Landmark Links May 14th – Up to Their Eyeballs


Must Read: Millennials tend to get married later and rent longer than previous generations, meaning that they often have less of a need to borrow (at least excluding student debt and credit cards).  However, housing affordability is reaching a tipping point and a handful of opportunistic boutique lenders are now extending credit  – with rates comparable to credit cards – to young people with irregular incomes that can be used to pay rent.  This trend got a big write up in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.  Although, it’s not yet large enough to cause a lot of concern, young people borrowing expensive debt to subsidize their rent is a trend worth watching and is worthy of concern if it gains momentum.


The Great Migration: New York, LA and Chicago keep losing workers to more affordable (and rapidly growing) Sun Belt cities.

Graying: The developed world is quickly aging, while lifespans increase.  This means that fewer workers will eventually be supporting more retired people.  Here’s a really cool intereactive chart from Axios that shows just how far birthrates have fallen.

Bouncing Along The Bottom: The spread between 3-month and 10-year Treasuries inverted this week for the first time since March.


Rise of the Machines: More than 7,000 robots will work in construction by 2025 as rising construction costs and labor shortages lead to more investment in technology.

Convergence: Marriott is entering the growing home-sharing business by offering bookings at 2,000 high-end locations.  Meanwhile, Airbnb and RXR Realty are teaming up on hotel-like apartment rentals in Manhattan as the lines between short-term home rentals and hotels continue to blur.

Concentration: Manhattan represents a whopping 25% of the US co-working market.


Upside Down: Young real estate flippers inspired by HGTV realty shows are learning a valuable lesson – when a flipping business is funded with high-coupon debt and it takes longer than expected to sell, losses can pile up quickly.

Size Matters: Lenders are offering fewer mortgages for cheaper properties thanks to fixed costs that make it difficult to lend profitability at smaller sizes.  As a result, mortgage lenders have become highly incentivized to target larger loans, creating yet another headwind at the entry level.


Preparing for Battle: Amazon provides shippers like UPS and FedEx with huge amounts of business.  However, it is collecting tons of data on the logistics industry in doing so which could eventually lead to the eCommerce giant becoming a competitor.

Scathing: Uber’s busted IPO caps an era of mediocrity and small thinking in Silicon Valley.  Side Note: I can’t wait for WeWork to go public in this environment.  See Also: Uber and Lyft face the hurdle of finding and keeping drivers as turnover continues to plague ride share companies.

How You Use It: Contrary to popular belief, money can buy happiness… just depends on how it is spent.

Chart of the Day

Overall, the Producer Price Index aw a small uptick last month that came in below projections.

However, construction services is seeing aggressive inflation, led by cost surges for warehouse and industrial buildings.

Source: The Daily Shot


How’d That Get There: A woman removed several syringes from her vagina while being arrested at a Burger King because Florida.

Does A Body Good: A couple from Kazakhstan died of bubonic plague after eating a raw marmot kidney that they had been told was a folk remedy for good health.  I’m truly shocked that this ended poorly.

Hey Ladies, He’s Shingle: An unvaccinated student who sued a health agency after he was banned from school during a chickenpox outbreak now has chickenpox because science.

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

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Landmark Links May 14th – Up to Their Eyeballs

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