Linking ≠ endorsement.
⇧ 4 Different Types of LLCs and the Ways They Pay Taxes
⇧ China manufacturing weakens amid US tariff battle
There's still plenty of room left for Trump to ratchet up tariffs. Even the extremely modest tariffs so far have gotten China's full attention. The laissez-faire capitalists crying for globalized "free trade" won't be able to stop Trump from gaining the upper hand over Xi of China. One need not be happy with all things Trump to still be glad that Xi won't end up getting his way.
⇧ Britain announces ban on high-rise combustible cladding
Why did it take so long to come up with that?
⇧ U.S. sues after California governor signs 'net neutrality' law
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai ... said ... California's internet regulation law ... prohibits many free-data plans, which allow consumers to stream video, music, and the like exempt from any data limits."
California's law DOES NOT block allowing "consumers to stream video, music, and the like exempt from any data limits." What's more, Ajit Pai knows it.
⇧ Executives are selling off their company's stock at a record pace
Corporatists taking profits while they can before the recession they're helping to set up kicks in:
... they're a purely financial play that don't improve a company's position in the long term, the way investing in equipment or in hiring might.
After the recession hits bottom, they'll take their cash and buy up everything on the cheap. It's the same old pattern of dupe the suckers.
⇧ Learning from History and Modeling: Chinese Trade Retaliation Choices
... the Chinese have not backed down in the past. Perhaps they will this time. If they don't, where does Mr. Trump's plan to beat the Chinese into submission lead to?
Really? Trump isn't nervous. China is. Where will it lead? To a beaten China. China will run out of ammo long before Trump will. The entire rest of the world would have to back China, which it won't. Xi knows this. The sooner he caves, the better for him. However, he will lose huge face. He will probably lose power. He will probably be replaced. His replacement will not be allowed to gain even remotely the amount of power taken by Xi.
⇧ Multifamily industry bolsters its amenities game
Upgrade ... to being like a resort hotel? It's not affordable yet. Maybe we can get it there so that everyone is living a higher quality of life. Let's do that while staying green.
⇧ Fearing debt trap, Pakistan rethinks Chinese 'Silk Road' projects
The shine is coming off China. It's Wild West economy is coming under more sophisticated scrutiny and none too soon.
The cooling of enthusiasm for China's investments mirrors the unease of incoming governments in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Maldives, where new administrations have come to power wary of Chinese deals struck by their predecessors.
⇧ Officials Promise "Dirty Money" Crackdown As Vancouver Housing Market Grinds To A Halt
In an effort to let some air out of one of the continent's most egregious property bubbles, British Columbia's government has announced an unprecedented crackdown on money laundering in Vancouver's property market in an attempt to stop a housing-market collapse from taking the city's GDP with it.
⇧ How to Evaluate A-Class, B-Class, and C-Class Properties
"If you buy the best house on the best street in the best neighborhood with the best capital growth projections, but your property manager is incompetent or a cheat, you're going to lose money because they are going to steal your rent."
So focus on the people rather than the stats and demographics of the particular area. That's pretty much it.
I say to focus on both.
⇧ 13 Habits the Vast Majority of Successful Leaders Share
⇧ AP Explains: How NAFTA 2.0 will shake up business as usual
Like other U.S. trade agreements, NAFTA allowed multinational companies to go to private tribunals to challenge national laws they said discriminated against them and violated the terms of the trade agreement. Critics charged the process gave companies a way to get around environmental and labor laws and regulations they didn't like, overruling democratically elected governments in the process.
U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer, who negotiated the new deal, had another complaint: The tribunals took some of the risk out of investing in unstable or corrupt countries such as Mexico. Why, Lighthizer argued, should the United States negotiate deals that encourage investment in other countries? The new pact scales back provisions protecting foreign investment. Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch and a sharp critic of NAFTA, praised the new agreement for reining in what she called NAFTA's "outrageous" tribunal system that had allowed big companies to launch "attacks on environmental and health policies."
That's certainly a positive if it lasts, is enforced, and isn't being mischaracterized.
⇧ Massive solar and wind farms could bring vegetation back to the Sahara
This is an interesting article, but I can guarantee that going to wind and solar from carbon is not going to be leaping from the frying pan into the fire.
⇧ Manhattan real estate is now in a year-long correction
Real estate brokers say the Manhattan real estate market is suffering from an oversupply of luxury units, a decline in foreign buyers and changes in the tax law that make it more expensive to own property in high-tax states.
⇧ Treated water at Fukushima nuclear plant still radioactive: Tepco
⇧ Poll surge for right-winger spurs Brazil markets
A jump in polling for a far-right politician leading the race for Brazil's presidency spurred financial markets on Tuesday as investors wagered his privatization-friendly policies could boost the flagging economy.
That's not true. They do not think privatization would boost the economy. They think privatization would boost the rich. The fact that Bolsonaro lauded the old dictatorship doesn't give greedy investors pause because they don't care at all about democracy, only their own wallets they're willing to fatten no matter who gets hurt among those who want to help the poor.
Privatization typically results in higher prices and worse services. Sometimes the services are so terrible after privatization that the People literally rise up and regovernmentalize the service.
The reason Brazil's economy ran into difficulty is the same reason the global economy ran into difficulty: foolish US deregulation for the sake of the greedy.
Well, let's be totally honest about it. Bezos is also dodging a political bullet with this move. He had come under heavy criticism for not paying workers enough and for not giving much money away from his huge private fortune.
It reminds me of Bill Gates, who wasn't giving away dime one until he started hearing it from people. Rockefeller was the same.
Do they need to be shamed into it, or is it that they do the math and realize they actually make more by being "nicer"?
Whatever the reason, I'm glad for the workers who will be getting a raise they deserve. Amazon has a reputation for really working its workers. Maybe Amazon could crank up the progressive benefits and also back those for the global economy.
It's never too late to learn heart.
⇧ Retailers sink as Amazon raises hourly pay; Dow at a record
Retailers sank Tuesday after Amazon said it will raise hourly wages for U.S. employees ....
Amazon, one of the largest private employers in the U.S., said it will raise the minimum wage for its U.S. workers to $15 an hour in November. Amazon also said it will advocate for an increase in the federal minimum wage, which has been $7.25 an hour since July 2009. Its stock fell, but other retailers suffered bigger losses.
"The question is, do other companies have to follow suit?" said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. "This is the argument that what's good for Main Street is not necessarily good for Wall Street."
That's because Wall Street isn't as bright as Main Street. With this move by Bezos, I see him in a new light. However, I'm reserving some judgment pending total follow-through on his part. I'm more inclined to buy from Amazon now. I'll continue watching concerning other issues besides just wage rates, though.
The issue of monopoly is not trivial. I don't think Amazon is there yet, but it's headed in that direction. There are a whole host of other issues I'm concerned with as well.
⇧ Getting Serious About Debt and Deficits: The Deficit Hawks Did Enormous Harm to Our Kids [actually, it wasn't just the hawks]
Ah, another long defense of deficits along the lines that deficits can be much higher without problems. What it doesn't mention on purpose is that there are no deficits when a government issues money without issuing governmental debt. Therefore, forget about borrowing. Just issue the money needed to keep the whole economy in relative balance and growing. Crowding out is then moot regardless. Who benefits? The People do. Who doesn't skim off undeserved, unearned cream? The lenders, the bond purchasers, and the lending industry.
⇧ Huge BART housing bill becomes law
Certainly raises loads of questions ...
⇧ Don't be fooled: Working Americans are worse off under Trump
As any White House would, the president's economic team touts positive earnings data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that suggest rising wages and salaries. But the figures are misleading. They focus not on how much an average working person earns but on the "average earnings" of all employed people. In times of rising inequality, employees at the top pull up "average" earnings. Shift to the bureau's earnings data for an average or "median" working person, and most of those claimed gains disappear. Another catch: The data used by the White House doesn't account for inflation. Adjust the median earnings data for inflation, and the illusion of progress evaporates.
⇧ 5 facts about U.S. suburbs
This is interesting info because so many investors have been looking to the suburbs rather than cores of cities.
⇧ Jury finds Charlotte County woman, 72, guilty of arson, insurance fraud
⇧ Multiple Fires Destroy 12 Buildings in New York
Most of the homes shared walls and there was room underneath the roofs that helped the flames spread.
⇧ Climate changing faster than feared, but why are we surprised?
"There is a cultural tradition in science, especially climate science, to not want to be alarmist," said Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a Washington-based research and advocacy group.
The 2013 IPCC report, for example, chose to not include in its sea-level projection the contribution of melting ice sheets, which have since emerged as the main driver.
⇧ D.C. approves regulations on short-term rentals like those available through Airbnb
Do long-term-rental landlords usually agree with the following?
... prevent neighborhood disruptions like properties that turn into party pads. ...
... required to get smoke detectors and liability insurance for their units.
⇧ How rising global temperatures will affect 6 major cities
The earth is on a trajectory to warm 3-4°C by 2100. This heat map details how that rise in temperatures will affect major metropolitan hubs.
⇧ China 'threatened with isolation' by veto written into US-Mexico-Canada trade deal
A clause allowing any member of the North American trio to effectively block each-other's free-trade deals seems aimed at China and is expected to feature in future US trade agreements
Some industries, such as garment and shoe manufacturing, had already started to move out of China to other developing economies with lower labour, energy and rental costs, Loh noted. Chinese businesses have started to join the exodus, with US tariffs the final blow to their ability to make a profit at home.
⇧ JPMorgan Cuts China Stocks on Risks of Full-Blown Trade War
"Higher tariffs are squeezing Chinese manufacturing's profit margin, reducing the investment incentive and hiring, which would then drag on consumption via reduced income," they wrote.
⇧ Mortgage fraud is getting worse as more people lie about their income to qualify for loans
A casual search will result in any number of online services that will not only generate fake pay stubs, but will also answer phone calls and "confirm" income verbally, all for a fee.
"Sites will have a disclaimer, claiming it's for novelty purposes or similar qualifying statements," said Berg. "Some are out of the country and not traceable. There are sites where you can buy credit lines to increase your credit."
The problem is nowhere near as severe as it was just over a decade ago, and the subprime market is nowhere near as large. (Subprime loans are those made to borrowers with low credit scores and little documentation.) Still, it is a slippery slope.
⇧ How the media helped turn the worst recovery in 100 years into a strong economy in stable hands before the 2015 election
This is textbook stuff (hence the 364 letter). In early 2009 UK interest rates hit their lower bound, so fiscal expansion was needed more than ever, and that is what happened under Labour. But the Conservatives bought the myth about 1981, carefully cultivated by the Institute of Economic Affairs and swallowed by the media, that the 364 economists had been wrong, so in opposition they opposed the 2008/9 and 2009/10 expansion and in government started a fiscal contraction, a contraction that only came to an end in 2017.
The inevitable consequence was the weakest recovery for 100 years.
⇧ Breaking with Wall Street: L.A. Puts It to the Voters
⇧ Huge rise in US plastic waste shipments to poor countries following China ban
"Canadians, Americans and Europeans need to realise it is an issue that is bigger than saying no to a plastic bag at the checkout. This requires a fundamental overhaul of our economy."
⇧ The Trump Trade Strategy Is Coming Into Focus
Finally, someone gets it.
... unpleasant as trade skirmishes with Europe or Canada or Japan may be, they're really a warm-up for a trade war with China.
Well, let's not forget how Trump has handled North Korea. He does make deals. He does carve out positions that are better for the US from his perspective.
Let's also not forget that China is a totalitarian dictatorship only getting worse.
Trump is willing to meet with anyone. I agree with that style. He's willing to break things but mend them. I agree with that style too.
Where I differ concerns prioritizing. Trump is, so far, an AGW denier. I have zero knowledge as to exactly why that's the case. A cynical view would be that he has massive investments in coal, oil, and gas. I hope he doesn't. I also totally disagree with tax cuts for corporatists and with promoting trickledown. Those will come back to haunt him. I hope it will be sooner than later so he'll be faced with having to change or lose office.
⇧ THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — SEPTEMBER 2018
The unemployment rate declined to 3.7 percent in September, and total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 134,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 263,000 to 4.6 million in September. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.
Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 73 cents, or 2.8 percent.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised up from +147,000 to +165,000, and the change for August was revised up from +201,000 to +270,000.
U-6 Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force Sept. 2018 7.5
Persons marginally attached to the labor force are those who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months.
⇧ Housing affordability hits 10-year low [Video]
⇧ Here's the number everyone in the financial markets is obsessing about and why
Well, now we'll see how soon the next recession will hit. Will the Fed back off properly, or will it remain fixated on raising rates bringing on a deeper recession and sooner?
⇧ The 3 Best U.S. States for Forming LLCs or Series LLCs
Are there reputational drawbacks with remaining anonymous?
⇧ Theft, fraud pleas net probation, $5,000 fine for Little Rock property owner
What do you think of the sentencing in this case? Was it too lenient?
⇧ Indiana Complex Damaged by Tornado Reopens
Naranjo says that dealing with insurance and construction timelines slowed down the $20 million project.
That makes insurance sound bad, but the article doesn't state how much of the rebuilding was paid by insurance.
⇧ What does Global Warming have to do with this? "North Carolina Road Repairs After Florence to Cost More Than $266M"
AGW causes roadway headaches that negatively impact real-estate investments. We all need to connect the dots so we can demand the correct governmental policies concerning AGW.
⇧ Congress OKs Disaster Fix to Aid Louisiana Flood Victims
⇧ New Fed paper: 'The consequences of higher temperatures on the US economy may be more widespread than previously thought'
Economic forecasting is a perilous exercise even in the short run — and the authors duly note their estimates should be "interpreted with caution, since future adaptations to changing temperatures may mute long-run effects."
Let's hope so, but let's not bet on it and sit on our hands.
⇧ The decline of our oceans is accelerating, but it's not too late to stop it
Thanks to growing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, marine life must now battle with increasing levels of acidification, warming and oxygen depletion. Once-pristine waters are fouled by inexorable flows of plastic pollution and damaging effluent from industry, agriculture and sewage.
Meanwhile human greed, as opposed to human need, is depleting the planet's fish stocks and marine resources at an unsustainable rate. There is a strong causal link between global warming, thermal stress on coral reefs, massive loss of marine biodiversity and the wellbeing of coastal communities. Add rising sea levels and the increasing frequency and ferocity of extreme weather events, and — for an islander like me — it's easy to imagine that you are drowning.
⇧ Banning Straws and Bags Won't Solve our Plastic Problem
We need to invest in redesigning plastics so that they can be readily broken down into their molecular units and remanufactured into new plastics of the same quality, the essence of a closed loop system. We need better recycling technology that can address the major obstacle of recycling plastics: about 25 percent of plastics collected are contaminated and therefore unusable. We need to reinvest government budgets in the infrastructure and associated policies needed for these systemic solutions. Once these technologies are deployed at a large scale, we can start recapturing the economic value of plastics, incentivizing their recovery and recycling, while minimizing plastic pollution and overconsumption of natural resources.
We need a wider array of smart public policies, a recycling infrastructure that's right-sized for the problem, better recycling technology and new business models.
⇧ The rise of the anonymous LLC
A class-action lawsuit against Harlem landlord Big City Realty — accusing the firm of overcharging tenants — became the subject of a March appeals court hearing, for instance. And that hearing largely revolved around a series of LLCs and whether or not they were really a part of the same "enterprise."
The complaint, first filed in 2016, had been dismissed by a lower court before tenant attorneys could conduct the discovery needed to demonstrate how the LLCs were allegedly all connected to the administration of the building.
The tenant attorneys in that case declined to speak for this story.
"The ability to hide the real owner of real estate has been a negative development and is not consistent with legal policy that applies to property in general," said Susan Pace Hamill, a University of Alabama law professor who published research on LLCs when they began to explode in popularity in the 1990s.
There are so many reasons the concept of anonymous LLCs is under attack that I suspect the cover will come off.
⇧ A major new climate report slams the door on wishful thinking
It would require replacing the bulk of the world's fossil fuel generators with cleaner alternatives. It would drive the world to electrify everything.
We also have to sequester, end plastics pollution, rein in other chemical pollution, fix radiation leaks (such as Fukushima), and do many other things. It truly is going to have to be a global, war-footing economic and political effort.