Interesting & Important News & Analysis, July 31, 2019

Architects Call For Glass Skyscraper Ban

The Royal Institute of British Architects is saying that all-glass skyscrapers are contributing big time to climate change.


Capital One reveals historic data breach after FBI arrests Seattle suspect

Capital One revealed a massive data breach today that affected more than 100 million people, exposing credit card applications, bank account information and Social Security numbers in possibly the biggest bank breach ever.

Capital One Financial Corporation’s statement: Facts 2019


New data show that failing to expand Medicaid has led to 16,000 unnecessary deaths

… researchers found not only that the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act brought appreciable improvements in health to enrollees, but also that full expansion nationwide would have averted 15,600 deaths among the vulnerable Medicaid-eligible population.

In other words, the 22 mostly red states that refused to accept expansion starting in 2014 caused 15,600 unnecessary deaths among their residents.


CoStar News Reports: Real Estate Investors Ride Record US Economic Expansion

“Commercial real estate investors are among the biggest winners in the U.S. economic expansion, which reaches a record 121 months this week in a recovery from the country’s worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. But the milestone comes as transformation slams traditional retailers, technology disrupts office demand and suburbs lose their post-war grip on corporate America.”


One-third of world’s new vegetation in China and India, satellite data shows

China and India are “leading the world” in “greening” the landscape, a study finds, with the two countries accounting for one-third of the new forests, croplands and other types of vegetation observed globally since 2000.

The results, published in Nature Sustainability, also show that China alone accounts for a quarter of the human-caused greening observed since 2000 – despite containing only 6.3% of the world’s landmass.

In China, 42% of the greening comes from the expansion of forests while 32% comes from cultivated farmlands, the study finds. In India, 82% of the greening comes from new croplands.

However, it is important to note that greening observed in China and India is “not enough to offset” the loss of the world’s tropical rainforests, particularly in Brazil, a scientist tells Carbon Brief.


CEA Governing Board expands policyholder eligibility for seismic retrofit grants

The CEA Brace + Bolt program will provide up to $3,000 to 3,500 eligible policyholders who sign up for this program on a first-come, first-served basis and complete a code-compliant retrofit. If more policyholders sign up, CEA will seek additional funding for the program.


How to Choose Flooring for Your Rental Property

Based on our decision-making funnel, we’ve determined that the following floors make sense in a rental property:
Vinyl Tiles

Laminate

Linoleum


I’m very old-school on this. I’ve always opposed stock buybacks. The sooner the practice is ended, the better.

The Stock-Buyback Swindle

A study by the research firm Fortuna Advisors found that, five years out, the stocks of companies that engaged in heavy buybacks performed worse for shareholders than the stocks of companies that didn’t.

One class of shareholder, however, has benefited greatly from the temporary price jumps: the managers who initiate buybacks and are privy to their exact scope and timing.