Landmark Links December 1st – Confused

Brick Tamland

Lead Story…. The results of increased investment in real estate can be expressed in one of two ways: 1) additional development that uses capital to create new jobs and holds rents (and home prices) near equilibrium while providing a place to live for new residents; or 2) excess capital pursuing scarce property and driving up rents and prices as demand outpaces supply and not enough units are built.  It should be obvious which one we are currently experiencing.  We are now several years into a housing “recovery” that has been driven largely by extremely limited supply in our most productive cities.  Knowing this, why would a Federal Reserve official openly fret about the number of cranes in a closed access city like Boston when we need more housing units, not less?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Kevin Erdmann gives a great explanation of why this view is so problematic in today’s must-read. 


Good Riddance: Black Friday is not nearly as important to retailers as it used to be.  See Also: In-store sales were down as more Americans avoided the insanity and shopped online.

It’s Complicated: Many talking heads have decided that a December rate hike is a foregone conclusion.  However, the global economic landscape is more complicated than ever and the factors that go into the final decision are far more complex than the financial media would have you believe.

Too Small to Succeed: Increased regulation and red tape that resulted from the financial crisis and Great Recession has made life more difficult than ever for small and new businesses.  That has to change if the US is to remain at the forefront of innovation.  See Also: Why big banks aren’t lending to small businesses.

On the Road Again: Driving is making a huge comeback in the US after falling for years.  Here’s why.


Rise of the Machines: Silicon Valley is making steady inroads into the mortgage market as traditional lenders find themselves hamstrung by regulation and outdated technology.

Nobody Knows for Sure The New York Times published a long-form article this weekend about how cash from China is continuing to flood the housing market in spite of (or perhaps because of) instability at home and that buyers were branching out from gateway cities.  The Wall Street Journal published a piece the day before that came to the exact opposite conclusion.

New Urbanism with a View: New land planning and building technology is going to lead to a very different looking single family detached developments.


Less Green Than You Think: Electric cars are often held up as the model of green efficiency and anti-pollution efforts but they have a dirty secret: a lot of them are actually powered by coal.

A Look Inside: Bloomberg’s virtual tour through an Amazon mega-warehouse is pretty incredible.  See Also: Here’s why Prime is so important to Amazon’s strategy.

Chart of the Day

The distressing gap closed (a little bit) last month


Little Man Complex: Meet the wasted 2-foot-11 Mini-Me look alike who attacked a food vendor in Colombia after refusing to pay for his meal.

Hungry, Hungry Hippos: In more news from Colombia… Hippos descended from those owned by drug lord Pablo Escobar are terrorizing a town in Colombia.

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

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Landmark Links December 1st – Confused

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