Landmark Links August 31st – Scare Tactics Part 2


Must Read: Back in November when tax reform was being hotly debated, the NAR propaganda…I mean economics department came out with a dire forecast of a 10% plunge in home values nationwide.  I wrote a rebuttal in early December that laid out all of the reasons that this would not happen – most obviously because it would mean less supply in the market, not more.  Jim Tankersley wrote a piece for the New York Times this past week outlining what has actually happened so far.  I’ll give you one guess who was correct….. When it comes to pricing, interest rates are overrated and supply is underrated as a variable.


Help Wanted: A strong job market and extremely high demand for H-2B visas mean that there aren’t enough people working in landscaping this summer.

Piling Up: Tech inventory stockpiles are building and have now hit pre-crisis levels.

Upward Pressure: American companies are now raising prices at a brisk pace even though wages have not kept up.

Under the Radar: The yield curve gets all of the attention but the flattening that we should really be worried about according to Blackrock is the spread between low risk and high risk assets. (h/t Doug Jorritsma)


Conflict of Interest: Sears is on the ropes but it’s distress is fueling the redevelopment of some of its sites by Seritage, a REIT formed to provide capital to the struggling retailer secured by Sears real property that is headed by none other than Eddie Lampert himself.  In other words, heads I win, tails you lose.

Shocking: Moody’s Investors Service dropped its ratings of WeWork Cos. inaugural bond deal from earlier this year, saying that it didn’t have enough information to continue grading the company’s creditworthiness.  I guess they couldn’t figure out the whole “Community Adjusted EBITDA” thing either.

The Takeover: How co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan turned the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle into a tech hub that swallowed the city.


Two Birds, One Stone: KTGY Architecture + Planning is developing a concept that would re-develop empty big box stores into mixed-use spaces focused on transition housing and social servicesRelated: California’s massive deficit of rental units is mainly responsible for an increase in the homeless population that increased 13.7% between 2016-2017.


High Times: Booze makers have somehow outmaneuvered big tobacco to take pole position in the emerging cannabis market.

The Takeover: How mattress stores conquered America.

Opportunity Knocks: How the great financial crisis created the opportunity for BlackRock to become a $6.3 trillion giant.

Chart of the Day

It’s difficult to see how home sales pick up much when new construction volumes are low and people are staying put this long.



Monkey Business: A restaurant had to cancel and event called “Monkey Mondays” after a pet monkey bit an 8-year old kid because Florida.

Crabby: A billboard placed in Baltimore by the vegan killjoys at PETA telling people not to eat the Chesapeake’s iconic and delicious blue claw crabs because they had feelings and unique personalities is going over just as well as you would expect with the locals (h/t Darren Fancher).  On a brighter note, it did lead to the epic trolling of PETA on Twitter by Jimmy’s Seafood Restaurant.

Je Suis Butchers: A vegan festival in the French town of Calais has been cancelled over fears of local butchers, many of whom have been harassed and vandalized by militant vegans, seeking revenge (h/t Steve Sims).  Reminder: a vegetarian is someone who eats a plant-based diet.  A vegan is someone who tells you that you need to eat a plant-based diet (and apparently tries to destroy your livelihood if you don’t comply).

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