Landmark Links February 18th – Wrong Way

Must Read:  Another ill-conceived state-wide rent control bill will be on the California ballot in November, despite Prop 10 losing by a substantial margin in 2018. This one includes giving cities the ability to institute the dreaded vacancy control, which limits how much a landlord can increase rent when a new renter moves in.  No sign of this idiocy abating until the state becomes fully un-investable.


Running on Empty: Nearly 1 in 3 American workers run out of money before payday – even those earning over $100k.

Losing Proposition: Treasury markets are flashing a new economic warning as real yields turn negative.


Volume Discount: Blackstone has gone from a traditional private equity shop to a real estate behemoth by buying large and selling small.

No Margin for Error: Restaurant chains are struggling to survive despite an economy that has been growing for years and record consumer spending on food.


Cracks Showing: Technology looks poised to finally crack through one of the few markets in the world that has been resistant to its disruptive powers – the American housing market.

Location, Location, Location: San Francisco is home to something that sounds like an oxymoron in most places – the multi-million dollar fixer-upper.


Gridlock: In their early days, ride sharing companies claimed that they would ease traffic congestion by getting cars off of the road.  Instead, they have done the opposite.

Can’t Get It Right: Softbank, aka the world’s dumbest investment fund invested $375MM in robotic pizza delivery company that it claimed would “change the world.”  Shockingly, it did not go according to plan.

Tapped: The CIA secretly bought a company that sold encryption devices across the world.  Then its spies sat back and listened.

Charts of the Day

Mortgage debt is still falling in terms of GDP.  This should throw cold water on some of the bubble talk that I’ve been hearing.

Compare this to what was going on in the lead up to the housing bubble:

Source: Calculated Risk Blog


Attention Seekers: More people now die taking selfies than in shark attacks because Millennials (also Zoomers).

Heard Immunity: People are putting coronavirus masks on their cats in an effort to keep them from getting sick because China. (h/t Stone James)

Joy Ride: A man was arrested for driving a riding mower drunk in the middle of the winter.  In Maine.

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