Basis Points September 1st – Liftoff


Landmark Links Readers: 

Welcome to Basis Points, a daily go-to for the best and most interesting curated commercial and residential real estate stories, combined with original commentary and analysis.

If you are frequent reader of my blog (formerly Landmark Links), you may have picked up on some hints I’ve been dropping about an upcoming big announcement. Today I am thrilled to reveal the official launch of RanchHarbor!

RanchHarbor is an integrated real estate investment firm providing value-driven joint venture equity and GP co-invest equity ($2MM-$15MM), asset management, receivership and capital advisory. The company is a combination of the former Isles Ranch Partners and former leadership of Landmark Real Estate. Get the full story here.

Now to Basis Points. This blog has evolved a lot over the years but perhaps never so much as in the past few months when I made the decision to begin posting five days a week. The objective has always been to provide you with curated articles and original commentary. My daily observations, analysis and rants have meant to serve as guidance in helping readers understand what is going on in the real estate and finance industries a bit clearer, and hopefully make more sound and well-thought-out business decisions. 

While considering various blog name options, I wanted to find something that was clever, had meaning and accurately reflected the content. After much thought, it became clear Basis Points was the perfect fit.  

According to Investopedia:

“Basis points (BPS) refers to a common unit of measure for interest rates and other percentages in finance. One basis point is equal to 1/100th of 1%, or 0.01%, or 0.0001, and is used to denote the percentage change in a financial instrument.”

In the world of real estate finance, basis points are the foundation upon which deal terms are expressed, returns are reported and promote hurdles are met. But the term holds a dual meaning for me. The information, thoughts and commentary shared on this blog are the “basis points” I refer to in my daily decision making – in business, personal investing and even sometimes when negotiating with my wife.

The content and format of Basis Points will remain the same as what you’re accustomed to seeing on Landmark Links. The blog will retain its focus on curating and briefly summarizing the most interesting real estate, finance, economic, and of course WTF stories every weekday, with occasional original commentary and analysis.

While I am eternally grateful to my partners at Landmark, I’m also excited to start this new chapter with RanchHarbor and Basis Points, especially during this most unique and turbulent of times. There is perhaps more to blog about now more than ever.

I’ll be co-posting on the Landmark links website for the next couple of weeks but will begin migrating all new content to When you visit the new web-page, be sure to enter your email so that you don’t miss a single new edition of Basis Points!

Thank you for your continued followership!

I’ll continue posting here for another week or so but if you want to sign up to get the new and improved blog in your inbox daily, its easy.  Simply go to  When you go to the site, a pop up window will appear allowing you to type in your email address.  Thanks you for being loyal Landmarks Links readers and I hope that you enjoy Basis Points!

What I’m Reading

Backing Out: Pinterest terminated its massive 490,000 square foot lease at San Francisco’s un-built 88 Bluxome project, citing a shift toward more remote work amid the coronavirus pandemic.  The company had to pay a one-time fee of $89.5MM to cancel the lease in the speculative office development. San Francisco Chronicle   See Also: On the plus side, American commuters have saved nearly $91 billion since COVID work from home began. Bloomberg

Headed in the Wrong Direction: After improving markedly in July, the number of borrowers struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments has essentially flat-lined and now threatens to move higher.   Perhaps the most concerning trend, per Black Knight’s latest release is that close to three quarters of those in forbearance have had their terms extended from the initial three-month period. CNBC

Water, Water Everywhere: Banks are full of contradictions at the moment. Profits have tumbled due to swelling loss reserves and margins are at an all-time low.  However, fee income is at a historical high and deposits have surged.  While the outlook for the economy is bleak, banks are sitting on a pile of cash and currently have nowhere to put it. Wall Street Journal

Staying Power: A surge of US imports driving port activity that began in late June is now projected to last through at least October as consumers continue shopping online for a broad range of merchandise, more than replacing the weakness in in-store purchases due to COVID-19.

Misdirection: Earlier this year, lumber mills cut production dramatically to get ahead of the expected fall-out from expected lower housing demand due to COVID.  Then housing starts unexpectedly shot up and remodeling surged, sending lumber prices skyrocketing. Disciplined Systematic Global Macro Views

Kicking the Can: Landlord optimism about a retail revenue recovery has resulted in widespread deferred rent as an accommodation to get through the pandemic.  However, the actual numbers upon re-opening are not so good and already-low-margin tenants may not be in a position to actually pay back those deferrals in the relatively short time frames often stipulated in deferral agreements. Globe Street

Chart of the Day

This is one really depressing chart.


Source: Visual Capitalist 


Extra Sausage: An Ohio woman called the police because she thought that an oddly-shaped piece of meat that she got from a grocery store was actually a penis. Vice (h/t Jack Jorgensen)

Covidiot of the Day: A Disney worker was struck in the head by a theme park patron who became upset when told that a mask worn by one of his children did not meet safety standards because Florida. The Smoking Gun

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

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