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.  

Dimwit Minimum Wage Logic

If Bernie were paying attention, there is a minimum wage experiment going in real time in Venezuela right now.  Sure, there’s some serious money printing going on there and plenty of socialist schemes to keep the shelves empty.  However, the fact there’s nothing to buy hasn’t kept Venezuelan president Maduro from hiking that country’s minimum wage 24 times since 2013 when he took office.  

Tariffs to Socialism

Trade wars create winners and losers, at home and abroad.  American consumers lose, as the prices are hiked while capital and labor are misallocated. This makes everyone, over time, poorer--even the tier two real estate developer.

6 Hours in Old San Juan

With Royal Caribbean's business plan evidently to make sure its passengers have every opportunity to remain intoxicated for the duration of the entire voyage, it was the rare out-of-step, teetotaling cruiser who is up by 7:00 am to walk the narrow, cobblestone streets of Old San Juan.

Trump Channels Tricky Dick

There’s plenty of blather that Trump is breaking with presidential norms by criticizing Jerome Powell’s rate hikes, but, the Donald is merely channeling Richard Nixon.  When Nixon appointed Arthur Burns to be Fed Chair in October of 1969, Burns was soaking up the applause during the announcement of his appointment when Nixon broke in, saying, “You see, Dr. Burns, that is a standing vote of appreciation in advance for lower interest rates and more money.” Later, in private, Nixon told his new Fed Chair, “You see to it: no recession”

Tax Evasion: Goooooaaaallll!

Ronaldo and Messi take elaborate steps to keep money they’ve earned away from the government of Spain. Bagus and his colleagues point out the benefits of their actions.  “Lacking a removal or reduction in tax levels, evasion will allow for an at least partial reinstatement of individuals’ rights of association, with resultant improvements in ethical considerations as well as economic efficiency.”

Merger Malinvestment

The primary problem is size itself. Ludwig von Mises explained that socialism doesn’t work because there was no market to determine prices and thus calculate how resources should be used. Behemoth companies are no more immune than government bureaucracies.  

Tariffs: Stealing Entrepreneurs' Profits

Consumers decide what they will pay and determine value.  Tariffs, the use of political force, determines where the buyer’s proceeds end up. Favored industries receive more and the entrepreneurs receive less, lowering their profits and making them less likely to take future risks in a similar political climate.   As a real estate developer, the President should know better.

Trumping to Serfdom

Hayek wrote that psychopaths, er politicians, have to “weld together a closely coherent body of supporters”...appealing “to a common human weakness. It seems to be easier for people to agree on a negative programme – on the hatred of an enemy, on the envy of the better off – than on any positive task.”