Landmark Links January 29th – This Old House


Must Read: If current development trends hold, by 2037, 45% of the US housing stock will have been built before 1970, according to the NAHB.  This is yet another data point that helps to explain why home improvement stocks like Home Depot and Lowe’s have outperformed the homebuilders by such a wide margin over the past five years.


Smoke and Mirrors: Some Chinese companies are suspected of indirectly buying their own bonds in order to increase demand and lower spreads as the financing climate in the country continues to deteriorate.  See Also: China’s banks are going to need to raise a whole lot of capital.

Growing Gap: The generational gap in both income and wealth is growing with Baby Boomers separating from younger generations, thanks largely to a less-dynamic economy where fewer new businesses are started and existing ones don’t invest as much in growth as they did in prior cycles.

Holding Steady: The Federal Reserve will almost certainly leave rates unchanged when they meet later this week as they continue to assess the economy.  But See: The inability of the economy to hit inflation or broader employment metrics should have the Fed thinking about cutting.

Out of the Shadows: In a sign of how tight the employment market has become, disabled people are getting job opportunities again.


Smoked Out: The city of Los Angeles is about to start cracking down on landlords who lease to unlicensed cannabis businesses.

Opportunity Knocks: Some advocates of Opportunity Zones believe that they will lead to a systemic change in the way that capital markets work by funneling investment dollars towards under-served communities.


Self-Imposed: How rich cities created today’s housing shortage. Side note – I’ve been reading Kevin Erdmann’s blog, Idiosyncratic Whisk, for several years now and am really psyched to see him get a Wall Street Journal OpEd.

It’s Baaack: Stated income loans were left for dead (and rightfully so) after the end of the Great Recession.  However, they are making a comeback as lenders become more emboldened by the long recovery and determined to put money out in the face of rising rates and a slowing market.


Black Market: The rise of streaming TV Netflix competitors with exclusive content is leading to a substantial increase in piracy.

Itching to Get In: As potential profits in cannabis grow, big banks and blue-chip investors will lose their reticence about the pot business.

Fake it Till You Make It: A new report indicates that as many as half of Facebook’s members are fake, meaning that there are an awful lot of advertising dollars being flushed down the drain.

Chart of the Day

Digital is not going to save newspapers


Lettin’ It All Hang Out: A woman was arrested for dancing naked in a Waffle House parking lot because Florida.  Also because meth.

Wait Wut? A white couple who identify as black after getting tanning injections claim that doctors say their future children will be born with dark skin.

Poetic Justice: A man who thought that he was stealing opioids got more than he bargained for when they turned out to be laxatives because Florida. (h/t Steve Sims)

Explosive Situation: A man found a World War II-era grenade while fishing and brought it to a Taco Bell because Florida.  Ironically, the grenade was the least explosive thing in Taco Bell on that day.

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

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