Landmark Links May 8th – In a Vice

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Quote of the Day…..  – “Tom sucks….im going make that next ball a f$%&in balloon” – NE Patriots locker room attendant Jim “The Deflator” McNally letting his true feelings about Tom Brady known to Pats equipment assistant John Jastremski via text message as published in the Wells Report.  Yup, the Patriots got caught cheating yet again.

Economy

Positive Trends: There has been much hand-wringing about negative demographic trends in the past few years.  However, the trend has somewhat quietly turned positive.  The prime working age population peaked in 2007, appears to have bottomed in 2012 and should be growing solidly by 2020.  This would absolutely qualify as an economic tailwind.

The April jobs report was good but not so good as to warrant immediate action from the Federal Reserve.  Also, the 4-week moving average for unemployment claims is now at the lowest level since 2000 and we are now closing in on “full employment”.  Happy days are here again!

This one could have been in the WTF section as well: the best “city” in the US for small business is…….drum-roll……….The Inland Empire (according to an annual ranking conducted by Biz2Credit)

Housing

It’s no secret that land use constraints in highly productive cities like NY, SF and LA hurt the economy by keeping workers further away from the areas that they could be most productive.  The question has always been how much this actually affects the economy.  A devastating new report from UC Berkeley and University of Chicago found that, if land use constraints in NY, San Francisco and San Jose were eased to match the level of the median US City, it would boost US GDP by 9.5%!  It makes sense then that the wealth gap is increasing the most in the largest metropolitan markets where middle class workers stuck between rising rents and sale prices have to make a choice: move further away or pay rent that is now higher than the balls on a giraffe.  One group that is benefiting from scarcity in desirable areas: house flippers.  Their numbers are down (which makes sense with lower supply).  However, their profit per flip is now at a record high of $72,250.

Profiles

The Uber of ____: They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.  If that’s true, no one should be more flattered than Uber, which has spawned concierge services for everything from meals to laundry services to massages.

Chart of the Day

So you’re saying there’s a chance? The odds of the New England Patriots’ fumble rate occurring by chance from 2010-14 was over 10,000-1!

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Source: fivethirtyeight.com

WTF

Worst Renters Ever: A family in Calgary rented out their house on Airbnb to four people.  They returned to find their house destroy after 100+ people showed up on a party bus to participate in a drug fueled orgy.

Florida Crimes of the Week:  It was a big week for crime in Florida.  A (allegedly) high man attempted to cash a check for $368 billion dollars at his local Bank of America branch in Jacksonville.  He claimed that he bought the check from a homeless man for $100:  “It’s always been my dream to own the best Italian restaurant in the earth,” Waters told police. “I’m 10% Italian. Cooking authentic Italian food is in my blood. I had planned to make the restaurant 80 million sq. feet and able to accommodated (sic) 30 million eaters at once, plus it was gonna be totally underwater so people could look at sharks while they ate. But the bank wouldn’t give me my money they owed me. Tito said the check was good for any amount I wanted to write it for. So blame Tito, not me. I’m as innocent as a schoolgirl.”

In more uplifting Florida news, a mother was able to free her three children from being held hostage by her knife-wielding boyfriend by typing “Please help.  Get 911 to me” on an online Pizza Hut order (h/t Winn Galloway).  It may have the worst pizza on earth but at least Pizza Hut is doing some good in Florida.

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

Visit us at Landmarkcapitaladvisors.com

Landmark Links May 8th – In a Vice

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