News

Landmark Links November 2nd – Too Many Cooks?

 

Must Read: Rare antiques have gotten incredibly cheap, mostly because people spend almost all of their time in their kitchens and have little use for upscale living and dining room furniture.  Another sign of how home design continues to evolve.

Economy

Low Leverage: The level of US household debt to GDP is still at an historically low level and really has not ticked up much since the end of the Great Recession.  This should provide some cushion against an economic downturn.  See Also: Consumer confidence has hit an 18-year high.

Pay Up: Airlines and fast food makers are among the industries passing along higher costs to consumers, raising fears of inflation.

Staying Power: Foreign investment in US treasuries may be down in percentage terms but is actually flat in nominal terms, indicating that demand has not actually decreased.

Commercial

Going High Tech: Walmart’s warehouse chain, Sam’s Club is attempting to compete with the likes of Amazon by rolling out a test store where shoppers make all of their purchases on their smart phones and use the devices to navigate the aisles.

This Was Inevitable: CBRE is taking on WeWork and its co-working peers with a new flexible office business line.

Residential

Outward Migration: The price difference between suburban and urban apartment properties is narrowing as some investors begin to look beyond downtown areas for future population growth.

Cashing Out: TPG and Amherst are marketing a $400MM rental home portfolio in a sign that institutions are starting to wind down some of their homes for rent portfolios.

Profiles

Smoke and Mirrors: The whole concept of so-called “super foods” is little more than a marketing ploy.

No Experience Necessary: Private equity firms are paying through the nose and offering salaries that can exceed $300k for recent college graduates in a highly competitive arms race for talent.

Underwhelming: Amazon’s disappointing quarterly results showed slowing growth and led some to question whether the e-commerce giant is as invincible as it has appeared.

The Holy Grail: A growing number of ultra-rich clean-energy advocates pouring money into startups that are rushing to produce the first commercially viable fusion reactor.

Chart of the Day

This is fascinating.

A diagram from the 2012 U.C.L.A. anthropological study, “Life at Home in the 21st Century.” The red dots indicate the positions of family members every 10 minutes in a California home.

CreditCotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, U.C.L.A.

WTF

Ghosted: A British woman who claimed she has slept with at least 20 ghosts says she’s now engaged to a poltergeist, which gives a whole new meaning to the term “ghosted.

Quid Pro Quo: A mayor solicited sex from a constituent in exchange for speed bumps being installed on her street because Florida.

Asking for Trouble: An Indiana man called the police to complain that his crack dealer was threatening him for non payment.

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

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