News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Aug. 13, 2018

Linking ≠ endorsement. News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Aug. 13, 2018

Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) Firefighters battle to save communities from epic California fire

2) World at risk of heading toward irreversible 'hothouse' state

3) China's Yuan, Shares Fall as Trade Row Overshadows Policy Shift

4) 'FOMO' to become 'FONGO' in a falling property market

5) California battles its biggest ever wildfire and 16 other blazes

6) Smoking kills... your home's resale value

7) Wells Fargo accidentally foreclosed on hundreds of homeowners

8) PCI: Majority of Texans Not Prepared for Hurricane Season

9) Crews gain ground on monster California wildfire

10) The Push to the Suburbs: Is Public Transit Keeping Up?

11) How Cities and Their Suburbs are Affected by the Tech Boom

12) The '80s Are Thriving at Trump's Fed

13) Tariffs Not Hitting Solar Industry Jobs Yet

14) The anti-money laundering stalemate

15) Ready to rent a home? Beware of these new scams

16) Businesses and veterans campaign against rent control

17) Trump Team Blames California Wildfires on Environmentalists, Sparking Backlash

18) Here's why affordability in US housing market is at record lows

19) Monsanto to Pay $289.2M in Landmark Roundup Lawsuit Verdict

20) China's Japanese Lesson For Fighting Trump's Trade War

21) I Asked Landlords for Their Best Tips: Here Are 6 Recurring Secrets to Success

22) France to set penalities on non-recycled plastic next year

23) Stark decline in labor force participation for men 25-54 [the issue of automation]

24) 'Everything we've heard about global urbanization turns out to be wrong' - researchers [I was skeptical. Now I'm not.]

25) Conflict reigns over the history and origins of money

26) China Scrambles to Cool Overheated Real Estate Market as Housing Bubble Continues to Grow

27) These unique maps shed a different light on immigration in US cities

28) Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World — review

  1.    Firefighters battle to save communities from epic California fire

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  2.    World at risk of heading toward irreversible 'hothouse' state

    ... processes include permafrost thaw; the loss of methane hydrates from the ocean floor; weaker land and ocean carbon sinks; the loss of Arctic summer sea ice and the reduction of Antarctic sea ice and polar ice sheets.

    "These tipping elements can potentially act like a row of dominoes. Once one is pushed over, it pushes Earth toward another," said Johan Rockström ....

    We've known this for decades now, but libertarian-capitalism has blocked intelligence.

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


  3.    China's Yuan, Shares Fall as Trade Row Overshadows Policy Shift

    Xi will blink. He has no choice.

    As we all know, there are Trump haters at all cost. I prefer sober analysis regardless of what I think about Donald Trump personally or as President.

    I'm not trying to inject politics here but the exact opposite.

    What I'm driving at is that there are economic pundits who have been trashing Trump's trade war with China not because Trump will lose but because they want him to. Some want him to because they hate him. Some want him to because they don't want the Old World Order to be shown to have been wrong.

    I've known the Old World Order is wrong for decades. That's not to say that I agree with the New World Order Trump is hoping to build. He and I disagree on some very basic fundamentals, and I know his plan won't work any better than the Order it's intended to replace.

    All of that said, again, Xi will blink whether Trump haters or Old World Order die-hards want that or not.

    Personally, I not only know he'll blink, I hope he falls for the right reasons, democracy being front and center in that.

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


  4.    'FOMO' to become 'FONGO' in a falling property market

    Wow, is this ever optimistic. I was thinking more like 30-40%.

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


  5.    California battles its biggest ever wildfire and 16 other blazes News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Aug. 13, 2018

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  6.    Smoking kills... your home's resale value

    Smokers' homes can lose up to 29% of their resale value.

    Do you rent to smokers and allow them to smoke in the rental?

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


  7.    Wells Fargo accidentally foreclosed on hundreds of homeowners

    What does it take to lose a license to practice banking? Tons of Savings and Loans (S&Ls) were shut down and taken over by commercial banks. Why didn't the government shut down commercial banks engaged in worse behavior than the S&Ls were?

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


  8.    PCI: Majority of Texans Not Prepared for Hurricane Season

    You can lead a horse to water, but ...

    ... 72 percent of residents in the state have not taken any precautions this year in advance of hurricane season.

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


  9.    Crews gain ground on monster California wildfire

    On Sunday, President Donald Trump ... blamed California's environmental policies for worsening the fires.

    California's environmental policies aren't strong enough. In the face of CA trying to rollback carbon-burning-caused global warming, Trump is working to rollback CA's efforts. Carbon-burning-caused global warming only make such wildfires worse.

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


  10.    The Push to the Suburbs: Is Public Transit Keeping Up?

    Excellent points ...

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  11.    How Cities and Their Suburbs are Affected by the Tech Boom

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


  12.    The '80s Are Thriving at Trump's Fed

    ...a younger generation of researchers is reassessing the earlier work. Emi Nakamura, an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley who received her Ph.D. from Harvard in 2007, has been looking at the empirical evidence and is finding that it differs from some of the New Keynesian model's assumptions.

    In one recent paper, noting that actual unemployment is typically above estimates of the natural rate instead of fluctuating around the estimates, she and her co-authors find that allowing higher inflation may reduce average unemployment. In another, they suggest that some of the costs of higher inflation implied by the original New Keynesian models are overstated.

    "We still have this New Keynesian model in our heads," says Mark Wright, research director at the Minneapolis Fed. "The fact that we're not maybe seeing it work the way we thought has led us to consider some alternatives."

    Well, as my consistent readers know only too well, I wrote ages ago shortly after the crash that unemployment would have to hit 3% and general price inflation 5% before the Fed should touch the brakes.

    We could hit 3% unemployment and wait a long time before seeing 5% inflation. Of course, there are plenty of variables that are beyond control because geopolitics is subject to whims.

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


  13.    Tariffs Not Hitting Solar Industry Jobs Yet

    ... although solar job postings initially declined around the time of the tariffs, they are back at their pre-tariff level. This is consistent with the overall labor market, which has yet to show evidence of any meaningful response to changes in trade policy.

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  14.    The anti-money laundering stalemate

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, arguably the country's most influential lobbying group, has labeled the requirement for LLC owner disclosure a "paperwork nightmare" for business owners and claimed it would "undermine the privacy rights of millions of American citizens." The conservative and libertarian advocacy group FreedomWorks, founded by the Koch brothers, went further and called efforts to disclose beneficial ownership "garbage."

    "[They] say that it's going to be a workload that they can't handle, which I think is a bunch of propaganda," Sen. Grassley told TRD of those fighting against the bill.

    Money laundering makes it harder for legitimate operators to compete, etc.

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


  15.    Ready to rent a home? Beware of these new scams

    Scams make things harder for legitimate landlords. When you rent out properties, deal in a way scammers can't. Make that method the industry standard that all renters will come to expect.

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


  16.    Businesses and veterans campaign against rent control

    Just leaving things to the "market" doesn't work. However, rent controls aren't necessarily the best answer for renters. Landlords should rethink being against rent subsidies (if they are). Section-8-type assistance could be greatly increased. That would support developers, landlords, and tenants.

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


  17.    Trump Team Blames California Wildfires on Environmentalists, Sparking Backlash

    Excellent counter:

    While experts consider forest thinning — a policy advocated for by the timber industry — a valid way to reduce the risk of wildfires, many of the fires in California are taking place where thinning already occurred, said Char Miller, a professor of environmental analysis and history at Pomona College in Claremont, California.

    As far as I know, environmentalists haven't been opposed to proper thinning and such for many, many decades. The lessons of putting out every fire that promoted way too much unnatural undergrowth was not lost on environmentalists. That's how prescribed burns got started: trying to do what nature used to do but at the same time protecting human habitats, though even where people build homes and businesses has come in for plenty of negative criticism from environmentalists and various industries, such as insurance companies providing fire coverage.

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


  18.    Here's why affordability in U.S. housing market is at record lows

    Diana Olick analyzes a report by the National Association of Home Builders that reveals the trend of decreasing affordability in the U.S. housing market.

    Here's why affordability in U.S. housing market is at record lows from CNBC.

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


  19.    Monsanto to Pay $289.2M in Landmark Roundup Lawsuit Verdict

    The case will very likely be appealed, but one should still be aware of the outcome of this particular trial.

    As a landlord or property manager or firm, are you erring on the side of caution when it comes to the pesticides and herbicides you're using or allowing to be used on the properties under your control?

    It will be interesting to watch what my industry, property and casualty insurance, does regarding this issue.

    "We were finally able to show the jury the secret, internal Monsanto documents proving that Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate and specifically Roundup could cause cancer," Wisner said. "Despite the Environmental Protection Agency's failure to require labeling, we are proud that an independent jury followed the evidence and used its voice to send a message to Monsanto that its years of deception regarding Roundup is over and that they should put consumer safety first over profits."

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


  20.    China's Japanese Lesson For Fighting Trump's Trade War

    Yuwa Hedrick-Wong:

    From Beijing's perspective, the lessons learned from the U.S.-Japan trade war are clear: don't yield to U.S. pressure as Japan did, and don't become solely dependent on America as an export market as Japan was. And China today is in a much stronger position to put into practice these lessons learned. While Japan's GDP was only at 40% of America's in the mid-1980s, China's GDP was close to 70% of America's last year, according to the IMF. Japan's total import has never been big enough for it to wield real international influence, whereas China today is the biggest market for a growing list of countries including Japan, Australia, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, and South Korea.

    In the trade war with the U.S., China will not become another Japan.

    Well, that's not the issue.

    First of all, Trump is prepared to do a great deal more against China than what was done concerning Japan, though I have more sympathy for Japan than I do for the one-party dictatorship headed by the increasingly totalitarian Xi.

    However, I don't think inducing democracy is President Trump's priority, though it ought to be.

    Secondly, Trump isn't focused solely on China, far from it. Trump appears to be juggling tens more nations than the US was working on when it targeted Japan.

    For China to win, the US has to lose in general. There are simply too many smaller nations not prepared to line up with China against the US, at least so far.

    China is powerful, but it is also not nearly as powerful as the US still is.

    If Trump has his way, the decrease in US power will reverse. That's been his plan all along.

    Lastly, China is talking a great deal more about this issue than China historically has talked about concerning issues important to China. It's not a scientific statement on my part but rather a sense or feeling that China is engaged in a bit of uncharacteristic blustering right now, which strikes me as revealing about just how worried they are that they do not have what it takes to back up claims of near impunity.

    It won't take very long to find out under Trump. Once China is exposed and shows it, Xi will blink and cave or likely be replaced.

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


  21.    I Asked Landlords for Their Best Tips: Here Are 6 Recurring Secrets to Success

    Secrets?

    ... strong returns don't come from one silver bullet, but from a holistic, systematic approach to managing your rentals.

    Your returns as a landlord aren't based on a typical month. They're based on how well you can avoid the big, hairy, expensive interruptions that come along infrequently.

    Turnovers. Evictions. Large repairs. Tenant damage. Lawsuits.

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


  22.    France to set penalities on non-recycled plastic next year

    Make total war on non-recyclable, non-recycled plastics:

    Under the new plan, products with recycled plastic packaging could cost up to 10 percent less, while those containing non-recycled plastic up to 10 percent more, Poirson said.

    The government also aims to increase taxes on burying trash in landfills while cutting taxes for recycling operations, hoping to address the growing problem of tonnes of plastic finding its way into oceans.

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


  23.    Stark decline in labor force participation for men 25-54 [the issue of automation]

    Much assembly-line work has become automated as have other routine jobs in sales, office and administrative services and in the typically male-dominated fields of construction, installation, maintenance and transportation.

    "Technology has impacted jobs requiring middle skills," said Brad Kleindl, professor of marketing and dean of the College of Management at Park University. "Manufacturing today is so highly automated that it takes a higher level of skill to run a machine."

    It's not just factory jobs.

    "Coding is now being done by computers," Kleindl said. "Coal mining, too, has become a very automated process. Individuals no longer have to go down into a shaft—now they take the top of the mountain off."

    That's the trend, and it's not going to end until everything is fully automated (if that's what we want).

    One way or another, the necessity of working to earn money to pay to live is going to go by the wayside. The sooner we get a grip on that and start planning and implementing, the less difficulty making the transition we'll have.

    Those who say that increasing automation is going to create enough new jobs are simply stating a falsehood. That is not what's going to happen unless we deliberately decide to hold back automation just so people will be able to or have to work.

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


  24.    'Everything we've heard about global urbanization turns out to be wrong' - researchers [I was skeptical. Now I'm not.]

    Most countries use a population density threshold, but those figures can vary widely.

    The United States, for example, starts classifying settlements as urban when they exceed a population threshold of 2,500.

    For Egypt, the number is 100,000, according to Dijkstra.

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


  25.    Conflict reigns over the history and origins of money

    Mainstream economists assume that bartering of goods and services inspired money's invention. Anthropologists and archaeologists contend that early states invented currency as a means of debt payment.

    I like this article.

    What specifically spurred the creation of "money" within society? The answer is, it depends.

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


  26.    China Scrambles to Cool Overheated Real Estate Market as Housing Bubble Continues to Grow

    Chinese cities have sought to keep housing prices from skyrocketing by limiting the number of properties one can purchase and sell, raising the minimum down-payment ratio for homebuyers, and boosting the time period between a purchase and when a unit can be then listed on the market for resale.

    There are not enough outlets for money because there is insufficient democracy.

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


  27.    These unique maps shed a different light on immigration in US cities

    Racism and ethnic bigotry in housing is rightly illegal, but there's nothing wrong with a landlord, manager, or firm better understanding a given area along ethnic and cultural lines.

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


  28.    Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World — review

    ... we are at a 1930 point — soon after the crash, and with a fascist moment upon us. If so, the pressing question is this: when will we rise up against the nationalist international bred across the west by the technostructure's inane handling of its inevitable crisis?

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

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