Landmark Links May 22nd – Double Down

double-down

Quote of the Day……..“If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying” – incredibly stupid Barclay’s trader discussing a conspiracy to screw clients by fixing the dollar euro exchange rate and giving Patriots locker room knuckleheads a run for their money.  Moral of the story: don’t put dumb, incriminating crap in writing.  This time it cost 6 banks a total of $6 billion.

Economy     

Does the Rise of the Machines = The Fall of Payrolls?: Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, Luddites have made the flippant claim that “this time is different” and that technology will lead mass unemployment and the decline of the working class.  Fortunately, this wasn’t the case for a long time as productivity and employment both rose, nearly in lockstep.  This relationship has diverged in the past 15 years as productivity rose while payrolls stagnated as technology began to encroach into the previously insulated service sector. Now that job creation is seemingly back on track, will capital and labor come back into balance or continue to diverge? (h/t Tad Springer).

Back to the Burbs? One pronounced demographic trend during the recession was the growth of cities at the expense of the suburbs.  Now that we are well into a recovery, that trend has reversed and city population growth is slowing again.  No, the suburbs are not dying off.  Stick a fork in yet another Millennial Myth that was almost always more about narrative than numbers.

Commercial Real Estate  

Will WeWork Work?: Office space per employee has continuously shrunk for years.  WeWork is a star-up with a $5 Billion valuation that brings your traditional executive suite model to a new level.  The concept is simple enough: rather than provide suites, WeWork provides common space and sells memberships.  Sort of like working at a table at Starbucks but more comfortable, with kegs and ping pong tables and a lot more expensive.  Is this the wave of the future for office or another massively overvalued start-up benefiting from the VC boom?

Residential

Time to Double Down? Starts are up and household formations are surging, leading to at least one analyst calling for housing stocks to double as young buyers emerge from their parents basements and enter the housing market.

The Trend is Your Friend if You Are Focused on the High End: Over the past few years, much has been made about how homebuilders have largely abandoned the entry level market (with few notable exceptions).  However, this trend may actually be more pronounced in the apartment space where, of the 370,000 multi-family rental units completed from 2012 to 2014 in 54 US metropolitan areas, 82% were in the luxury category.  Is it any wonder that rents are rising faster than home values for the first time since 2012?

In more high-end news, new homes are getting bigger, which is another way of saying that they are getting more expensive.  The much maligned McMansion is making a comeback.

Markets

The Denver housing market is smoking hot and both prices and sales are high as a kite.  If you didn’t get the joke in that previous sentence, consider yourself banned from ever reading this blog again.

Profiles

Too much time on the links: A new study that analyzed 4 years of data from the United States Golf Association found that CEOs who spend the most time playing golf tend to run companies that perform poorer than those that play less golf.  Of the 363 S&P 500 CEOs managed to log a staggering 146 rounds of golf in one year.

Man of His Word: GoPro’s billionaire CEO dropped $229MM to keep a promise that he made to his college roommate.

Chart of the Day

Will surging household formations lead to a housing boom?

Source: CNBC.com

WTF

Congratulations America, We are Now This Fat: Carl’s Jr is now selling a burger topped with hot dogs and chips.

Airport Streaker: It’s more than reasonable to get pissed off when you can’t get on a flight because it’s overbooked.  There are several good ways to express your frustration with the airline that bumped you.  This is not one of those ways.

Video of the Day: Watch a wasted Bill Murray fall off a chair flat onto his ass on the set of an MSNBC talk show.

Toy Vey: There is a Rabbi in Israel selling kosher sex toys on his website.  Yes.  Seriously.

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

Visit us at Landmarkcapitaladvisors.com

Landmark Links May 22nd – Double Down

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