News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jan. 22, 2019

Linking ≠ endorsement. News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jan. 22, 2019

Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) New Consensus

2) Housing Inventory Tracking

3) 11 Apartment Showing Tips to Attract Quality Tenants

4) The left's Stockholm syndrome [why Progressive's Brexit]

5) 20K Initiative

6) German Industry Comes Clean on China

7) China's Consumers Rattle Global Automakers as Sales Plunge

8) Suit Targets Shell Over Oilfield Contamination in Louisiana's Spanish Lake Basin

9) 'Goat Fund Me' Campaign Launched by California Town to Prevent Wildfires

10) Septic Tanks in Miami-Dade Failing Due to Sea Level Rise

11) Feds, states can help biochar live up to its soil-saving potential

12) 12 best smart home security cameras (indoor and out)

13) Antarctica's annual ice loss six times greater than 40 years ago, Nasa research shows

14) Des Moines Buying 78 Flood-Damaged Homes

15) After 2018 Flooding, Mitigation a Priority for 2 Wisconsin Counties

16) TDI Shares Consumer Concerns About Contractors, Roofers with Lawmakers

17) A 'Blue Norther' ... Here's What That Is

18) Is it Time to Review Your Policies?

19) Housing pledge driven by responsibility, gratitude, says Microsoft president

20) New Study Concludes Greenland Ice Sheet Is Melting Even In Winter (video)

21) Climate Change's Giant Impact on the Economy: 4 Key Issues

22) These are the biggest risks facing our world in 2019: "sleepwalking into catastrophe"

23) Healthcare giant Kaiser buys Oakland building for affordable housing

24) Landlord convicted of setting blaze can't extinguish his prison sentence

25) 3-in-5 Californians Cite Housing Displacement Issues After Severe Weather Events: Poll

26) Chinese unemployment worries are growing as Beijing beefs up stimulus

27) China Injects Gargantuan 1.1 Trillion In Liquidity This Week

28) 6 Types of Rental Property Add-Ons (& a Look at Whether They're Worth It)

29) China's growth data may mask economic risks: research group

30) A Simple Fix for a $17 Billion Loophole: How States Can Reclaim Revenue Lost to Tax Havens

31) The Trump Tax Cut Is Even Worse Than They Say

32) Scientists say microplastics are all over farmlands, but we're ignoring the problem

33) Fears of excessive debt drive more countries to cut down their Belt and Road investments

34) The Green New Deal: How We Will Pay For It Isn't 'A Thing' - And Inflation Isn't Either

35) Man Fatally Shot at Luxury San Diego Apartment Had Role in Sex Trafficking Gang

36) Enable a circular economy: Procter & Gamble takes the lead on tackling ocean plastic

37) Why does LA's mandatory retrofit program ignore vulnerable steel skyscrapers?

38) Four Homelessness Trends from 2018 and What They Could Mean for 2019

39) The precautionary principle is what the US needs. The French have it.

40) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac regulator discussing plan to end conservatorship

41) ... welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism

42) 'We're in Uncharted Waters.' Schools Brace for Lunch Funding Challenges If Shutdown Continues

43) Washington Post Forgets to Mention, Scott Walker Misled Fifth Graders About Taxes

44) Max Keiser's Claim That Brits Are Dumping Sterling For Bitcoin Is False

45) World's 26 richest people own as much as poorest 50%

46) The Shutdown Is Causing Mass Confusion for Food Stamp Recipients

47) For a Real-World Example of Ocasio-Cortez's Tax Proposal, Look to Sweden

48) China's Xi [totalitarian dictator] Warns Party of "Serious Dangers" as Risks Mount

49) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Crusher of Sacred Cows

50) 9 Ways to Survive (and Thrive) During the Next Market Crash

51) Firm in $1.7-million dispute with insurer

52) "5 minutes of sheer terror": Hackers infiltrate East Bay family's Nest surveillance camera, send warning of ... attack

53) Renegade Inc: Financial Capitalism - The End Game - YouTube

54) Investing Prophet Jeremy Grantham Takes Aim at Climate Change

55) What To Ask Your Tax Advisors About The New Section 199A Regulations

56) Tornadoes Cause Damage in Alabama, Florida Panhandle

57) Investigators Probe Gas Leaks at South Carolina Apartment Complex

58) Minnesota Among Fastest Warming States in US

  1.    New Consensus

    The world needs a new worldview.

    True.


  2.    Housing Inventory Tracking News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jan. 22, 2019

    Watching existing home "for sale" inventory is very helpful. As an example, the increase in inventory in late 2005 helped me call the top for housing.

    And the decrease in inventory eventually helped me correctly call the bottom for house prices in early 2012 ....

    He nailed the bottom to the very week.


  3.    11 Apartment Showing Tips to Attract Quality Tenants News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jan. 22, 2019

    Very professional ...


  4.    The left's Stockholm syndrome [why Progressive's Brexit]

    This is why so many progressives were, and remain, in favor of Brexit.

    ... the EU's economic and political 'constitution' is structured to produce the very results that we are seeing today — the erosion of popular sovereignty, the massive transfer of wealth from the middle and lower classes to the upper classes, the weakening of labour, and more generally the rollback of the democratic and socioeconomic gains that had previously been achieved by the subordinate classes. Indeed, it is designed precisely to impede the kind of radical reforms to which progressive integrationists or federalists aspire.
    ...
    ... less realisable is a radical reform of the treaties in a more solidaristic and Keynesian direction. This would require a 'eurozone government' to run budget deficits with the support of a reformed ECB, full debt mutualisation, permanent fiscal transfers between countries, and so on. Let's take a minute to think about what such sweeping institutional reform would entail. First of all, it would require left-wing governments coming to power in every single country of the union more or less at the same time ....

    ... even in the unlikely event of a simultaneous, international alignment of left-wing governments, there is little reason to believe that Germany and the other countries of the 'ordoliberal bloc' would ever be part of such an alliance, considering the deeply engrained anti-Keynesianism of Germany's monetary and political establishment. Indeed, any hopes that the new German government might be more inclined to a sensible reform of the European Monetary Union (EMU) were dashed by the country's new finance minister, the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz, who made clear that Germany would not entertain any expansion of the European Union's fiscal capacity (thus rejecting Emmanuel Macron's proposals, which in themselves were problematic) and would delay other 'reforms' that Germany had previously suggested it would support.


  5.    20K Initiative News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jan. 22, 2019

    Affordable housing design ...

    Building codes are an issue. Insurance is an issue. Nevertheless, it's a good project.

    Educating lawmakers and insurance underwriters would be required.

    I could see an enterprising landlord undertaking that effort.


  6.    German Industry Comes Clean on China

    German grumbling over the Communist Party's tightening grip on the Chinese economy under President Xi Jinping has been growing steadily louder.


  7.    China's Consumers Rattle Global Automakers as Sales Plunge

    If Trump hadn't put on the tariffs, this would not have happened.


  8.    Suit Targets Shell Over Oilfield Contamination in Louisiana's Spanish Lake Basin

    The plume extends half-mile to mile outward, the land bank expert found. The salt contamination reaches 90 feet deep and could be leaching deeper into the Mississippi River Valley Aquifer.


  9.    'Goat Fund Me' Campaign Launched by California Town to Prevent Wildfires

    The threat of catastrophic wildfires has driven a California town to launch a "Goat Fund Me" campaign to bring herds of goats to city-owned land to help clear brush.

    Why rent? Why not own?


  10.    Septic Tanks in Miami-Dade Failing Due to Sea Level Rise

    Miami-Dade has tens of thousands of septic tanks, and a new report reveals most are already malfunctioning — the smelly and unhealthy evidence of which often ends up in people's yards and homes. It's a billion-dollar problem that climate change is making worse.


  11.    Feds, states can help biochar live up to its soil-saving potential: Study shows how government promotes agricultural, environmental benefits -- and could do more

    An environmentally intelligent move we aren't yet making on a national or global level:

    ... high-temperature decomposition of biomass.


  12.    12 best smart home security cameras (indoor and out)

    This is a UK post but helpful.


  13.    Antarctica's annual ice loss six times greater than 40 years ago, Nasa research shows

    The Antarctic ice sheet is losing six times as much ice each year as it was in the 1980s and the pace is accelerating, one of the most comprehensive studies of climate change effects on the continent has shown.

    Have flood insurance?


  14.    Des Moines Buying 78 Flood-Damaged Homes

    Kading Properties, a management company that leases homes, sold two properties for $147,000 each. The two duplexes saw about 3 feet of flooding this summer, CEO Carie Kading said.


  15.    After 2018 Flooding, Mitigation a Priority for 2 Wisconsin Counties

    Dane County has budgeted more than $18 million this year to go toward flood mitigation projects ....


  16.    TDI Shares Consumer Concerns About Contractors, Roofers with Lawmakers

    Proponents of roofing contractor licensing, including insurance industry representatives, have tried twice — and failed — in previous legislative sessions to get a licensing bill passed by Texas lawmakers, according to Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas.


  17.    A 'Blue Norther' ... Here's What That Is News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jan. 22, 2019

    This will be over before this is posted, but the historical stats are amazing.


  18.    Is it Time to Review Your Policies?

    Has your property appreciated?


  19.    Housing pledge driven by responsibility, gratitude, says Microsoft president

    This is better than nothing; but; contrary to Brad Smith's position, if the government won't print the money, then taxes are the only solution. Yes, public-private can work, but public means subsidizing, which means public funds, which means print it or tax to get it back from the private sector. Personally, I'm for printing it because creating housing is productive to the point that the extra money won't be chasing a supply that won't be forthcoming. In other words, there won't be a price-inflation component if the planning is done properly.

    I'm not sure Brad wants that idea out there, but there you have it.

    The real problem lies with construction material, equipment, and skills constraints. That, however, is the whole point in proper planning, scheduling, etc.

    Make the plan. Issue the money as needed when needed and not before. Earmark it specifically for financing the entire plan, including skills training.

    The whole thing would be great for the general economy. Developers, contractors, and landlords would all be subsidized so they'd all make very decent livings doing it.

    What would be wrong with that?

    Housing pledge driven by responsibility, gratitude, says Microsoft president from CNBC.

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


  20.    New Study Concludes Greenland Ice Sheet Is Melting Even In Winter (video)

    Very interesting and vitally important information:

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


  21.    Climate Change's Giant Impact on the Economy: 4 Key Issues

    ... spending today to reduce carbon emissions tomorrow is like insurance against some of the most costly effects of a hotter planet — and part of the debate is over how much that insurance is really worth, given that the biggest benefits are far in the future.
    ...
    "I've spent the last 20 years trying to communicate it and it's not easy to process," Joseph Aldy, who teaches at Harvard's Kennedy School for Public Policy, said of the connection between climate change and the economy. "It's really hard to convey something that is long term and gradual until it's not."


  22.    These are the biggest risks facing our world in 2019: "sleepwalking into catastrophe"

    For leaders surveyed for the latest edition of the World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report, environmental threats dominate the list for the third year in row - both in terms of impact and likelihood.

    "Of all risks, it is in relation to the environment that the world is most clearly sleepwalking into catastrophe," the report warns.


  23.    Healthcare giant Kaiser buys Oakland building for affordable housing

    According to a company announcement, "an approximate $5.2 million has been committed to acquire a 41-unit housing complex in East Oakland, near Kaiser Permanente's national headquarters" for affordable housing purposes.


  24.    Landlord convicted of setting blaze can't extinguish his prison sentence

    A landlord who reeked of gasoline right after a vacant Dauphin County house he owned went up in flames deserves his arson and insurance fraud convictions, a state appeals court panel has ruled.


  25.    3-in-5 Californians Cite Housing Displacement Issues After Severe Weather Events: Poll

    More than two-in-five Americans don't believe their community is structurally or financially prepared to handle a natural disaster and it's therefore unable to keep communities together or keep people in their homes ....


  26.    Chinese unemployment worries are growing as Beijing beefs up stimulus

    The overarching worry for China's leaders is that unemployment could lead to social unrest, and deeper questioning of the Communist Party's claim to having a handle on the best interests of the country. ...
    ...
    ... China lacks a standard system for companies to prove they can pay back their loans.
    ...
    ... Manufacturing, and wholesale and retail trade did have the lowest employment outlooks ....


  27.    China Injects Gargantuan 1.1 Trillion In Liquidity This Week

    They did exactly what they said they wouldn't because they haven't reformed democratically and the dictatorship doesn't know what it's doing and never will.

    ... with Chinese economic and trade data turning from bad to worse with every passing day, Beijing's response is increasingly one of a panicked "spasm", as Nomura's Charlie McElligott wrote today when he noted that with regard to the response of Chinese authorities in addressing their economic slowdown and credit crunch, "it had to get worse before it got better"—recently collapsing Chinese data has now clearly forced an escalation of easing-/stimulus-/liquidity- policies ....


  28.    6 Types of Rental Property Add-Ons (& a Look at Whether They're Worth It)

    You may disagree with aspects of this article, but it's all food for thought.


  29.    China's growth data may mask economic risks: research group

    Xiang Songzuo, a finance professor at Beijing's Renmin University and former chief economist of China Agriculture Bank, said in a lecture last month that 2018 growth may have been as low as 1.67 percent, or even contracted.

    I think he's right. For instance, auto sales in China are very telling. They've fallen a great deal and will continue doing so even after Trump and Xi make a deal (when they do, if they do).


  30.    A Simple Fix for a $17 Billion Loophole: How States Can Reclaim Revenue Lost to Tax Havens

    Unless you're a major international player using tax havens, you'd be better off with the following because it would lessen the tax hit on you if you're in a state with a state income tax:

    Enacting Worldwide Combined Reporting or Complete Reporting in all states, this report calculates, would increase state tax revenue by $17.04 billion dollars. Of that total, $2.85 billion would be raised through domestic Combined Reporting improvements, and $14.19 billion would be raised by addressing offshore tax dodging (see Table 1). Enacting Combined Reporting and including known tax havens would result in $7.75 billion in annual tax revenue, $4.9 billion from income booked offshore.

    Local businesses tend not to hide their profits with complex international tax schemes, but they do compete against other businesses who exploit those loopholes. Enacting Worldwide Combined Reporting would even the playing field in addition to generating critical revenue.


  31.    The Trump Tax Cut Is Even Worse Than They Say

    ... there is zero evidence that the tax cut is leading to the sort of investment boom that will qualitatively boost the rate of productivity and GDP growth and provide workers with substantially higher pay.

    In this context, the deficits from the Trump tax cut are a problem. If the economy is bumping up against its limits and the labor market is close to full employment, it means a much larger share of output is going to the consumption of the wealthy. That both means less private consumption for everyone else, and it makes it more difficult to have major initiatives that involve substantial spending ....


  32.    Scientists say microplastics are all over farmlands, but we're ignoring the problem

    The Australian standard allows up to 0.5 per cent of rigid plastic and 0.005 per cent of light plastics in compost, soil conditioners, and mulches.

    Dr Browne said that was still quite a lot of contamination and there was not much consideration to what kind of plastics were acceptable.

    Biosolids are in fertilizers used in regular landscaping too. Check the products you're using at your rentals. We must solve this plastics problem. It's killing off the good life on the planet.


  33.    Fears of excessive debt drive more countries to cut down their Belt and Road investments

    People are waking up to China.

    Shock waves rippled throughout the developing world when Colombo handed over a strategic port to Beijing in 2017, after it couldn't pay off its debt to Chinese companies. It was seen as an example of how countries that owe money to Beijing could be forced to sign over national territory or make steep economic concessions if they can't meet liabilities. The phenomenon has been dubbed debt-trap diplomacy ....

    When will China wake up to itself?


  34.    The Green New Deal: How We Will Pay For It Isn't 'A Thing' - And Inflation Isn't Either

    The truth of the resource constraint is that money usually can be publicly issued and spent only at a rate commensurate with new goods and services supply. If the money supply grows too rapidly for goods and services to keep up, you get the old problem of 'too many dollars chasing too few goods' — inflation. If the money supply grows too slowly to keep up with productive capacity, you get the opposite problem — deflation, a far more serious threat, as we've seen since the crash of '08.
    ...
    A final way we might combat inflation, should it ever emerge, is by use of a new infrastructure that I've proposed elsewhere. Suppose, for a moment, that the Fed offered what I call interest-bearing 'Citizen Accounts' for all citizens, instead of just offering 'reserve accounts' to privileged banks as it does now. Were it to do so, we'd not only eliminate our nation's 'financial inclusion' problem in one swoop, we'd also gain a most powerful money modulation tool.

    During deflations like that after 2008, for example, the Fed could drop debt-free 'helicopter money' directly into Citizen Accounts rather than giving it to banks in the hope that they'll lend (which they didn't — hence the notorious 'pushing on a string' problem of the post-2008 period). And were inflation ever to emerge, the Fed could likewise simply raise interest rates on Citizen Accounts, thereby inducing more saving and less spending.

    That's nice, Robert Hockett, but my plan is still better by quite a bit (if I do say so myself: toot-toot).

    First, the inflation-fear-mongers are interested in one thing only: keeping the People from issuing the money they want for what they want without inflation and without private lending/borrowing. Fact: We don't need to borrow from anyone, ever, for anything. Fact: We don't need private-bank lending. Fact: We need economic democracy.

    If you read my "Monetary-and-Banking-Reform Platform for The United States of America": (https: //propertypak.com/monetary-and-banking-r eform-platform-for-the-united-states/), you'll see that it's finally catching on.

    In case you're wondering, yes, it was original with me. I never saw it anywhere before I wrote it.


  35.    Man Fatally Shot at Luxury San Diego Apartment Had Role in Sex Trafficking Gang

    The man shot at an East Village luxury apartment building Monday had just finished a stint in prison for his role in a gang that ran a sprawling sex trafficking ring.


  36.    Enable a circular economy: Procter & Gamble takes the lead on tackling ocean plastic

    It's about time.


  37.    Why does LA's mandatory retrofit program ignore vulnerable steel skyscrapers? News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Jan. 22, 2019

    Engineers say they understand why the city is prioritizing the riskiest buildings, the ones that threaten to kill the most people. (Approximately 49,000 apartment units in LA were destroyed or seriously damaged due to the Northridge earthquake; two-thirds of those were in soft-story buildings.)

    But the Northridge Earthquake struck at 4:31 a.m., when most people were at home asleep. Experts question what would happen if a major earthquake, with a longer duration of shaking, struck during the day, when Angelenos were at work, in offices inside those gleaming steel skyscrapers.


  38.    Four Homelessness Trends from 2018 and What They Could Mean for 2019

    In 2018, communities across the country faced a continuing housing affordability crisis—and, in some places, natural disasters—that strained the ability of local actors to address homelessness. After declining for almost a decade, the number of people experiencing homelessness in the United States increased for the second year in a row. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development's Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, 552,830 people lived in emergency shelters, lived in transitional housing, or were not sheltered at all; nearly 2,000 more people than in 2017. This growth was driven by an increase in unsheltered and chronically homeless individuals but was balanced out by significant decreases in homelessness among families with children and veterans. Substantial local variation among the data was reported across the country, with 31 states and the District of Columbia reporting decreases in homelessness and 19 states reporting increases. As we approach the 2019 annual Point-in-Time homelessness count, we explore four major homelessness trends in 2018 and what to look for in 2019.


  39.    The precautionary principle is what the US needs. The French have it.

    French court cancels Monsanto weedkiller permit on safety grounds
    ...
    The French court said ANSES had not respected a precautionary principle in French law, notably by not conducting a specific evaluation of health risks for Roundup Pro 360.

    It is better to be safe than sorry. In the US, we pollute first and ask questions later. When Jimmy Carter tried to put the precautionary principle into law, he was blocked by the forces of greed over sanity.


  40.    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac regulator discussing plan to end conservatorship

    Fannie and Freddie were rushed into government control at the height of the financial crisis. Then, in 2012, the terms of the 2008 bailout were amended to steer the quarterly profits of both enterprises to Treasury. That wiped out holders of the companies' stock, and they've fought the federal government in court ever since.

    However, the People bailed it out, not the stockholders. Treasury getting the profits means less in taxes from the People even though people pay the mortgages down.


  41.    ... welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism

    When the security expert Bruce Schneier wrote that "surveillance is the business model of the internet" he was really only hinting at the reality that Zuboff has now illuminated. The combination of state surveillance and its capitalist counterpart means that digital technology is separating the citizens in all societies into two groups: the watchers (invisible, unknown and unaccountable) and the watched. This has profound consequences for democracy because asymmetry of knowledge translates into asymmetries of power. But whereas most democratic societies have at least some degree of oversight of state surveillance, we currently have almost no regulatory oversight of its privatised counterpart. This is intolerable.
    ...
    During the past two decades surveillance capitalists have had a pretty free run, with hardly any interference from laws and regulations. Democracy has slept while surveillance capitalists amassed unprecedented concentrations of knowledge and power. These dangerous asymmetries are institutionalised in their monopolies of data science, their dominance of machine intelligence, which is surveillance capitalism's "means of production", their ecosystems of suppliers and customers, their lucrative prediction markets, their ability to shape the behaviour of individuals and populations, their ownership and control of our channels for social participation, and their vast capital reserves. We enter the 21st century marked by this stark inequality in the division of learning: they know more about us than we know about ourselves or than we know about them. These new forms of social inequality are inherently antidemocratic.

    At the same time, surveillance capitalism diverges from the history of market capitalism in key ways, and this has inhibited democracy's normal response mechanisms. One of these is that surveillance capitalism abandons the organic reciprocities with people that in the past have helped to embed capitalism in society and tethe r it, however imperfectly, to society's interests. First, surveillance capitalists no longer rely on people as consumers. Instead, supply and demand orients the surveillance capitalist firm to businesses intent on anticipating the behaviour of populations, groups and individuals. Second, by historical standards the large surveillance capitalists employ relatively few people compared with their unprecedented computational resources. General Motors employed more people during the height of the Great Depression than either Google or Facebook employs at their heights of market capitalisation. Finally, surveillance capitalism depends upon undermining individual self-determination, autonomy and decision rights for the sake of an unobstructed flow of behavioural data to feed markets that are about us but not for us.

    This antidemocratic and anti-egalitarian juggernaut is best described as a market-driven coup from above: an overthrow of the people concealed as the technological Trojan horse of digital technology. On the strength of its annexation of human experience, this coup achieves exclusive concentrations of knowledge and power that sustain privileged influence over the division of learning in society. It is a form of tyranny that feeds on people but is not of the people. Paradoxically, this coup is celebrated as "personalisation", although it defiles, ignores, overrides, and displaces everything about you and me that is personal.

    To us, you are a person. You are not the data you give to us about you so we may simply make money by trying to predict what you want or need. Our job is to help people share risks so none is wiped out but can continue on. We are not in it simply for the money. We are not in it so we may be the watchers, with you the watched.


  42.    'We're in Uncharted Waters.' Schools Brace for Lunch Funding Challenges If Shutdown Continues

    How are your lower-economic-class tenants doing? Some of your tenants may be federal employees who are getting paid even while they work. What plans do you have if they can't make it financially solely due to the government shutdown? Have you spoken with your suppliers if you get into a position where your cash flow is cut because of the shutdown?


  43.    Washington Post Forgets to Mention, Scott Walker Misled Fifth Graders About Taxes

    Former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker:

    Explaining tax rates before Reagan to fifth graders: 'Imagine if you did chores for your grandma and she gave you $10. When you got home, your parents took $7 from you.' The students said: 'That's not fair!' Even fifth graders get it.

    First of all, Walker meant it exactly as he said it regardless of tax brackets. His position is that taking 70% is wrong no matter what. He wasn't trying to trick the kids. The kids didn't think it fair to take 70% because the kids weren't thinking about the parents turning around and using the $7 to make the kid's (and the whole family's) life better.

    Say the fifth-grader has a younger sibling with a disease requiring medicine and the family is short on funds. The parents ask the fifth-grader whether he or she wants the younger sibling to die or wants to contribute to increasing the family funds to pay for the medicine. The kid would say to take the 70% (maybe more) and buy the medicine, unless the kid is cold- small- and hard-hearted (sociopathic), in which case, the kid needs a working conscience.


  44.    Max Keiser's Claim That Brits Are Dumping Sterling For Bitcoin Is False

    I haven't mentioned Bitcoin on this blog in a long time because everyone with sense heard the word and piled out of Bitcoin. Hopefully, plenty decided not to get in in the first place.

    Anyway, Max Keiser hates the economic system so much that he gloms onto nonsense just because it too is anti-establishment. Bitcoin is a prime example. Max conflates progressive heart with anarcho-capitalism that's actually a mask for an even worse example of the neofeudalism Max rightly hates.

    Frances Coppola is right:

    The reality is that the Jersey exchange is having no impact whatsoever on the sterling/BTC price. In fact there is no evidence of any sustained movement from sterling into Bitcoin. As usual, Max Keiser is making things up.

    But this raises a more serious question. Should Brits who are worried about the possibility that sterling's exchange rate might crash in the event of a disorderly Brexit hedge their exposure? Yes, of course they should. Is Bitcoin a good hedge? Well, Bitcoin has lost over 80% of its value since December 2017. If a currency did this, we would call it "hyperinflation." Sterling has never fallen anything like as much in its entire existence.

    The fact is that Bitcoin is a simply rotten hedge for sterling. It is far too volatile, and trading in the GBPBTC pair — even with the new Jersey exchange — is far too thin. Brits, if you think Bitcoin has reached bottom, by all means buy. But don't do so to protect yourselves from a Brexit-related sterling crash.

    "... if you think Bitcoin has reached bottom, by all means buy." Actually, the bottom should be zero with a stake through its heart; therefore, I wouldn't buy. I knew about Bitcoin when it was under 25¢. I refused to buy it even though I knew others would and that it would go up. I wanted nothing to do with such a terrible idea. Plenty of people have gotten severely hurt by the Bitcoin scheme.

    Add your comment. Inc luding the article/link number will help.


  45.    World's 26 richest people own as much as poorest 50%

    The thing is, the better the bottom does, the better the top does too. Why is that lost on those at the top of the economic pyramid? Why are they so stupid about it? What's causing the mental blockage?

    Governments should act to ensure that taxes raised from wealth and businesses paying their fair share are used to fund free, good-quality public services that can save and transform people's lives.


  46.    The Shutdown Is Causing Mass Confusion for Food Stamp Recipients

    FYI ...


  47.    For a Real-World Example of Ocasio-Cortez's Tax Proposal, Look to Sweden

    Taxes: You get what you pay for. If you pay for a better life for all, that's what you get. If you pay for fewer social ills, that's what you get. Sure, you have to spend correctly, not wildly; however, the rule of thumb remains valid.

    Critics of high taxes claim the policy stifles economic growth by reducing the incentive for people to work. But Sweden's employment rate is 77.5 percent, beating the U.S.'s 71 percent. The Nordic country has also surpassed the U.S. in terms of economic growth this decade, expanding 2.7 percent a year, on average, compared with 2.2 percent for the U.S.


  48.    China's Xi [totalitarian dictator] Warns Party of "Serious Dangers" as Risks Mount

    When Xi says "ideology" quoted in this article, he means democracy outside the Party.

    He's scared to death that democrats will rise up and throw him out and his Party right along with him. He knows there's no way in Hell he could get away with another Tiananmen Square. It would be the death knell of everything he's built up for himself. At the same time, he knows he's screwing up and doesn't know what to do. He's panicking.

    Does Trump know it? If he does, does he, Trump, know what to do? As far as I'm concerned, he should apply the screws until China is democratic. I don't mean start a shooting war or causing people to starve to death and such. But anything short of doing everything within his power to help democracy bloom in China would be immoral.

    Communist leaders are facing a year rich with sensitive dates, including the 70th anniversary of the country's founding on Oct. 1 and the 30th anniversary of the party's crackdown on democracy activists in Tiananmen Square on June 4. Such occasions have sometimes helped coalesce criticism of the regime, and China often rounds up dissidents in advance.


  49.    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Crusher of Sacred Cows

    I'm posting this because of its economic/risk-management aspects and because up-and-coming young people are making it happen.

    Odds are, you're likely a real-estate investor, or want to be, or you'd not be here. The point of posting this article is because the general welfare of tenants is central to a stable investing environment. Push to the extremes of supply-side economics, and the entire system is thrown more and more off balance, not that there is ever a perfect center/equilibrium. We always need adjustments.

    ... the ongoing freakout over newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Lest anyone think any of the above applies to "AOC," who's also had a lot to say since arriving in Washington, remember: she won in spite of the party and big donors, not because of them.

    That doesn't make anything she says inherently more or less correct. But it changes the dynamic a bit. All of AOC's supporters sent her to Washington precisely to make noise. There isn't a cabal of key donors standing behind her, cringing every time she talks about the Pentagon budget. She is there to be a pain in the ass, and it's working. Virtually the entire spectrum of Washington officialdom has responded to her with horror and anguish.
    ...
    We've been living for decades in a universe where the basic tenets of supply-side economics — that there's a massive and obvious benefit for all in dumping piles of money in the hands of very rich people — have gone more or less unquestioned.

    Now we see: once a popular, media-savvy politician who doesn't owe rich donors starts asking such questions, the Potemkin justifications for these policies can tumble quickly.
    ...
    As we've seen over and over with these swipes on Ocasio-Cortez, the people defending those ideas don't realize how powerful a stimulant for change is their own negative attention. If they were smart, they'd ignore her.

    Then again, if politicians were smart, they'd also already be representing people, not donors. And they wouldn't have this problem.


  50.    9 Ways to Survive (and Thrive) During the Next Market Crash

    Before the 2008 crash, I wrote publicly that values would drop 50%. They fell around 45-50. I had read very, very widely (alternative news, analysis, history, and economic ideologies/philosophies) is why I knew.

    So, the linked article is good for several reasons. One of them is the honest self-analysis by its author, Mark Hentemann. Being honest with yourself is critically important to success and sustainability.

    That said, I would qualify the blanket statement "Don't try to time it" with you must try to time it but just not in the common used stock-market sense of the expression. You must time things to be sure to be positioned. It doesn't mean narrowing things down to the very day and hour but rather being ready at least within a couple of months or more on each end of any larger downturn, and that's cutting it close.

    Oh, and crashes are typically human caused and not due to any law of economics. There is no such law mandating crashes. There are what we call acts of God that can throw things off, but rebuilding from such is often a period of long economic growth. However, an existential act is beyond recovery as we know it.


  51.    Firm in $1.7-million dispute with insurer

    Don't be phished:

    ... Dentons acted for a client in the sale of a property which closed on Dec. 30, 2016. Around $2.5 million of the proceeds was earmarked to pay off part of a mortgage held by a third party, whose bank details were provided to the law firm for a transfer to occur on the next business day, Jan. 3 2017.

    However, on the day of the transfer, Brown's decision says emails purportedly from the mortgage holder asked for the funds to be sent instead to an international account, due to an audit going on at its Canadian bank provider. After requesting and apparently receiving letters of authorization, Dentons wired the money to a Hong Kong bank account, only to discover days later that the real mortgage holder was still waiting on the funds.

    It can be very, very difficult to authenticate requests made via email. Err on the side of caution. When there's a sudden change, let that be a warning sign to take extraordinary steps. Do your best to meet the standards/requirements of your insurance coverage.


  52.    "5 minutes of sheer terror": Hackers infiltrate East Bay family's Nest surveillance camera, send warning of incoming North Korea missile attack

    If you supply IoTs with your rentals, make sure they're configured to be as secure as possible. If they aren't configurable enough, remove them and replace them with devices that are or don't supply them at all.


  53.    Renegade Inc: Financial Capitalism - The End Game - YouTube

    Let me say that we can fix things without losing 40% or even 1%.

    Surely the biggest human failure is not learning from failure... In 2008 collectively, we had the opportunity to reboot a broken financial system so it became fit for purpose. But instead of reconfiguring it to serve the real economy, politicians and central bankers used Quantitative Easing to buy time. This lulled the mainstream media into reporting that everything was back on track. But some people haven't bought this story... Host Ross Ashcroft travels to Germany to meet Marc Fredrich and Mattius Weik - two economists who didn't succumb to group think after the 2008 financial failure to discuss how they see financial capitalism's end game.

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


  54.    Investing Prophet Jeremy Grantham Takes Aim at Climate Change

    Terrifying an audience is one of Jeremy Grantham's specialties. The legendary investor, co-founder of Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo (GMO), is famous for predicting doom. And he's famous for being right, with a remarkable record of spotting investment bubbles before they pop, notably the 2000 tech crash and 2008 financial crisis.

    These days, the topic of Grantham's warnings is not financial markets but the environment. At universities and investor conferences, gardening clubs and local environmental groups, he gives a talk titled "Race of Our Lives"—the one between the Earth's rapidly warming temperature and the human beings coming up with ways to fight and adapt to climate change.

    Green technologies, like batteries and solar and wind power, are improving far faster than many realize, he says. Decarbonizing the economy will be an investing bonanza for those who know it's coming—"the biggest reshuffling of the economy since the Industrial Revolution." Despite these gains, people are losing the race: Climate change is also accelerating, with consequences so dire that they're almost impossible to imagine.

    Grantham says he'll devote 98 percent of his net worth, or about $1 billion, to help humans win the race.


  55.    What To Ask Your Tax Advisors About The New Section 199A Regulations

    A new Notice (IRS Notice 2019-7) provides a safe harbor that can enable landlords to be sure that they will qualify as an active trade or business to receive this deduction, assuming that they do not have triple net leases.

    The requirements include having the taxpayer and other individuals and contractors spend at least 250 hours per year engaging in landlord related duties, which can include building repair and maintenance, spending time with tenants, collecting rent, verifying information contained in tenant applications and advertising to rent or lease the property or properties. The time spent will not include doing things like arranging for financing, purchasing properties, studying and reviewing financial statements or reports and time spent traveling to and from real estate.

    Also, contemporaneous records need to be kept. You can read this Notice on your own and have a pretty good understanding of what it means, but always ask a tax advisor how this applies to you and what you would need to do to qualify for the deduction.


  56.    Tornadoes Cause Damage in Alabama, Florida Panhandle

    ... at least 25 homes were seriously damaged or destroyed.


  57.    Investigators Probe Gas Leaks at South Carolina Apartment Complex

    New gas leaks have been found at a South Carolina apartment complex where two people were found dead in separate apartments.


  58.    Minnesota Among Fastest Warming States in US

    ... "the sense of urgency is pretty stark for our state."