Tariff Man Breaks Windows

Boehm points out that the 300 hundred jobs came to life after “American companies have paid about $690 million in tariffs to the federal government.”  That works out to $2.3 million per job we know about or $300,000 per possible job.

The Trouble with CoCo

CoCos are similar to trust preferred debt that community banks in the U.S. stuffed balance sheets with in the early 2000s.  While trust preferred was debt, the terms were so liberal, banking regulators allowed banks to count the debt as equity.

Golf Goes the way of Wrestling

Golf is game that is dying with the Greatest Generation and Baby Boomers.  Golf peaked even before 2009 when Woods wrapped his SUV around a tree, escaped then wife Elin’s attempt to take a divot out of the 14-time major champion.  

Irrational Apartment Exuberance

Those “high rents” I referred to are now commonplace around the Las Vegas valley.  I toured a project recently, located far from the strip, but with all the bells-and-whistles the Lotus has, and the owner told me he is earning $1.80/sf a month.  He told me his project wasn’t for sale. We’ll see.

Dicey Bloated Government

This time, Lewis manages to find diligent, creative federal government employees (he had two million to choose from) to tell the story of Trump’s transition, or lack thereof. The thesis is, we are all at risk due to the President’s neglect. Legions of earnest federal workers were ready to smoothly hand over the monstrosity that is the federal government, and, well, no one showed up.

The NFL: Land of the Caligulas

It is “the Membership,” who are the “puffed-up billionaires who own the store,” writes Leibovich.  “These are the freaks, the club that Trump couldn’t crack.” On the next page, the author refers to the Membership as “bespoke Caligulas.”  He goes on about how much TV time the owners receive as “presiding plutocrats.”

Optimism Abounds, Dark Clouds Circle

The economy is great we’re told.  Vote Republican and get more of it. “It” being--winning.  However, the KBW Bank Index hit a 52-week low today.  The index of small bank stocks is getting hammered. The index of European bank stocks continues to be bludgeoned by the market. And, the home builder’s index peaked in January, with big builders Lennar and DR Horton now making 52-week lows.  

The Real Rialto

However, that’s not what Rialto is (or was) at all.  Rialto Capital Advisors conducted  day-to-day management and workout of 3.05 billion in loans the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) received after it closed down banks during the financial crash.

Tall Buildings, Mighty Crashes

Mark Thornton’s “The Skyscraper Curse: And How Austrian Economists Predicted Every Major Economic Crisis of the Last Century” couldn’t be more timely. As we slide from boom to bust, the thoughtful and curious will want answers.  Thornton has them.

Housing Top is In

The interest rate which most influences mortgages is the 10 yr treasury which has increased nearly 200 basis points since it’s bottom in the summer of 2016. The latest 30-year mortgage rate per investing.com is now at 5.05% a huge jump from the 3.6% two years ago.

Kirk Kerkorian: Misesian Entrepreneur

Kerkorian began his art early, by necessity. “When you’re a self-made man you start very early in life…,” Kerkorian said. “You get a drive that’s a little different, maybe a little stronger, than somebody who inherited.” Unlike a certain president of the United States we know. Rempel starts his first chapter with a quote from Mark Twain, “Necessity is the mother of taking chances.”

An Anointed Son, A Reporter Scorned

Dana Gentry’s “The Anointed Son: A True Story of Greed, Power and Blind Trust” is a book, not about low rates, but high ones. While the prime lending rate was 4 percent in 2003, Las Vegas real estate developers would borrow at rates of 12 percent up to 15 percent in pursuit of cashing in on the real estate boom.