Landmark Links November 13th – Bait and Switch


Must Read: Its becoming increasingly apparent that Amazon’s HQ2 search was a ruse with a predetermined outcome.  Here’s how it all went down:

  1. Announce a nationwide (and parts of Canada) search for a 2nd headquarters
  2. Cities drop pants and offer billions in taxpayer subsidies and tax exemptions
  3. Collect tons of data to form the biggest corporate site location database ever created covering everything from transit systems to talent pools to available real estate – all provided for free, of course.
  4. Leverage offers from other cities to extract hundreds of millions in subsidies from NY and DC areas, which coincidentally (I’m sure) are home to Amazon’s largest east coast offices currently.
  5. Pick NY and DC both as HQ2 & 2A sites.
  6. Congratulations America!  We’ve been played.


Win/Win: After years of stagnant pay, retail workers are finding themselves in the sweet spot of the cycle as a tight economy leads to both raises and colleagues leaving for greener pastures, putting even more upward pressure on pay.

Meh: The US economy is doing great on paper but sluggish wage gains and declining economic mobility make it not feel that way to a large portion of the population.  See Also: Low earners are always the last to recover in an economic cycle.


Implosion: Real estate crowd funding platform Realty Shares is going out of business despite raising $63 million of venture capital. (h/t Tad Springer)

Give Away the Farm: Wisconsin’s Foxconn factory boondoggle which won’t break even until 2043 at the earliest is just the latest example of the disaster that is corporate welfare.


Short Way Down: US housing has become a less-accurate leading indicator of a recession, primarily because the market never properly recovered following the Great Recession.  In other words, it’s hard to get badly hurt when you fall off of a curb.

High Vacancy: 50 million homes in China or one fifth of total inventory are vacant.


Headache: Legal pot is a nightmare for airports and travelers to deal with.

Dangerous Game: For all of the hype about the amount of money raised by SoftBank in it’s Vision Fund, the company is incredibly highly leveraged and reliant on debt to boost returns.

Shakedown: How the mafia took over the food chain in Italy from farms to livestock, markets and restaurants.

What A Drag: Mining cryptocurrencies is more energy intensive than actual mining according to new research.  See Also: The CEO obsession with bitcoin and blockchain that took hold around a year ago appears to be over.

Chart of the Day

81% of homes in San Francisco are worth $1MM or more in 2018, up from 67.3% just last year.

Million Dollar Hoods_Hero


Bummer: The Brazillian Miss BumBum competition ended in on-stage violence as accusations over butt implants sparked a brawl.

Throw Down: Two moms brawled at a school bus stop, using broken coffee mugs as weapons because Florida.

Highest Bidder: A sex robot brothel in West Hollywood is creepily auctioning off “robot virginity” mostly because no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

No Justice, No Peace! A judge tossed a $5MM lawsuit that was brought by two McDonalds customers over unwanted cheese on a Quarter Pounder because Florida.

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

Visit us at