Landmark Links February 5th – Bass Ackwards


Lead Story… Historically, lower oil prices have been a positive for the global economy. However, this time around has been different since consumption in developing countries is more important to the global economy than ever before and those countries are highly reliant on oil revenue.  In other words, expect more turbulence.  See Also: The reaction in the US to lower energy prices has been strikingly similar to what happened in the 1980s. And: Bank of America says that the oil crash is kicking off one of the largest wealth transfers in world history.


Out of Date? As stated here recently, the yield curve (the spread between the 10-year and 3-month Treasury yields) is typically the most reliable predictor of US recessions (quick update: it’s still flattening out).  However, short term rates near zero have cast doubt on this metric as a reliable indicator.  We’re in uncharted territory.  See Also: What are the cost of negative interest rates?

Highest in a Decade: Recent college grads are doing just fine when it comes to making money, thank you very much.


Solid Ground: The commercial real estate market in both San Francisco and San Diego is remarkably strong.

High End Trend: Apartment builders are targeting ultra-wealthy renters with amenities and services that would have been considered “high end” in for-sale condo projects 10 years ago.  So, if you want to rent an apartment for $40k per month in LA, we have you covered.

Coming to America: Foreign investors just can’t seem to get enough of US Apartments, and not just on the coasts.


Don’t Call it a Comeback: Thought you saw the last of so-called “liar loans” now that the great housing crash is behind us?  Think again.  Money managers are lobbying lenders to do more “low-doc” lending so that they have more high yield product to put into private funds that they sell to institutional investors and wealthy clients.  If this sounds vaguely familiar, go see The Big Short.

Incentives: The City of Oakland is changing it’s impact fee structure by neighborhood in an effort to encourage development in overlooked areas of town. (h/t John Medford)

Leaving Money on the Table: A new study shows that home owners are waiting too long to refinance when rates fall and costing themselves billions of dollars a year.  See Also: Some owners are beginning to cautiously take cash out of their homes.

Super Bowl

Economic Impact: Cities practically bend over backwards to host the Super Bowl but does the event really help the local economy? Bloomberg TV takes a look.

Busted: When I posted an item about the FBI trying to rid the Super Bowl of hookers, I had assumed that they were referring to NFL fans.  I suppose that it’s not surprising to find out that a player got busted but I didn’t see it happening BEFORE the game and certainly not in the vicinity of a Motel 6.

Degenerate Gambler’s Corner: Did you know that you can bet on “The Dab,” Peyton Manning’s tears (or lack thereof), earthquakes during the game, the color of the liquid poured on the winning coach, and the color of Beyonce’s footwear at halftime?  Check out this year’s Super Bowl Prop Bets.  See Also: Super Bowl Commercial Drinking Game.

Chart of the Day


That Stinks: North Korea is sending balloons full of used toilet paper into South Korea because apparently they have a 4th grader’s sense of humor.  Also, they have toilet paper in North Korea which is actually sort of surprising

Branding FAIL: You’ve probably heard of the Zika virus.  It’s been making big news in South America and has more than a few people worried about the Olympics being hosted in Brazil this summer.  One would think that a car company would have better sense than to give a car model the same name as a deadly virus.  However, one would be wrong. Ladies and Gentlemen,  the Tata Motors Zika!

Video of the Day Part I: Dutch police are training eagles to take down drones.  Now if they could just do something about selfie sticks…..

Video of the Day Part II: Watch a weather reporter get knocked out by a flying fish in the middle of a storm.

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

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