Landmark Links July 9th – Flippin’ Bold

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Must Read: The inside story of how Rich Barton returned to Zillow as CEO and is attempting a major pivot to turn the company into an online house-flipping machine.

Economy

Worse Than It Appears: Despite strong headline jobs data, wage growth has been weak and other economic indicators are soft.  The reason is that underemployment is still a huge issue and, as a result, the US is substantially further from full employment than most believe.

Bounce? If the US and China are able to reach a trade war truce, we could be in for a second half growth surprise in 2019.

The Slog: Our current expansion is now the longest in history but far from the most robust.  This stat is incredible:

The total real GDP growth of 24.5 percent since June 2009 pales in comparison to the 51.7 percent of the 1960s or the 42.4 percent of the 1990s. Even if this expansion lasted another year or two, it would not equal those earlier achievements.

Commercial

Falling Behind: Despite a big investment in the Jet.com acquisition and the purchase of several web-based consumer brands, Walmart is still losing money on its eCommerce business.  In addition, its network of ecommerce distribution centers pales in comparison to rival Amazon’s and catching up would require a massive amount of new infrastructure investment.  This has resulted in tension between the online and brick and mortar divisions of Walmart.

This Will End in Tears: WeWork is reportedly preparing to raise between $3 billion and $4 billion in new debt financing before its expected IPO because why wouldn’t an overleveraged, money losing private company go further into debt before going public?

Careful What You Wish For: San Francisco’s ban of chain stores in North Beach, Chinatown and Hayes Valley has resulted in a lot of vacant store fronts and lost employment opportunities.

Residential

Pulling Back: Price appreciation has slowed across every major housing market in the US, in what JBREC is coining the Great Price deceleration.

Through the Roof: Demand for rental apartments has reached a five-year high this spring, spurred by new household formation and lagging home sales.  In other words, as long as household formation remains, people need to live somewhere.

Out of Jail? Wall Street is gearing up for the Trump administration’s plan to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the possibility that the mortgage giants will be looking to recapitalize with massive public offerings, which could end up being the largest in history.

Profiles

Anything for an Edge: Alternative data firms are tracking private aircraft and hedge funds are buying their data in an effort to get ahead of business deals before they happen.

Over Their Skis: Sandwich chain Subway grew far beyond the demand for bad sandwiches and now franchisees are paying the price as the company attempts to right-size, often by playing a game of gotcha over trivial rule infractions with their store owners.

Up Market: How luxury weed is becoming a new status symbol.

Chart of the Day

Both residential and commercial construction spending in the US look terrible right now.

Source: The Daily Shot

WTF

Thirsty: An Instagram model is selling her used bathwater for $30 and it has already sold out mainly because guys are idiots.

Sauced: A man was arrested for pelting his girlfriend with McDonald’s sweet and sour packets because Florida.

Gateway Drug: A study from BYU found that watching porn at work makes people behave unethically.  It also found that it can cause you to grow hair on your palms and lead to blindness.

Hamburglar: A man broke into a Wendy’s, grilled a burger and stole cash out of the register because Florida.

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

Visit us at Landmarkcapitaladvisors.com

Landmark Links July 9th – Flippin’ Bold

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