Landmark Links December 15th -Lurking in the Background

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Lead Story… As pretty much anyone who follows financial news now knows, the Fed is poised to raise rates later this week despite little evidence of inflation anywhere.  However there are other factors in the background that aren’t getting much attention and will likely have a far larger impact on the economy than a small increases in rates.

Economy

Public Service Announcement: The oil crash should serve as a reminder that there is no safe way to make a 6% yield in a world of 2% bonds.

No Help: Savings on oil have not materialized into the increase in consumer spending that many (myself included) had anticipated.

Squeezed in the Middle: Here’s how much the middle class has changed in the past 45 years – most of it for the worse.

Commercial

Office Space – A surge in investment and rising tenant demand is changing the formerly stagnant downtown LA office market.

On the Rise: Manhattan apartment vacancies are at their highest point in 9 years, indicating that there might be some softness at the high end of the market (it’s only 2.87% so highest is very relative).

On Watch: The Fed is paying extra close attention to the soaring commercial real estate market.

Residential

Peaked? Hong Kong has long been the worlds most expensive real estate market but recent concessions being offered by developers suggest that it’s market might have peaked.

Hamstrung: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have faced tremendous regulatory challenges and an ever-changing oversight landscape since being bailed out by the federal government in 2008 …….. and its mostly by design.

Claustrophobic: High land prices are leading to developers building larger homes on smaller lots, meaning that new home buyers might get to know their neighbors a bit better than they would like.

Gaining Ground: A recent real estate agent survey suggests that the balance of power between buyers and sellers is changing and buyers are gaining ground.

Profiles

Worth It? Yes, private equity often has obscene fees but check out its performance versus other asset classes.

Bulwark: How Costco’s membership model makes it “Amazon proof.”

To Your Health: New study finds that drinking tequila could help you lose weight. (h/t Tad Springer)

Jet Graveyard: Where do old jumbo jets go when they die? Chances are that they end up in a very large field in Victorville.

Movie Review: The Big Short is definitely on my holiday must watch list. See Also: One of the heroes from the Big Short is investing in a mortgage startup.

Chart of the Day

Highly skilled workers are doing great.  Not so much for everyone else.

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WTF

I F#%king Knew It: The art of being good at swearing is indicative of a large and sophisticated vocabulary.

Buyer Beware: Hoverboards are a lame fad. They also tend to blow up and catch fire a lot. Here’s why.

Appearances Can Be Deceiving: Authorities at LAX detained a K-Pop group after mistaking them for sex workers.

My Hero: Meet the 81 year old beer mile runner who says she would have run faster with scotch rather than beer.

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

Visit us at Landmarkcapitaladvisors.com

Landmark Links December 15th -Lurking in the Background

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