News

Landmark Links February 1st – Off Limits

 

Must ReadBillions of dollars are flowing into a corner of the tech industry focused on housing.  However, it has not yet been able to deal with the fundamental problem: affordability.   For all of its potential, technology can’t solve the inescapable fact that housing is incredibly expensive to build and that a lot of communities where it is most needed really do not want it.

Economy

Tapping the Brakes: The Federal reserve has adopted a ‘patient’ rate stance with balance sheet flexibility.  See Also: The Fed has become dovish right in front of our eyes.

Such a Drag: China’s slowdown is weighing on global growth

Commercial

Reverse Flow: For the third straight quarter, Chinese investors sold more US commercial property than they bought as Beijing attempts to direct money back to shore up the domestic economy.

Performance Anxiety: Remote workers are now outperforming office workers mainly because open office plans are taking over and open office plans absolutely suck.

Residential

Detente: California home builders and construction worker unions are close to an agreement that would prevent unions from suing to stop projects on CEQA grounds (extortion) in exchange for higher wages.

Minor Problem: Newly elected California governor Gavin Newsom wants to build 3.5 million homes in California over the next seven years – which would require constructing at 4x the current rate.  However, there is a problem: the state would have to double or triple the amount of land zoned for housing in order for that goal to be feasible.  Couple that with the fact that the required land couldn’t be in rural areas in order to sustain the state’s emission reduction goals, which Newsom also supports and you can only come to one conclusion: this is not going to happen.

How is This Legal? There is a California- based startup that finances your rent with loans that are substantially more expensive than credit card interest because apparently payday lenders weren’t awful enough.

Outgoing Tide: The cooling housing market has prompted closer Ginnie Mae scrutiny of nonbank lenders, whose share of home loans has soared since the financial crisis.

Profiles

Never Saw This Coming: The Chinese company that made news for paying its debt in ham instead of cash last year is now running out of pigs.

Deep Dive: The Wall Street Journal analyzed the data on how frequently CBS announcer Tony Romo is correct when he predicts the outcome of a play before the ball is snapped.  The results are impressive to say the least, leaving Cowboys fans puzzled as to why he was unable to do this when he played.

Giant Sucking Sound: When AT&T acquired DirecTV in 2015, they thought that the purchase would launch a new entertainment-focused business platform.  Instead, its stuck with a $49 billion investment in a division that is on the wrong side of the cord cutting trend and hemorrhaging subscribers.

Chart of the Day

I heard a rumor that REIT investors like it when the Federal Reserve stops raising interest rates.

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WTF

Goals: A 19-year-old Arkansas man has pleaded guilty to trying to steal a commercial plane so he could fly to Chicago to attend a rap concert.

Calorie Counting: KFC is testing a Cheetos fried chicken sandwich and of course its rolling this out in the south first.
 
Wrong Guy: A man spent 41 days in jail for trafficking heroin that turned out to be laundry detergent because Florida.
 
Jingle Balls: People are putting edible glitter on their male dogs’ balls because apparently the dogs lost a bet of some sort.

Landmark Links – A candid look at the economy, real estate, and other things sometimes related.

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