric vehicles are gaining momentum, despite Trump

    I couldn't agree more or be happier about it. Excellent news and reporting:

    On one side of that battle: the Trump administration, a few US automakers, and Koch Industries, who would like to stymie or at least delay the electrification of vehicles and continue the use of fossil fuels.

    On the other side: California, a coalition of like-minded states, most automakers, a growing roster of utilities, and climate hawks. All of them are eager to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles (EVs), so that the sector can be run on increasingly clean grid power.
    ...
    Despite the flailing of the Trump administration and backward-looking fossil-fuel supporters, momentum around electrification is reaching critical mass. EVs are about to ride up the S-curve into exponential growth. It is difficult to predict exactly when, but it is inevitable. All these infrastructure investments, the rear-guard battles against Trump and Koch, and most of all the increasingly detailed sharing of knowledge and replicable best practices — all of it is like a winding spring that is going to shoot the EV market into rapid motion over the next few years.

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


  28.    Man arrested for starting Colorado wildfire [review of regional fires too]

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


  29.    4 Tests Investors Can Use to Find Holy Grail Real Estate Deals

    The financial functions are built into Excel. You can copy and paste examples from Excel's help right into spreadsheets.

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


  30.    Why Give Your Money to the IRS When You Could Keep it? [Cost Segregation]

    I've seen a number of articles on this subject of Cost Segregation, but this one left me with a better feel for what's entailed regardless of the size of the project.

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


  31.    End of the bailouts and onto a path to a new bankruptcy

    The entire point of everything Greece has been put through is to destroy Greek public ownership of anything. It is to reduce Greece to non-statehood. It is to force Greek workers into a state of abject slavery, where wages are simply a substitute for providing slave quarters and mush to eat. This is modern slavery where whips aren't used, only the real threat of starvation as the motivation to labor for one's owners. It is disgusting, and those who have inflicted this totally unnecessary and inhuman and inhumane situation on Greece are unspeakably evil.

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

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