Quote of the Day….. “You hear some people talking like, ‘I don’t want to drink toilet water. Once it’s gone through three stages of treatment, the water that ultimately goes out of there is cleaner than they got and flushed away.” – Henry Vaux Jr., professor emeritus of Resource Economics at the University of California at Riverside on why you shouldn’t fear the recycled water soon to be coming to a tap near you.
Student Loan Debacle: The student loan crisis is for real and as dire as the official delinquency numbers look – they show that approximately 17% of borrowers are currently 30 days or more late – they underestimate the problem. Why, you ask? Because roughly 45% of the borrowers included in that number are either still in school or less than 6 months out, meaning that they aren’t required to make payments out. Take those borrowers out and the picture gets much, much worse.
Rising Renewables: The world is now adding more capacity for renewables than it is for traditional sources of energy as prices for wind and solar plunges.
Too big to fail or too few to compete? The five largest banks now own nearly 45% of the industry with just under $7 trillion of assets. RIP competitive banking market.
Because no one ever said “I’ll just Bing it”: The EU has now formally accused Google of Anti-Trust violations.
Bellwether Housing Markets
The Sacramento housing market continues to heal as distressed sales are way down.
Perhaps your dog is on to something? California water districts increasingly turn to ‘toilet to tap’ solutions as water recycling programs are on the rise. Also, an ancient technology recently utilized in the LA community of Sun Valley might be the key to reducing water lost to runoff.
Depressing thought of the day: The 25% mandatory water reductions that excluded agricultural uses are little more than political theater. The math just doesn’t work. Here’s why: “The single most important statistic in understanding the current crisis is this: 80% of California’s surface water supports agriculture, largely the farms and ranches of the Central Valley. Compared to that massive flow, the residential abuses are almost an afterthought. If every single human being living south of Los Angeles packed up and moved to rainy Oregon, it wouldn’t improve California’s water situation as much as a mere 10% decrease in the water used by the Central Valley crops and livestock.” – Steven Johnson
Homebuilder confidence is rising and but starts were weak again this morning even if permits were a bit better. Mortgage volume is up big at banking giants JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo. It’s not all good news though. Buying a home in tight, high end markets like the Bay Area, LA or coastal Orange County is brutal for first time home buyers……apparently, even if your dad runs Wells Fargo. In related news wealthy Chinese citizens are still leaving China in droves. 52% of them end up in the US, maxing out the EB-5 Visa Program last year and adding a ton of new wealthy buyers to a markets that already have a low supply. If you want to move to the Hamptons, even a 400sf mobile home costs $1.2MM. It’s not just home prices, apartment rents are skyrocketing as well.
You will soon be able to invest in someone else’s affair: The Adultery business is booming and AshleyMadison is about to go public.
April 15th Schadenfreude link of the day: Apparently the IRS is an absolutely miserable place to work. “I really feel bad for them” – said no one
Chart of the Day
Want to buy a Visa? The United States is offering them at bargain-basement prices.
Minimum Investment Required to Immigrate, by Country
Break out the plunger: Italian guy attempts to fix clogged toilet and uncovers centuries worth of history. My toilet fixing record has been far less interesting.
Fo Shizzle: Eaze, a start-up that bills itself “Uber for Weed” just landed $10MM in a of venture capital including an investment from Casa Verde Capital, Snoop Dogg’s venture capital firm (yes, you read that right, Snoop Dogg started a VC firm that invests in pot)
The Laker Girls did a lunch promotion with fans at several Carl’s Jr. restaurants in Southern California. The photos are every bit as awkward as you would imagine.
Landmark Links – A candid look at the economy, real estate, and other things sometimes related.
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