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Will Canadian City’s Tax Plan Inspire U.S. or More Canadians to Follow With Affordable Housing Battle Tool?

February 22nd, 2019 No comments

 

WillCanadianCitysTaxPlanInspireUSMoreCanadiansFollowWithAffordableHousingBattleTool-DailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

After hearing from more than 15,000 people and consulting with many experts, the City saw both support and need for a tax on empty homes in Vancouver. A 2016 City of Vancouver survey found that more than 90% of Vancouver residents surveyed agreed that empty homes were a problem; a separate poll by Angus Reid in 2015 found that 80% of Metro Vancouver residents were in support of a vacancy tax.” So said the the City of Vancouver created the Empty Homes Tax (EHT), also known as the Vacancy Tax report.

 

The report touts that “The EHT, the first of its kind in North America, is intended to help relieve pressure on Vancouver’s rental housing market.”

The Vancouver Sun produced this video, which outlines the concepts behind the issue, plus related data being collected.

 

 

Is This a Good Idea?

There will no doubt be voices both for and against this plan.  MHProNews merely notes at this point in time that this ‘solution’ avoids the question of supply.  Offering more affordable housing – including manufactured homes – ought to be an obvious part of the solution to the growing demand.

The full report from the City of Vancouver is linked here as a download.

LawrenceYunNARShort8.3MillionHousingUnitsRisingRentsHousingPricesCuredOnlyByMoreBuilding

Collage by MHProNews.

 

See the related reports, further below. That’s this morning’s “News through the lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Economics 101 – Supply, Demand, and Record Number of Job Openings in U.S. and Affordable Factory-Built Housing

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“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

Independent National Manufactured Housing Post-Production Association Takes Major Step

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is Manufactured Housing Industry Backstab Coming Into Clearer Focus?

February 21st, 2019 No comments

 

ManufacturedHousingIndustryBackstabComingIntoClearerFocusManufacturedHousingInstituteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are several new and recent items that are purportedly making it ever more clear what is occurring that are artificially stymieing manufactured housing industry growth.

 

There is a new report from the Washington, D.C. based independent producers association – linked below – that raises several disturbing concerns.  They should each raise the question, where is the Manufactured Housing Institute on these issues?

 

 

The topics that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform covered are serious ones, and are outlined in their bullets, below.

  • HUD WHITEWASHES ALLEGED DOE ENERGY RULE COSTS
  • PROCEDURAL CHANGES SHOULD APPLY TO ANY DOE MH RULE
  • REVISED DTS PLANS RELEASED – CHATTEL STILL IN LIMBO
  • 2018 PRODUCTION UP – BUT SHORT OF 100,000 HOME BENCHMARK
  • UNFINISHED BUSINESS – HUD MONITORING CONTRACT REFORM
  • CONGRESS TAKES UP GSE REFORM
  • HUD ANNOUNCES MHCC/SUBCOMMITTEE MEETINGS

 

Sources from outside of the MHARR office – with connections to MHI – are telling MHProNews that the reasons to sound the alarm are increasingly self-evident.  Rather than deny or clarify issues, MHI’s hired outside counsel to do sabre rattling instead.  Wouldn’t it be easier and less costly for MHI if they simply disproved – if they could – concerns like those raised above or below?

 

2019-02-21_1900EnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingInstituteWebsiteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

On January 9th, 2019, MHProNews revealed that on the MHI website, several key topics – important for the industry’s growth potential – are no where to be found.

 

Surprising Discovery on Manufactured Housing’s Enhanced Preemption, Hidden Gem$

 

MHI’s outside counsel specifically stated – and several sources in MHI – routinely monitor what is published here.  So, they knew this was a concern.  What have they done since the screen capture is done about 6 weeks ago?

Nada.  See the screen capture from this evening, which is time-date-stamped in the file name.

There seems to be several developing patterns.  Consider these to-date uncontroverted facts:

  • The Duty to Serve mandated in 2008 by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) that the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac support underserved markets, that included rural and manufactured housing.
  • MHI – purportedly at the bidding of Clayton Homes, per MHI sources – focused their push on DTS toward the so-called new class of homes, instead of on all manufactured homes. Why?
  • Even if that works for Clayton, how does that help the millions of current or potential ‘standard’ manufactured home owners that might have benefited from lower cost chattel loans?
  • Now, in hindsight, the MHI’s odd stance on the energy standards for DOE would have significantly raised the costs of new manufactured homes. MHARR was essentially battling MHI, as much as they were the Obama era DOE and their allies.  MHARR worked to align third party research that proved just how flawed the MHI plan was, and only then, did MHI do an about face – during the Trump Administration.
  • At each stage, MHI’s actions – or failures to act – reveal an arguably stated or unstated tendency toward increased consolidation through artificially enhanced barriers or entry, maintenance, or exit.

See the related reports below.  There could be a special report soon on a related issue, that once more shows MHI’s failure to act in their self-proclaimed role of representing all segments of the factory built housing industry.

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

Ask yourself. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply in this case?

 

Marty Lavin, Frank Rolfe, Kenny Lipschutz, and others within or tied to MHI have been proven right. The motivations for state associations to break from MHI are becoming more clear.

KennyLipschutzHomeFirstCertifiedCommunitiesMHINCCmemberPuzzlesWhyMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

FrankRolfeMHIChairmanNathanSmithSSKCommunitiesHypocrisyQuote-MHProNewsMHCommunitiesOfAZNealTHaneyPresidentWhyTheyQuitManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

It’s game on.

One side, there are those that posture or claim to be working on behalf of the industry, but the are either fumbling or failing repeatedly.  Why?

Then on the other side, are others who want to see the industry grow, but are running into headwinds that the post-production side of the industry is supposed to be fighting.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsMHARRMarkWeissIfCongressHadMeanttheDutytoServeToBeOptionItWouldNotHaveCalledItADutyDefintionofDutyIsMandatoryResponsibilityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Back stabbing by MHI, anyone? Or is it a front stab? The featured photo lets you imagine it either way.

Meanwhile, pro-MHI sycophants are silent. Or amen-corner writers churn out their mealy-mouthed nonsense.  Is it the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis coming more visibly into focus?

It will be fascinating to see what Warren Buffett has to say. We’ll know soon enough.

 

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“Waste, Fraud, and Abuse” – FHFA, GSE Federal Oversight Announcement

“What Are We, Chopped Liver?” MHI Member December 2018 Reactions

 

 

 

 

 

 

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China Trade, Fed, Mixed Signals on Meh Day, Plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

February 21st, 2019 No comments

CNNmone2.21.2019ManufacturedHomeStocksMarketsReportsMHProNewsAs the headline news from CNN and Fox Business reflect, there’s a flurry of items that contributed to the stimuli for investors on a largely down broader markets day, and a mixed day for manufactured home stocks and equities.

 

But something to watch are those voices that keep trying to talk investors into a recession.  As an upcoming report we’ve planned will reflect, a group of experts think that recession isn’t likely until 2021 at the earliest. So, tonight’s focus will be trade talks with China, as some believe a deal may be near. Given that it influences several manufactured housing supply chains, that is our focus this evening.

 

If you’re new, already hooked on our new spotlight feature – or are ready to get the MH professional fever – our headline report is found further belowafter the newsmaker bullets and major indexes closing tickers.

 

The evolving Daily Business News market report sets the manufactured home industry’s stocks in the broader context of the overall markets.  Headlines – at home and abroad – often move the markets.  So, this is an example of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing.” ©

Part of this unique evening feature provides headlines – from both sides of the left-right media divide – which saves busy readers time, while underscoring topics that may be moving investors, which in turn move the markets.

Readers say this is also a useful quick-review tool that saves researchers time in getting a handle of the manufactured housing industry, through the lens of publicly-traded stocks connected with the manufactured home industry.

This is an exclusive evening or nightly example of MH “Industry News, Tips and Views, Pros Can Use.” © It is fascinating to see just how similar, and different, these two lists of headlines can be.

Want to know more about the left-right media divide from third party research?  ICYMI – for those not familiar with the “Full Measure,” ‘left-center-right’ media chart, please click here.

 

CNBCLeftRightMediaSharylAttkissonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Select bullets from CNN Money…

  • Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend Tesla Model 3
  • Many Tesla owners are reporting problems, including loose body trim and glass defects
  • Latest updates: These are the six cars that just lost Consumer Report’s recommendation
  • Looking back: A brief history of Tesla vs. Consumer Reports
  • Analysis: A tough week at Tesla just got worse
  • LIVE UPDATES Gloomy economic numbers rattle Wall Street
  • Despite backlash, stock buybacks keep booming
  • The IPO market is in hibernation
  • US tariffs could cost German automakers $7 billion a year
  • Report: Apple and Goldman Sachs are releasing a credit card together
  • Pedestrian deaths are up. These SUV’s can help save lives
  • Uber hasn’t killed off the rental car industry
  • USA Today editor apologizes for publishing blackface photo in college
  • How to best diversify your investment portfolio
  • Huge 15-year fixed rate drop. Could be your last chance to refinance
  • Target has a new plan to win parents over: Focus on the kids
  • Nike’s stock falls after Duke star breaks sneakers
  • Chinese shoppers can now get an iPhone for less than $30 a month
  • Applebee’s had its best year since 1993
  • Chipotle CEO: We are undergoing a digital transformation
  • The strategy behind McDonald’s new breakfast food
  • Pizza Hut expands beer delivery service
  • Domino’s rewards customers for buying pizza — even from its competitors
  • Retail layoffs are piling up. Here’s the whole story
  • Gymboree’s second bankruptcy will kill the brand
  • Sears survived bankruptcy. Can it survive long term?
  • Payless plans to close during its second bankruptcy, costing 16,000 workers their jobs

 

Select Bullets from Fox Business

  • Stocks fall on Atlanta Fed cut to 4Q GDP forecast, weak economic data
  • Mortgage rates fall to lowest average in one year
  • Pinterest files confidentially for IPO
  • Lyft IPO will open floodgates for other tech companies: Varney
  • AOC says Amazon HQ2 deal caused rental spike in Queens: Fact check
  • Lyft vs. Uber: What to know about the ride-hailing rivals
  • Zion Williamson’s shoe split puts Nike’s brand in spotlight
  • Uber Eats devouring McDonald’s franchise owners’ profits: ‘Bar Rescue’s’ Jon Taffer
  • Farming community in Delaware hopes for a good trade deal
  • Tesla Model 3 reliability issues lead to downgrade by Consumer Reports
  • ‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett’s salary, net worth compared to co-stars
  • Duke’s Zion Williamson has $8M insurance policy against pre-NBA injuries: Report
  • US existing home sales fall sharply to 3-year low
  • What YouTube is doing after McDonald’s, Nestle pull ads over graphic video
  • What Ronald Reagan would say about socialism: Art Laffer
  • Wells Fargo donates $444M to nonprofits for affordable housing, small businesses
  • Nike’s Colin Kaepernick jersey sells out just hours after release
  • Brexit backlash has UK businesses flying the coop
  • Marie Kondo’s Netflix series ‘Tidying Up’ sparks spike in Goodwill Donations

 

Today’s markets and stocks, at the closing bell…

9MarketIndicatorsYahooFinance2.21.2019DailyBusinessNeawsManufacturedHousingIndustryStocksMarketsReportsDataMHProNews

 

 

Today’s Big Movers

For all the scores and highlights on tracked manufactured home connected stocks today, see thBloomberg graphic, posted below.

Today’s MH Market Spotlight Report –

 

ChinaTradeFedMixedSignalsMehDayPlusManufacturedHomeMarketUpdates

 

Curating content for this evening market report is both art and science.

For example, it is almost comical at times how even the same news source is sending mixed messages on the same topic.  That can happen because experts – those talking heads – disagree.  Or it can occur because of undisclosed agendas, bad reading of data or indicators, etc.  The same source may be dead wrong in their analysis too.

The latest ‘a deal may be looming’ with China and U.S. on trade are below.

While some think it is close, that would be a bit of a surprise here on MHProNews.  But CNBC said, “A trade deal may not be ‘priced in’ yet as study shows S&P 500 should be 11% higher.” For market watchers that headline alone could be worth the price of admission to this evening’s report.

Here are more pull quotes and two videos, from CNBC.

  • Renaissance Macro Research estimates the S&P 500 has lost about 11 percent from trade tensions since January 2018, even with the recent run-up in stocks.
  • In other words, if not for all the negative trade news over the last 14 months, the S&P 500 would be about 11 percent higher,” says Neil Dutta, the firm’s head of economics.

 

  • With the market off its lows, a popular view is that the equity market has priced in all the good news already,” Dutta says. “We are skeptical; the equity market only partially retraced the losses associated with trade tensions.”

 

 

 

Related Reports:

“Feeling the Bern” – Love or Hate Sanders, Take Him Seriously – plus MH Stock Market Updates

Game On: “Socialism is About Power, not Equality,” Space Force, and Battle for Manufactured Housing Independence

 

Bloomberg Closing Ticker for MHProNews…

NOTE: The chart below includes the Canadian stock, ECN, which purchased Triad Financial Services.

NOTE: The chart below covers a number of stocks NOT reflected in the Yahoo MHCV, shown above.

NOTE: Drew changed its name and trading symbol at the end of 2016 to Lippert (LCII).

2.21.2019DailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingConnectedMarketReportsBloombergMHProNews

 

Berkshire Hathaway is the parent company to Clayton Homes21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage and other factory built housing industry suppliers.

LCI Industries, Patrick, UFPI and LP all supply manufactured housing.

AMG, CG and TAVFX have investments in manufactured housing related businesses.

Your link to industry praise for our coverage, is found here.

For the examples of our kudos linked above…plus well over 1,000 positive, public comments, we say – “Thank You for your vote of confidence.”

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Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

To submit a news tip, please click here: iReportMHNewsTips@MHMSM.com


Discrimination!? Ethnic, Racial Bias by Manufactured Home Community Investigated – Investors and Community Owner Alert

February 21st, 2019 No comments

Discrimination!EthnicRacialBiasByManufacturedHomeCommunityInvestigatedInvestorsCommunityOwnerAlertDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Keenya Robertson is a fair housing advocate and the President of Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence (HOPE).  She said “Something is not right,” per Yahoo News.

 

People are being treated differently because they are from a different country.  That is a violation of the Fair Housing Act,” Robertson said, according to Local 10 News.

 

 

It’s an issue that may not seem to some to be discriminatory, at first glance.  But as one digs deeper, because a country of national origin is involved, it would be an apparent violation of the Fair Housing Act.  The racial composition of those nations may also be perceived as a factor.

MHCSuedAccusedofHousingDiscriminationByDepartmentofJusticeNadeenGreen-jd-for-rent-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews

Nadeem Green, JD, Fair Housing attorney, author, instructor, now retired.

As years of articles published here on MHProNews by attorney Nadeen Green, JD – the “Fair Housing Lady” – advised manufactured home industry professional readers, the protected classes include: “Race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin,” as the National Association of Realtors™ (NAR) also states.

 

Lakeside Park Estates

In order to become a part of Lakeside Park Estates, a 55-and-older community of mostly Canadians who come to Florida for the winter, a member must first fill out a rental application,” said Yahoo News’ report. “The first page of the application lists what applicants would be charged based on their background. U.S. residents are charged $50, and from there, the prices go up significantly. The highest application fee listed is for natives of Colombia, who are listed as being charged $175 per adult for an application.”

Lakeside Park Estates is owned by Trinity Broadcasting Network, as the sign in the photo below reflects.  It is located just west of Interstate 95 on Pembroke Road in Pembroke Park, in Hollywood, Florida, explained the narrative by Local 10 News.

The property is a 55-and-older community reportedly made up of so-called ‘snow-birds’ who are mostly of Canadians, who winter in Florida.

 

LakesideparkEstatesHollywoodFlDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The first page of the Lakeside Park Estates application spells out what you’ll be charged to process their application.  That document states that a U.S. resident would pay $50.  But a Colombian would pay $175 per person.

 

ApplicationFeesDiscriminatoryUnequalTreatmentLakesideParkEstatesTrinityBroadcastingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Robertson has been a fair housing advocate for approaching a quarter of a century, and she said, “I have never seen anything like it.”

Equality under the law means just that, say the experts.  Investors? Manufactured home community owner/operators?  Is a property you are involved in committing some blatant or subtle form of discrimination?  Bear in mind the related report, below the by line, which will be updated with a planned follow up soon. Stay tuned.

 

MH Industry Pro Takeaways?

In the meantime, it can be less costly to double check your paperwork and procedures, than it is to face litigation with individuals, fair housing advocates, state agencies, or the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Bear in mind that in some states there are additional protected classes, as Green has previously said.

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Arrested! Attorney General Files Charges on Manufactured and Modular Home Retailer, Police Arrest Suspect

“Appalled” said David McCarthy – HUD Cites “Substandard Conditions,” But How Many Multi-Million Opportunities for Investors and Manufactured Housing Pro?

 

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Game On: “Socialism is About Power, not Equality,” Space Force, and Battle for Manufactured Housing Independence

February 21st, 2019 No comments

 

GameOnSocialsmIsAboutPowerNotEqualitySpaceForceBattleForManufacturedHousingIndependenceDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The manufactured housing industry has to a significant degree been conquered. Who will be the leaders and the voices that liberate our industry, it’s millions of home owners, and the millions more who could benefit from manufactured home living?  

 

That’s a tough but pertinent question, as the battle for 2020 is well underway.

There are capital, communications, and legal battles ahead for the manufactured home industry.

And the industry’s professionals and home owners must realize that the potential voting block is one worth fighting for by political rivals. 

On the left, there are figures like House Financial Services Committed Chair Maxine Waters. She’s on record opposing several business practices of Clayton Homes and their affiliated lenders. There are reports in mainstream media about her call to both the Department of Justice and HUD to investigate Clayton and their lenders. 

Also on the left, is Senator Elizabeth Warren. She laid out a legal case for using existing laws to break up various monopolistic forces.  MHProNews and MHLivingNews has covered those events as hopeful opportunities, while critiquing other political positions held by those same Democratic lawmakers.

Then, there’s Democrat turned Republican, President Donald J. Trump. Some call him a populist. His policies are arguably a blend of positions held by leaders of both major parties. That’s why he was and is battled from within the ranks of the GOP, not just the Democratic political machine. 

Each side of the political aisle has points of attraction, and ideally affordable quality living is a non-partisan issue.

Several Democratic leaders, including 2020 presidential hopefuls, have publicly supported the Green New Deal.  It’s come under fire from with the ranks of Democrats, and from Republicans, but does have support too.

There are several Democratic leaders who routinely call on taxing the rich. Senator Warren is pushing for a wealth tax. We would question the constitutionality of some of those proposals. But is there a different path? Is there a lawful way to bring forces on the left and right together for the sake of the country, wealth-building affordable housing, and manufactured homes role in that emerging vision? 

 TheWhiteHouseLogoIconHeaderPressReleaseDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Socialism is about power, not equality

A crowd of Venezuelan Americans stood before President Donald J. Trump in Miami yesterday, cheering as he put America squarely on the side of those fighting for freedom. “We’re here to proclaim a new day is coming in Latin America,” he said. “In Venezuela and across the western hemisphere, socialism is dying and liberty, prosperity, and democracy are being reborn.”

His message to Nicolas Maduro: “Let your people go.”

American leadership is making the difference. The United States and more than 50 countries across the world have recognized the rightful government of Venezuela. “Within 30 minutes, the United States was proud to be the first nation in the world to recognize President [Juan] Guaido” as the country’s interim leader, President Trump said.

Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua offer a lesson to the world: Socialism always promises unity but delivers division and hatred. It promises a better future—and inevitably returns to the darkest chapters of the past. Not long ago, Venezuela was the richest country in South America. Today, after its tyrannical government nationalized industries and took over private business, nearly 90 percent of Venezuelans live in poverty.

Americans know this history well, having witnessed socialism destroy countries throughout the 20th century. Nearly three-fifths of Americans have an unfavorable view of socialism; a majority have a favorable view of capitalism. Support for far-left schemes such as Medicare-for-All has plummeted as voters learn more about what’s in it. The extremist “Green New Deal” is beginning to suffer the same fate.

“We know that socialism is not about justice. It’s not about equality; it’s not about lifting up the poor,” President Trump said yesterday. “Socialism is about one thing only: power for the ruling class. And the more power they get, the more they crave . . . All of us here today know that there is nothing less democratic than socialism.”

Watch: “The United States of America is standing right by their side.” 

Worth sharing: “We are born free, and we will stay free—now and forever.”

The Space Force is here

President Trump signed Space Policy Directive-4 this afternoon, marking a bold step toward American space dominance by setting in motion the process of creating a U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of our Armed Forces.

The Directive calls on the Secretary of Defense to develop a legislative proposal for the Space Force, embodying President Trump’s vision for keeping Americans safe:

•          Strengthen America’s ability to compete—and win—in an increasingly contested domain

•          Organize, train, and equip our space warfighters with next-generation capabilities

•          Maximize successful warfighting capability while minimizing bureaucracy

Peace through strength has been President Trump’s foreign policy since day one, and this newest frontier is no exception. The United States is the best in space, and our adversaries know it. They want to restrict our access there to undermine our strategic advantage. With the U.S. Space Force up and running, that won’t happen.

Get the facts: America’s destiny in space is secure.

Watch: President Trump signs the Space Force directive

— End of White House Release —

Democrats are laying out their vision for the nation in the run-up to 2020.  One of those popular visions is linked further below.

President Donald J. Trump is laying out his vision, via White House statements like the one above.

LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquote

The comment above was said with respect to another recent topic, but relates to this issue too.

Editorially, MHProNews has noted previously that there are some positions that Democrats hold – on issues like antitrust enforcement, or possible reforms of the GSEs – that could be useful for manufactured housing.

At the same time, President Trump’s Administration has rolled back more regulations than any other president’s administration in modern times.  Some of those rollbacks have proven useful for the manufactured housing industry.  The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has generated numerous actual and potential boosts to manufactured housing and factory-builders.

So, there will be a tug-of-war, as in every election cycle, between the various claims and track records of the two major parties.  Plus, there will be possible independent runs for the White House, like the one postured by Starbucks founder, billionaire, and Democrat Howard Schultz.

Track records – actual results – plus the prudence of the platforms should guide the industry’s pros in their support and votes. That’s this morning’s “News through the lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Related Reports:

You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

“…Results have been Catastrophic.” Official Text-POTUS Trump on Socialism Speech + FLOTUS Melania Video, Plus Manufactured Housing Stock Updates

“Feeling the Bern” – Love or Hate Sanders, Take Him Seriously – plus MH Stock Market Updates

 

Grasping True Value of the Green New Deal for America, Affordable Housing Professionals and Advocates

Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

Warren Buffett’s Moat, Understanding Manufactured Housing Requires Grasping Strategic Economic Moats

 

Howard Schultz, Potential Independent Presidential Candidate, Former Starbucks CEO, Blasts AOC, Senators Warren & Harris Plans, Plus MH Market Updates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Feeling the Bern” – Love or Hate Sanders, Take Him Seriously – plus MH Stock Market Updates

February 20th, 2019 No comments

Love him. Hate him. Agree, disagree or be ‘meh’ about his policies and politics.  CNNmone2.20.2019ManufacturedHomeStocksMarketsReportsMHProNewsIgnore the scandals attached to his wife and himself if you wish, because hundreds of thousands of donors clearly have.  Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialistic independent from Vermont has announced he is running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.  And Sanders has blown away the fundraising in the first 24 hours of his campaign announcement. vs. his rivals to be the Democratic candidate to oppose President Donald J. Trump in 2020.  That will be our focus report for this evening.

 

If you’re new, already hooked on our new spotlight feature – or are ready to get the MH professional fever – our headline report is found further belowafter the newsmaker bullets and major indexes closing tickers.

 

The evolving Daily Business News market report sets the manufactured home industry’s stocks in the broader context of the overall markets.  Headlines – at home and abroad – often move the markets.  So, this is an example of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing.” ©

Part of this unique evening feature provides headlines – from both sides of the left-right media divide – which saves busy readers time, while underscoring topics that may be moving investors, which in turn move the markets.

Readers say this is also a useful quick-review tool that saves researchers time in getting a handle of the manufactured housing industry, through the lens of publicly-traded stocks connected with the manufactured home industry.

This is an exclusive evening or nightly example of MH “Industry News, Tips and Views, Pros Can Use.” © It is fascinating to see just how similar, and different, these two lists of headlines can be.

Want to know more about the left-right media divide from third party research?  ICYMI – for those not familiar with the “Full Measure,” ‘left-center-right’ media chart, please click here.

MediaBiasChartSharylAttkissonLeftRightPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. 

 

Select bullets from CNN Money…

  • Samsung’s big day
  • The brand unveiled a foldable phone — follow the live event here
  • The new lineup: Foldable phones, 5G and phones that charge each other
  • Samsung’s new foldable smartphone: Gimmick or game changer?
  • Watch: See the Samsung Galaxy’s new features in action
  • 5G is here. Here’s what that actually means
  • LIVE UPDATES S&P boosts the odds of a US recession
  • Walmart vs. Target: How to invest in retail stocks
  • CVS slides 9% after predicting a rough outlook
  • Retail layoffs are piling up. Here’s the whole story
  • PERSPECTIVES Trump can hate on SNL all he wants, but he won’t stop watching
  • Gannett touts digital growth as it battles takeover
  • New York Times responds to Trump’s attack: ‘It’s not just false, it’s dangerous’
  • Lyft cofounder opens up about its biggest competitor
  • Glencore will cap coal production, but some climate groups say that isn’t good enough
  • The IPO market is still in hibernation. Blame the government shutdown and market mayhem
  • Tesla’s general counsel is leaving the company after two months
  • The UK would be ‘irresponsible’ to let Huawei into 5G, think tank warns
  • Swiss banking giant UBS fined over $5 billion in fraud case
  • Huge 15-year fixed rate drop. Could be your last chance to refinance
  • Virgin Galactic to make second key test flight to space
  • Under Armour to design ‘spacewear’ for Virgin Galactic
  • SpaceX nixes plans for Mars spaceship at LA port
  • Blue Origin launches 10th test flight of space tourism rocket
  • Inside the high-stakes business of tracking space junk
  • Chinese hackers are ramping up attacks on US companies
  • Russian hackers targeted US think tanks in Europe
  • Dating app reveals data breach on Valentine’s Day
  • My son’s Nest camera was acting weird. Here’s what I did
  • Apple says Facebook’s controversial market research app violated its policies

Select Bullets from Fox Business

  • Fed minutes reveal uncertainty about future rate hikes
  • Pepsi’s new CEO just made his first big move
  • Stocks in tight range as Fed minutes reveal bank’s economic growth worries
  • CBD product push: Tilray buying hemp food brand Manitoba Harvest
  • Ocasio-Cortez’s role in driving Amazon out of New York City blasted in new billboard
  • The Jobs Creators Network debuted the new billboard in Times Square on Wednesday.
  • UNC-Duke basketball ticket prices approach Super Bowl levels: Here’s why
  • Trump administration wants California to pay back billions for high-speed rail
  • Uber Eats devouring McDonald’s franchise owners’ profits: ‘Bar Rescue’s’ Jon Taffer
  • Best cities to open a restaurant
  • Google defends secret Nest microphone as unintended ‘error’
  • Tide Cleaners laundry, dry cleaning service to roll out nationwide
  • A look inside Venezuela’s treacherous health care system
  • Middle-class incomes are rising at a massive rate in these 10 cities
  • Varney: Media’s Trump hatred causes hair-trigger misinterpretation
  • Bernie Sanders’ millions point to ‘limousine liberal’: Grover Norquist
  • Trump rebate rule will hike premiums for seniors, CVS Health CEO says
  • Macy’s, Kohl’s ‘becoming yesterday’s news’: Former Toys R US CEO says
  • How to protect yourself from skimming at the gas pump
  • American lawsuits over Google’s Nest may not be viable, Judge Napolitano says

Today’s markets and stocks, at the closing bell…

9MarketIndicatorsYahooFinance2.20.2019DailyBusinessNeawsManufacturedHousingIndustryStocksMarketsReportsDataMHProNews

 

Today’s Big Movers

For all the scores and highlights on tracked manufactured home connected stocks today, see thBloomberg graphic, posted below.

Today’s MH Market Spotlight Report –

FeelingTheBernLoveorHateSandersTakeHimSeriouslyPlusMHStockMarketUpdatesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

There is no way to be fair and balanced without giving coverage that accurately reflects what a person or organization says or does.  Editorially, MHProNews strongly opposes much of what Sanders stands for, based upon policy and performance.  But that won’t keep us from laying out what he said to CBS in an extended interview, shown below.  It reflects Sanders’ views, in his own words.

 

 

In the first 24 hours since his announcement that he is running for the 2020 nomination for the Democratic Party, per the Sanders camp, he raised $5.9 million dollars.

Some details per left-of-center CNBC:

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders raises $5.9 million from 223,000 donors within the first 24 hours of his 2020 presidential campaign.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris of California previously announced raking in $1.5 million from 38,000 donors within the first 24 hours of announcing her presidential bid last month.
  • Other candidates have not provided first-day funding information.

 

An apparently leftist podcaster, the Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins, had this to say about Sanders on the subject of Democrat Howard Schultz’s possible run as an independent.  Schultz, a founder of Starbucks and a billionaire, has taken on the far left of the Democratic Party in many of his interview statements.  That’s the backdrop to this podcaster’s commentary, which opens with the headline: “Bernie Sanders SHREDS The Media Over Their Obsession With Howard Schultz.”

 

 

More from CNBC:

  • With an average donation of $27, the Vermont independent’s haul shows the power of small-dollar donations, which have become increasingly critical for Democrats looking to shore up grassroots support and shun corporate funds.
  • Sen. Kamala Harris of California previously announced raking in $1.5 million from 38,000 donors within the first 24 hours of announcing her presidential bid last month. Other candidates have not provided first-day funding information.
  • Sanders launched his campaignon Tuesday. The decision followed months of speculation that the senator would jump into the race after the surprising success of his insurgent 2016 bid, when he became the runner up behind Hillary Clinton.
  • In 2016, Sanders raised $1.5 million in the first 24 hours and went on to raise 58 percent of his campaign funds with individual contributions of less than $200, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. By contrast, small-dollar donations made up just 19 percent of Clinton’s campaign funds.
  • “Sanders demonstrated a level of grassroots support of unprecedented size and excitement, signalling the strength of the movement set on winning the Democratic nomination, defeating Donald Trump and creating a government that works for all Americans,” his campaign said in a statement Wednesday announcing his first-day fundraising numbers.
  • Sanders joins a crowded Democratic primary field, including Harris and fellow Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar. Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, among others, are also aiming for the party’s nomination.
  • Sanders received donations from all 50 states within the first hour of his campaign. “Powerful special interests may have the money, but we have the people,” he tweeted on Tuesday.
  • In a move to renounce the influence of big businesses, Sanders and other Democratic contenders have pledged to reject donations from corporate PACs. A similar trend prevailed in the 2018 midterm elections.
  • “We’re not accepting a penny from corporate PACs or federal lobbyists, which means your donations really do make a difference,” Harris said in a tweet.
  • The surge of small-dollar donations in the 2020 campaigns can be partly attributed to ActBlue, an online fundraising platform for Democrats used by both Sanders and Harris. ActBlue helpedcandidates raise over $1.6 billion during the 2018 election cycle alone, with a $39 average contribution. On Sanders’ fundraising page, the suggested donation amount starts at $3.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., pulled in over $299,000 online the day she launched her presidential exploratory committee, according a Politicoreport citing a Federal Election Commission filing. A Politico analysis of ActBlue data showed more than 8,000 donations were collected for the senator on Dec. 31, working out to an average donation of about $37.
  • Warren officially announced her presidential bid on Feb. 9. The campaign did not release funding information for that day’s take.

The analysis of the Sanders opening bid is simple.  Take him seriously.  There are rumors that he may team up with a young firebrand, like AOC.  That would be a dubious move, for several reasons.

There’s persistent speculation that Michelle Obama or former Vice President Joe Biden will enter the race, and either of them would be – per recent polling – the front runner.

But if someone as far left as Sanders wins, will it be almost as rough as the Mondale vs. Reagan campaign of 1984?  That year, Reagan won 49 of the 50 states. Time will tell.

Hang onto your wallets.  2020 is ‘game on.’  See the related reports, below.

 

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Presidents Day Facts and Video Quiz

Democratic and Republican Policy Dilemmas, Affordable Housing, Economic Growth, and Manufactured Homes

 

Bloomberg Closing Ticker for MHProNews…

NOTE: The chart below includes the Canadian stock, ECN, which purchased Triad Financial Services.

NOTE: The chart below covers a number of stocks NOT reflected in the Yahoo MHCV, shown above.

NOTE: Drew changed its name and trading symbol at the end of 2016 to Lippert (LCII).

2.20.2019DailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingConnectedMarketReportsBloombergMHProNews

Berkshire Hathaway is the parent company to Clayton Homes21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage and other factory built housing industry suppliers.

LCI Industries, Patrick, UFPI and LP all supply manufactured housing.

AMG, CG and TAVFX have investments in manufactured housing related businesses.

Your link to industry praise for our coverage, is found here.

For the examples of our kudos linked above…plus well over 1,000 positive, public comments, we say – “Thank You for your vote of confidence.”

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HUD Warns PHAs, Manufactured Housing Pros – Take Note

February 20th, 2019 No comments

 

HUDWarnsPHAsPublicHousingAgenciesManufacturedHousingIndustryProsTakeNoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

A manufactured home community (MHC) professional told MHProNews that the single largest competitor for our industry is subsidized housing.  Ponder that statement.

 

That and the recent Daily Business News on MHProNews report linked here and further below about ‘appalling’ are apt backgrounds for the following stern warning from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The change by HUD is arguably long overdue, as the problems have noted have endured through Democratic and Republican administrations.

The best pull-quote from below is by HUD Secretary Ben Carson, M.D.: It’s become painfully clear to us that too many public housing authorities and private landlords whom we contract with were using the weeks before their inspection to make quick fixes, essentially gaming the system,” said Secretary Carson.

Here’s the new HUD release to MHProNews, which will be followed by related comments and reports.

 

HUDNewsheaderManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

HUD TO DRASTICALLY CUT NOTICE FOR INSPECTIONS OF PUBLIC HOUSING AND PRIVATELY OWNED APARTMENT BUILDINGS

14-day advance notice designed to encourage year-round maintenance

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced it is dramatically reducing the advance notice it provides to public housing authorities (PHAs) and private owners of HUD-subsidized apartment developments before their housing is inspected to ensure it is decent, safe and healthy.  HUD’s new standard provides PHAs and private owners of HUD-assisted housing 14 calendar days’ notice before an inspection, a dramatic reduction from the current notice which can frequently extend up to four months. Read HUD’s notice.

In addition, HUD is launching a series of listening sessions around the nation to gather input from the public and HUD stakeholders about a planned pilot program to test innovative new approaches to inspecting HUD-assisted properties.  Initial listening sessions are planned in Philadelphia, Fort Worth, Atlanta, Detroit and Seattle.

Currently, HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) provides advance notice before a scheduled inspection which frequently extends up to 120 days. This amount of lead time allows certain public housing authorities and property owners to undertake cosmetic, ‘just-in-time’ repairs to their properties rather than adopting year-round maintenance practices.

It’s become painfully clear to us that too many public housing authorities and private landlords whom we contract with were using the weeks before their inspection to make quick fixes, essentially gaming the system,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “The action we take today is part of a broader review of our inspections so we can be true to the promise of providing housing that’s decent, safe and healthy to the millions of families we serve.”

Today’s notice is part of a wholesale reexamination of REAC’s inspection process that Secretary Carson launched shortly after taking office. HUD will be consulting with PHAs and property owners over the next several months to discuss other improvements to REAC’s process.

REAC is responsible for inspecting properties owned and operated by approximately 3,700 local public housing authorities nationwide.  In addition, REAC-contracted inspectors evaluate approximately 23,000 privately owned apartment buildings.  Combined, approximately 96 percent of these properties pass their inspections.

Still, it has been HUD’s observation that many public housing authorities and private owners of HUD-subsidized housing have grown accustomed to REAC’s 20-year-old inspection regime and, in some cases, invest more resources in passing minimal inspection requirements rather than satisfying their obligation to provide quality housing.

Beginning 30 days after publication of this notice, HUD employees and contract inspectors acting on behalf of HUD shall provide property owners and their agents 14 calendar days of notice prior to their inspection.  If an owner/agent declines, cancels or refuses entry for an inspection, a presumptive score of “0” (zero) will be recorded. If the second attempt results in a successful inspection within seven calendar days, the resulting score will be recorded.

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.

— End of extended quote from HUD release. —

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

The report from the linked text/image box below makes the relevance of this topic to manufactured housing professionals manifest.

 

“Appalled” said David McCarthy – HUD Cites “Substandard Conditions,” But How Many Multi-Million Opportunities for Investors and Manufactured Housing Pro?

The announcement, while it should be welcomed by virtually everyone, must be viewed by what follows.  There is certainly a manifest need for the industry to step up and offer HUD an alternative, but where is the post-production leadership for doing that?  See the related reports, below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

“Appalled” said David McCarthy – HUD Cites “Substandard Conditions,” But How Many Multi-Million Opportunities for Investors and Manufactured Housing Pro?

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“Move, Open, Live” De Rose Industries & Senator Thom Tillis’ Mobile Home Comments

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Arrested! Attorney General Files Charges on Manufactured and Modular Home Retailer, Police Arrest Suspect

February 20th, 2019 No comments

 

ArrestedNYAGFilesChargesManufacturedModularHomeRetailerValueHomesSherrieBurtonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

In a press release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews, is the following from the New York State Attorney General’s (NY AG) office.

 

The release contains the details of the suspect arrested and charged with swindling over a $1 million dollars from would-be buyers of factory-built homes.  The NY AG’s release will be followed by additional, related news, an ABC affiliate’s video, plus some commentary and links to related issues.

 

LettitiaJamesNYAttorneyGeneralLogoDailyBUsinessNewsMHproNews

Shown under fair use guidelines for media.

Attorney General James And NYS Police Announce Arrest Of Upstate Resident For Scheme To Defraud Over 40 Homebuyers

Sherrie A. Burton, Owner of Valued Homes, Charged With Stealing Over $1 Million from Buyers of Modular and Manufactured Homes throughout Upstate New York  

UPSTATE NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James and State Police Acting Superintendent Keith Corlett announced today the arrest of Sherrie A. Burton for defrauding homebuyers throughout Upstate New York of over $1 million. The defendant was arraigned today on a 9-count felony complaint including charges of Grand Larceny in the Second and Third Degrees and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree. A joint investigation by the Attorney General’s Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau and the New York State Police revealed that Burton allegedly used her businesses, Valued Manufactured Housing, Inc. (“VMH”) and Valued Homes (“VH”) to fraudulently solicit deposits, down payments, and even full cash payments from unsuspecting customers of modular and manufactured homes. She then allegedly used the money for personal expenses and to further her ongoing scheme.   

“We will never tolerate any fraudulent behavior that takes advantage of hardworking New Yorkers,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “Instead of fulfilling the dream of homeownership, Ms. Burton allegedly defrauded homebuyers and used their savings for her personal expenses and gains. My office will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone who engages in activities that harm our residents.” 

“I applaud the work performed on this case by the New York State Attorney General’s office and our State Police Investigators,” said Acting New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett. “This individual perpetuated a devious scheme to defraud hardworking New Yorkers out of thousands of dollars for her own gain. Because of the strong collaboration among law enforcement, we were able to expose this fraud. The State Police will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to end these types of fraudulent practices and hold accountable those who prey on innocent people.” 

According to the felony complaint and statements by the prosecution in court, between at least March 2015 and July 2018, the defendant operated VMH and VH in South Glens Falls, Saratoga County, which offered to sell homebuyers newly built manufactured and modular homes. Manufactured homes are factory-built houses engineered and constructed to the specifications of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s federal building code, while modular homes are factory-built homes that are built to state building standards. Both manufactured and modular homes are transported on a carrier and permanently set on a foundation.   

Prosecutors allege that Burton falsely represented to customers that they needed to put a substantial deposit in order for the manufacturer to begin construction of their new home, while in reality the manufacturers did not require such a deposit.  Burton then allegedly diverted the deposits for her own use, instead of using them towards the purchase of the victims’ homes.  In other multiple instances, Burton allegedly used the deposits to pay her own personal expenses, including purchases at Zynga Games, Amazon.com and the Home Shopping Network, expenditures at Turning Stone Resort and Casino, payments for hotels, groceries, gas and alcohol, credit card payments, and cash withdrawals. In other instances, Burton allegedly used deposits from new victims to further her ongoing scheme by paying manufacturers for homes she had promised to prior customers months before. 

Also according to prosecutors, Burton obtained financing to purchase floor plan or display models, yet sold them as new models to many customers, leaving the victims without legal title to the home and the lenders believing the homes were still on display at her showroom.   

In one instance, a victim received a home from Burton but could not obtain title allowing her to insure or borrow against the home for over a year. In another instance, a victim provided a deposit of $8,000 to Burton, who never remitted the money to the manufacturer, and the victim therefore had to obtain a mortgage for the full price of the home — essentially paying the deposit twice. Many customers who paid Burton never received a home, and never got a refund of their money. 

Burton was charged in the Attorney General’s felony complaint, filed today in Saratoga County,  with three counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, five counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, and one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony. 

The Attorney General’s investigation is ongoing. According to the prosecution, the investigation has thus far uncovered over 40 victims of Burton’s scheme in and around Upstate New York, who were allegedly defrauded out of over $1 million.   

Burton, 64, was arraigned today in Town of Moreau Justice Court before the Honorable Jeffrey B. McCabe. Bail was set in the amount of $75,000 cash or $150,000 bond. 

If convicted of all counts, Burton faces up to 10 to 20 years in state prison. The charges against the defendant are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.    

The criminal investigation commenced after multiple victims filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Bureau. To protect yourself from becoming a victim of a home or property sale scam, Attorney General James offered the following tips: 

  • Before contracting for a large purchase, DO YOUR HOMEWORK:
  • Ask for references and call them.
  • Research online for complaints:
  • Check the better Business Bureau website and review the basis for their rating, including the complaint summaries, which are usually available online.  If you see anything that gives you pause, take your business elsewhere.
  • Be wary of providing a large deposit upfront.  Remember, if the business fails, you will likely not get your deposit back.
  • If you give a deposit that is supposed to be used for a specific purpose, demand proof that it has been applied to that purpose.
  • Review any contract carefully before signing it and keep a copy for your records. You will be bound by the contract terms — any oral representations made are unenforceable.
  • If you believe you have been scammed as part of a home or property sale, submit a complaint to the New York State Attorney General’s Office: https://ag.ny.gov/consumer-frauds/Filing-a-Consumer-Complaint

 

Attorney General James thanks the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Financial Crimes Unit for their valuable assistance on this investigation.  

Consumer complaints were handled by Assistant Attorneys General Amy Schallop and Emily Auletta of the Attorney General’s Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Laura J. Levine and Bureau Chief Jane Azia. 

The criminal case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Philip V. Apruzzese and Special Counsel Benjamin S. Clark of the Attorney General’s Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau, with the assistance of Legal Support Analysts Kira M. Russom, Rebecca Jacobson, and Supervising Analyst Paul Strocko. The Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton and Deputy Bureau Chief Joseph D’Arrigo. The Criminal Division is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General José Maldonado. 

The OAG investigation was conducted by Investigator Samuel Scotellaro, III, under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Mark Spencer and Deputy Bureau Chief Antoine Karam. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief John Reidy.  

— end of NY AG’s Press Release —

 

 

Local Media

With but one factual error, that the news source themselves then clarified/corrected, the Daily Gazette made some useful additional points to the above.

Also, prosecutors allege, Burton would obtain financing to buy floor plan or display homes and sell them as new. This left victims without legal title to the home and left lenders believing the homes were still on display at her business.” Those display models, if they were purchased new, are new in the eyes of the law.  But the practice described is known in the industry as ‘Sold out of Trust’ or sometimes as SoT for short.

The following is also from the Daily Gazette, and lays out some insightful background.

The Better Business Bureau revoked its accreditation of Valued Manufactured Housing on Nov. 15, 2018, for not making a good-faith effort to resolve the disputes. 

The BBB website shows 10 of these complaints, some with responses. 

On Jan. 17, 2017, “Bruce and Sherrie” gave a lengthy explanation for the situation that led to a complaint and a promise to resolve the matter. 

On Aug. 30, 2018, in the same response to multiple complaints, the unidentified writer states that she is distraught at her own incompetence; that the family business is shut down after 26 years; that her son Jeremy and her husband were integral to the business and had both died; and that she’d made arrangements with a builder so that customers would get their homes and not lose their money.

An obituary published in his native Utica indicates Bruce Burton died Feb. 12, 2017, and that he was predeceased by his son Jeremy.”

 

There are several takeaways from this incident.  In no particular order of importance:

  • The New York State AG’s tips to home seekers are relevant, but it clearly should apply to all housing being sold or leased, not just factory-built homes. For example, scams on Craigslist or elsewhere involving conventional housing are legion.
  • The NY AG has previously brought to heel manufactured home community operators who were doing ‘contract for title’ or ‘rent to own’ a.k.a. ‘lease to own’ purchases, which are arguably errantly are still promoted and taught by George F. (F?) Allen, Spencer Roane, and their SECO colleagues. An MHI affiliated member attorney has told MHProNews that given the current state of federal law, he believes that the days of so-called Lonnie Deals are over, and that all such ‘rent or lease to own’ plans are illegal, because they are ‘disguised credit transactions.’ So industry professionals should approach with skepticism those who advocate such methods.
  • Once a given state begins to target an industry, it is not uncommon for other states to follow suit. Manufactured housing post-production associations are in some cases apparently failing to advise their members of the risks involving some practices. Indeed, the Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation (MMHF), and others have to some degree promoted Allen, Roane, and SECO, when they are advocating and engaging in practices that are risky to industry professionals, and purportedly are harmful to any number of consumers, like those reported here.

While it may not seem related at first blush, the second half of the article linked below very much relates to some of the issues bulleted above.  You can access the following, or other articles below the byline and disclosures, by clicking on the linked text/image box.

 

Do Looming Shareholders Suits Against Cavco Industries Foreshadow Problems for More Manufactured Home Industry Publicly Traded Firms?

 

Hungry! But Don’t Go The Wrong Way

The vast majority of the manufactured home industry’s independents and other professionals are looking to earn money honestly.  They are often hungry for knowledge. They want authentic education.  But in many cases, they clearly do not know which way to turn.  When an association or trade group gives tacit or active support to those who teach problematic behaviors, is the association opening themselves up to possible liability?  We have legal sources that say, yes.

Furthermore, a good trade group ought to condemn any bad behavior, while offering examples of the opposite.

In practical terms, this incident and the others like it are another wake up call to the industry’s ethical independents to organize on educational, lobbying, and communications. There is an affordable housing crisis.  There are many options for selling more homes in an authentic, sustainable and legitimate ways that could lead to record sales.

That can be done by individual businesses, or by some teaming up and working in concert. To learn more, click here and scroll through the options.

 

The Legal Process Grinds Slowly

There are reasons to believe that several large industry firms are under various federal investigations.  So when an individual retailer gets arrested and charged, one should not forget that this is a reminder that larger operations could face similar legal woes in the days ahead.  See more in the related reports, below the byline and disclosures.

 

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While the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) holds their winter fund-raiser – err, the MHI Winter Meeting – in Austin, TX, welcome to the ongoing drama that is buffeting MHVille in 2019. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

 

George Allen Blasts MHI, NCC Ignoring Own, Spencer Roane, SECO, COBA7, Tom Lackey Controversies

Spencer Roane w/Southeast Community Owners (SECO), Praises Tom Lackey, Accused of Rent-to-Own Manufactured Home Sales Improprieties

21st Mortgage Suit’s CFPB Denial, Exclusive Document on Berkshire Hathaway Manufactured Housing Brands Investigation

MHVille Exclusive – Democrats Senators Sign Anti-Competitive Practices Letter to DoJ, Plus MH Market Updates

Clayton Retail GM Earns Big Bucks, Insider Insights for Manufactured Housing

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

Independent National Manufactured Housing Post-Production Association Takes Major Step

MHARR Releases Study Recommending Independent Collective Representation for Post-Production Sector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do Looming Shareholders Suits Against Cavco Industries Foreshadow Problems for More Manufactured Home Industry Publicly Traded Firms?

February 20th, 2019 No comments

 

DoLoomingShareholdersSuitsAgainstCavcoIndustriesForeshadowWoesForMoreManufacturedHOmeIndustryPublicFirms

The headline question, according to a manufactured home industry attorney familiar with the issues, says what attorneys often do. “It depends.”

 

Under the headline, “RM LAW Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against Cavco Industries, Inc.” one reads the following.

RM LAW, P.C. is a national shareholder litigation firm.  RM LAW, P.C. is devoted to protecting the interests of individual and institutional investors in shareholder actions in state and federal courts nationwide,” said part of a February 6, 2019 press release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

There is a growing number of such shareholders law firms circling Cavco Industries (NASDAQ:CVCO).

But does the risk to industry operations stop there?

To tee up this nuanced topic, let’s first note as a disclosure that we are not attorneys. The Daily Business News on MHProNews aren’t giving legal advice to current or potential members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

But we do get input from attorneys and legal sources, before we tackle tricky topics, such as this one, that can spell perhaps unanticipated risk to Cavco Industries (CVCO) and others.

We editorially believe there is value to warning the industry’s professionals about possibly looming threats. It is worth noting that it’s connections to Arlington, VA based MHI that arguably spells the risk.  Why MHI?  That will become clear, below. So, with those disclaimers noted, let’s dive in.

Next, let’s look at what Angela Gonzales of the Phoenix Business Journal said in a recent report on legal fees and increasing insurance by Cavco to cover the growing risks of litigation.  Gonzales’ narrative are found between the —- lines below

—–

SEC investigation spurs Phoenix homebuilder to pay $15.3M for directors, officers insurance

Ongoing investigation cost company more than $1M in legal expenses during recent quarter

·         Homebuilder experiences softening in home order rates beyond typical seasonal slowdown usually expected during winter months.

 

In the midst of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, Phoenix-based Cavco Industries Inc. has paid $15.3 million for extra directors and officers liability insurance coverage.

·         While company officials of the manufactured homes producer won’t say exactly how much that policy will cover, they did say the extra coverage will be needed in light of the ongoing independent investigation, which cost the company $1.3 million in legal and other expenses during the third fiscal quarter ended Dec. 29, 2018.

·         Since receiving an SEC subpoena in November, company officials said they have cooperated with the SEC’s investigation into the trading of stock of another public company. At the time, Joseph Stegmayer stepped down as chairman, president and CEO after an internal investigation found he violated company policy related to securities trading activity.

·         Daniel Urness, who served as Cavco’s executive vice president and chief financial officer since 2015, stepped up to serve as president and acting CEO.

·         In a Feb. 5 earnings call with analysts, Urness said the company received an additional document subpoena request from the SEC related to the original securities trading activities.

·         “We are fully cooperating with the SEC and work to resolve this matter,” Urness told analysts.

·         After reviewing directors and officers liability coverage, Urness said it was determined that additional coverage was prudent.

·         “We recognize it’s costly,” he told analysts. “Clearly, this is because it does cover certain risks associated with the SEC issue.”

·         For the three months ended Dec. 29, Cavco reported $13.4 million in net income on $233.7 million in net revenue, down from $21.4 million in net income on $$221.4 million in net revenue during the same period in 2017, according to filings with the SEC.

·         However, net income was up to $48.7 million on $721.6 million for the nine months ended Dec. 29, from $39.4 million on $628.7 million in net revenue during the first nine months of 2017.

—–

Now, circle back to a prior report on Cavco, and see part of their latest public disclosure.  Here’s what the Motley Fool said was the official transcript from their most recent results call, starting with Cavco’s Mark Fusler’s comments.

“Mark Fusler — Director of Financial Reporting

Thank you. And before we begin, please be advised that comments made during this conference call by management will contain forward-looking statements under the provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements of expectations or assumptions about Cavco’s financial and operational performance, revenues, earnings per share, cash flow or use, cost savings and operational efficiencies. 

Some factors that may affect the company’s results include, but are not limited to the risk of litigation or regulatory action arising from the subpoenas we received from the SEC, the risk of potential litigation or regulatory action arising from the SEC related internal investigation and its findings, potential reputational damage that Cavco may suffer as a result of matters under investigation, adverse industry condition, our involvement in vertically integrated lines of business, including manufactured housing, consumer finance, commercial finance and insurance, market forces and housing demand fluctuations, our business and operations being concentrated in certain geographical region, the loss of any of our executive officers, federal government shutdown, and extensive regulation affecting manufactured housing…”

Those disclosures by Cavco are meant in part to comply with transparency requirements, but also to reduce their risk of potential litigation.

 

The Risk of Litigation, and MHI Member Companies

Facts are what they are.  It only requires some surfing of this site to recognize this next fact.

Well in advance of the numerous pending Cavco suits, MHProNews was alone among industry publishers signaling risks associated with MHI connected firms.

With Cavco’s aim of reducing the risk of litigation in mind, let’s go to some specific pull quotes from their statements, above. You’ll begin to see why the facts about MHVille that outsiders are routinely unaware of could spell even more risk for that Phoenix, AZ based firm or others, as we work through Cavco’s (CVCO) own list.

  • potential litigation or regulatory action arising from the SEC related internal investigation and its findings,” – a contact at the SEC would not continue or deny to MHProNews that they were researching possible market collusion or antitrust related issues with respect to Cavco and Stegmayer.
  • potential reputational damage that Cavco may suffer as a result of matters under investigation…” – Where is there a disclaimer about risks that may come as a result of association with the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI)? Or that Joe Stegmayer is still the Chairman of MHI, and is reportedly saying things that would normally be the kind of statements made by a president, not the lesser role he is officially holding? More on that later purported risk is further below.
  • adverse industry condition,” – Given that Joe Stegmayer is MHI’s Chair, and MHI claims to ‘represent all segments of factory-built housing,’ how much risk is tied to those details? Is MHI truly doing their jobs well? If not, why not? There are legal sources that note that while not commonplace, perhaps, there is nevertheless examples of trade groups getting sucked into antitrust and other legal imbroglios.
  • our involvement in vertically integrated lines of business…” – if vertical integration is a risk, why isn’t it also risk to be working with potentially vulnerable independents? Which are more vulnerable, independents or vertically owned businesses units? Where is that disclaimer?
  • market forces and housing demand fluctuations…” – while technically accurate, this begs the question that the Urban Institute and others asked but arguably failed to properly answer. Why are so few manufactured homes being sold during an affordable housing crisis? Given that Cavco’s Stegmayer remains MHI’s Chairman, does that increase their exposure? How can he and his firm – or others in MHI – escape the notion that the industry is underperforming, and that they are in some measure to blame? See the comments from the MHI rival Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), linked further below.
  • the loss of any of our executive officers, federal government shutdown, and extensive regulation affecting manufactured housing…” – this last one is precisely an eyebrow raising case of chasing a gnat that had near zero risk in the first place, yet was inexplicably raised by MHI EVP Lesli Gooch. Why would Stegmayer presumably okay a statement by Gooch, that had been on no ones radar before, and with good reasons not to make something out of nothing? To better understand that, please see the linked report via the text/image box below.

 

Wall Street, Lesli Gooch – Manufactured Housing Institute EVP – Penetrating Scotsman Guide Interview Analysis

 

Could Other MHI Member Companies Could be Facing Risks?

Cavco, in a recently updated IR document, corrected an estimated figure that MHI has not yet corrected. Relevant data and facts are part of how investors make decisions. Perhaps sparked by periodic MHProNews reports on that topic of inaccuracies voiced by MHI, Cavco apparently reacted. If Cavco corrected an inaccurate data-point, why not MHI? When investors or prospective investors are told that the data comes from MHI – which is credibly accused of botching or misleading facts, figures, and more – does that create liabilities?

 

Absent sufficient disclosures, it might, say legal minds.

 

A Secret Society…?

MHI members who sit on a division board have voiced concerns with MHProNews that it is run like a “secret society,” with a select few ‘in the Know,’ and all others kept at arms length.

The pushback by Jeff Bezos vs. the National Enquirer opens a door that MHIndustry pros should ponder.  If Bezos says that their purported threat amounted to illegal extortion – how much more does that fear-based threat that stories like the one below inspires in MHVille?  These are wrinkles that industry outsiders are unlikely to grasp without sufficient research.

 

“Mobile Home Militia,” Retail/Production Sources, Sound Alarm Against Clayton Homes, CMH, New “Anti-Competitive Practices” Allegation

 

Note that these and other concerns are connected with MHI insiders.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

Outsiders looking in may not fully grasp the bold and nuanced issues that impact the industry, and thus publicly traded firms too. Few if any MHI members are arguably giving the proper disclosures to their current or potential shareholders.

 

So, there are several reasons to be concerned that MHI staff – presumably under the board of directors tacit or active approval – has behaved in ways contrary to the interests of the majority of the industry.

If so, and member firms that are publicly traded aren’t disclosing those concerns, isn’t that far greater risk than running out of HUD labels caused by a partial federal shutdown that is now  nowhere on the horizon?

There is arguably no way that the shareholders plaintiffs attorneys circling Cavco could fully grasp the full story without expert insights. The fact that some of those lawfirms circling Cavco have been in touch with our publisher, and/or have signed up for our emailed news updates, reflects the growing reality that the truth about MHVille is coming out in stages. That’s both risk and opportunity in disguise, for those willing to connect the dots

MHProNews plans a related report and will monitor this developing case at the Akron Mobile Home Park in Akron, NY. While the Manufactured Housing Institute holds their winter fund-raiser -err, winter meeting – in Austin, TX, welcome to the ongoing drama that is buffeting MHVille in 2019. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Related Reports:

You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

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State-Level Data Provided for Total Manufactured Home Shipments in 5 Key States for 2018

 

“Appalled” said David McCarthy – HUD Cites “Substandard Conditions,” But How Many Multi-Million Opportunities for Investors and Manufactured Housing Pro?

 

“If Everyone is Going Left, Look Right” – ELS Chairman Sam Zell’s Mantra, Manufactured Homes, and Contemporary Controversies

Clayton Retail GM Earns Big Bucks, Insider Insights for Manufactured Housing

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

Independent National Manufactured Housing Post-Production Association Takes Major Step

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“…Results have been Catastrophic.” Official Text-POTUS Trump on Socialism Speech + FLOTUS Melania Video, Plus Manufactured Housing Stock Updates

February 19th, 2019 No comments

CNNmone2.19.2019ManufacturedHomeStocksMarketsReportsMHProNewsThe Daily Business News on MHProNews recently referenced the Sam Zell quote, “If Everyone is Going Left, Look Right.” Paul Harvey, on his famous radio show, might have said this about “the rest of the story.”  A prior version of that quote by Zell had left and right reversed. Sometimes, we utter or do something, think about it, and come up with a better way of expressing it. That’s a nice pairing with what follows from President Trump, who is continuing and building on a theme from his State of the Union address, when he pledged that America would never be a socialist country.  That Miami speech and companion videos will be our focus for this evening’s market report.

 

If you’re new, already hooked on our new spotlight feature – or are ready to get the MH professional fever – our headline report is found further belowafter the newsmaker bullets and major indexes closing tickers.

 

The evolving Daily Business News market report sets the manufactured home industry’s stocks in the broader context of the overall markets.  Headlines – at home and abroad – often move the markets.  So, this is an example of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing.” ©

Part of this unique evening feature provides headlines – from both sides of the left-right media divide – which saves busy readers time, while underscoring topics that may be moving investors, which in turn move the markets.

Readers say this is also a useful quick-review tool that saves researchers time in getting a handle of the manufactured housing industry, through the lens of publicly-traded stocks connected with the manufactured home industry.

This is an exclusive evening or nightly example of MH “Industry News, Tips and Views, Pros Can Use.” © It is fascinating to see just how similar, and different, these two lists of headlines can be.

Want to know more about the left-right media divide from third party research?  ICYMI – for those not familiar with the “Full Measure,” ‘left-center-right’ media chart, please click here.

MediaBiasChartSharylAttkissonLeftRightPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. 

 

Select bullets from CNN Money…

 

  • JPMorgan’s move into cryptocurrency could change how banks approach blockchain
  • About 16,000 workers will lose their jobs when Payless shuts down
  • Walmart shows it can more than hold its own against Amazon
  • The stock buyback backlash may be misplaced
  • Earnings season is finishing ‘much better than feared’
  • Stocks close narrowly higher as US-China trade talks continue
  • Carl Icahn is pushing Caesars to sell itself
  • The subtle art of calling in sick
  • Huawei says it’s received a warm welcome in India
  • A newsroom tirade and a controversial hire: tension rises at Pittsburgh newspaper
  • How US sanctions on Venezuela are rippling through oil markets
  • Andrew McCabe’s new book ‘The Threat’ is an instant best-seller
  • Content by LendingTree
  • Huge 15-year fixed rate drop. Could be your last chance to refinance
  • Virgin Galactic to make second key test flight to space
  • Funko has taken the toy industry by storm
  • Virtual makeovers are better than ever. Beauty companies are trying to cash in
  • This AI is so good at writing that its creators won’t let you use it
  • Elite investors use artificial intelligence to gain an edge
  • How AI is making business travel better
  • All the ways Amazon’s AI brought me the socks I am wearing right now
  • Is artificial intelligence the future of education?
  • Honda is closing its only British factory, wiping out 3,500 jobs
  • 60% of UK trade is still exposed to a Brexit shock
  • Brexit could create costly border delays
  • Why Brexit scares Airbus and BMW: Lines of trucks at the EU border
  • Siemens CEO on Brexit: Nobody invests into uncertainty

Select Bullets from Fox Business

  • Stocks edge up as US-China trade talks resume
  • Venezuela’s Maduro threatened by Cuba: Mary Anastasia O’Grady
  • Tesla’s Elon Musk: Full self-driving technology nearly complete
  • Manny Machado’s $300M Padres contract is 2nd largest in MLB history
  • Trump on Venezuela: Days of socialism are numbered (What’s at stake)
  • When you embrace a socialist system, you are giving up your own rights as an individual.
  • Middle-class incomes are rising at a massive rate in these 10 cities
  • Kennedy: Things are about to get ugly in Texas over the wall
  • American states with cheapest, priciest utility bills
  • Oscars: Best picture nominees and what they made
  • The biggest sports contracts in historyNewark makes HQ2 pitch to Amazon after collapse of NYC deal
  • Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó joins FBN’s Trish Regan: EXCLUSIVE
  • As Bernie Sanders launches 2020 campaign, here’s a look at his economic policies
  • Nature’s Path Foods recalling 400,000 boxes of gluten-free cereal
  • A Joe Biden presidency would run straight through Wall Street
  • AAF denies nearly missing payroll after $250M investment from Tom Dundon
  • Ford to end some truck production in South America
  • How to protect yourself from skimming at the gas pump
  • Cybersecurity stocks: An in-depth look with FBN’s Charles Payne

Today’s markets and stocks, at the closing bell…

9MarketIndicatorsYahooFinance2.19.2019DailyBusinessNeawsManufacturedHousingIndustryStocksMarketsReportsDataMHProNews

 

Today’s Big Movers

For all the scores and highlights on tracked manufactured home connected stocks today, see thBloomberg graphic, posted below.

Today’s MH Market Spotlight Report –

 

ResulsHaveBeenCatastrophicPOTUSTrumpNeverSocialismSpeechMiamiaVenezulaAmericanMiamiFLDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Before diving into the full, official text from the White House press room on President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J. Trump’s speech to the Venezuelan American community in Miami, the 108 second – under 2 minutes – video clip from CBS News captures some of the key points. Said CBS, “President Trump vowed support for Venezuela’s opposition leader and slammed the socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro for leading the country into ruin.”

 


Then, consider what First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) Melania Trump said to the attentive crowd.

 

 

Finally, there is the full official text of the speech to the Venezuelan Americans Monday in Miami, courtesy of the White House.

 

WhiteHouseMediaNewsReleaseDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Remarks by President Trump to the Venezuelan American Community

 

Florida International University Ocean Bank Convocation Center

Miami, Florida

4:47 P.M. EST

MRS. TRUMP:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  It is wonderful to be here today in the beautiful city of Miami.  (Applause.)  The President and I are honored to stand with all of you as we together support the people — great people — of Venezuela.  (Applause.)

I’m proud to be here with you in the United States of America as your First Lady.  (Applause.)  Many of you in the room know what it feels like to be blessed with freedom after living under the oppression of socialism and communism.  (Applause.)  In Venezuela, the people are on the brink of reclaiming their own liberty.

Today, we must let the Venezuelan people hear us all with one united voice.  There is hope, we are free, and we pray together loudly and proudly that soon the people of Venezuela will be free as well.  (Applause.)

My husband is here today because he cares deeply about the current suffering in Venezuela.  This afternoon, he has an important message to share.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is now my pleasure to introduce my husband and the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.  (Applause.)

 

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, Melania.  America is truly blessed to have such a — an extraordinary — right? Extraordinary First Lady.  (Applause.)  She’s extraordinary.  She really is.  She cares about people.

Hello, Miami.  I am thrilled to be back in the state I love with so many proud, freedom-loving patriots.  We’re here to proclaim a new day is coming in Latin America.  (Applause.)  It’s coming.

In Venezuela and across the Western Hemisphere, socialism is dying, and liberty, prosperity, and democracy are being reborn.  (Applause.)

Today, our hearts are filled with hope because of the determination of millions of everyday Venezuelans, the patriotism of the Venezuelan National Assembly, and the incredible courage of Interim President Juan Guaidó.  (Applause.)

The people of Venezuela are standing for freedom and democracy, and the United States of America is standing right by their side.  (Applause.)

Let me begin by thanking the great leaders here today who have been such incredible champions for the cause of liberty.  And these people love you, and they love Venezuela, and they love Cuba.  And they love all of the places that we’re fighting for.  (Applause.)

Newly elected and already doing an incredible job, Governor Ron DeSantis.  (Applause.)

A man who I call, especially when we’re talking about Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua — he knows a lot, and he’s a friend of mine: Senator Marco Rubio.  (Applause.)

A great governor; he gave Ron a little bit of a head start.  He did a fantastic job in Florida.  Former governor, and now senator, Rick Scott.  (Applause.)

Somebody that I’ve gotten to know very well, especially as to the fact that my heart is in Venezuela — (applause) — Representative Mario Diaz-Balart.  (Applause.)

Ambassador Carlos Trujillo. (Applause.)  Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Núñez.  (Applause.)  Your new and great Attorney General, Ashley Moody.  (Applause.)  And to so many other dedicated public officials that are in this room right now, we thank you very much for being with us.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Thank you also to Secretary of Commerce.  Wilbur Ross is with us, and Ambassador Lighthizer.  Ambassador Lighthizer, I have to say, just got back from a place called China.  And, boy, oh, boy — we’re making a lot of progress.  Nobody expected this was going to be happening.  (Applause.)  We’re making a lot of progress.  (Applause.)

In the meantime, billions and billions of dollars are coming into our Treasury.  It’s very simple.  All works.  That never happened before.  We don’t know the feeling in this country, but now we know the feeling.  (Applause.)

We also want to extend our deep appreciation to the President of Florida International University, Dr. Mark Rosenberg — (applause) — for hosting this important event.

Finally, I want to thank each and every person in this wonderful audience who has made your own stand for human dignity.  And that’s probably just about all of you.  (Applause.)

And I want to especially thank the Venezuelan exile community that has done so much to support President Guaidó to organize aid for their compatriots and to do just a lot back home.  Thank you very much for being here.  Thank you.  We’re with you.  (Applause.)

We are profoundly grateful to every dissident, every exile, every political prisoner, and everyone who bears witness to the horrors of socialism and communism, and who has bravely spoken out against them.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

The fact is, you’ve seen the crimes and you’ve seen the corruption.  You have seen the hunger and the suffering.  You have heard the anguished pleas for help.  You have protested, and protested with respect, but loudly.  And you have prayed for the day we can now see, which is just ahead — the day when all the people of this region will at last be free.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  USA!  USA!  USA!

THE PRESIDENT:  As we meet today, the people of Venezuela stand at the threshold of history, ready to reclaim their country and to reclaim their future.

Not long ago, Venezuela was the wealthiest nation, by far, in South America.  But years of socialist rule have brought this once-thriving nation to the brink of ruin.  That’s where it is today.

The tyrannical socialist government nationalized private industries and took over private businesses.  They engaged in massive wealth confiscation, shut down free markets, suppressed free speech, and set up a relentless propaganda machine, rigged elections, used the government to persecute their political opponents, and destroyed the impartial rule of law.

In other words, the socialists have done in Venezuela all of the same things that socialists, communists, totalitarians have done everywhere that they’ve had a chance to rule.  The results have been catastrophic.

Almost 90 percent of Venezuelans now live in poverty.
In 2018, hyperinflation in Venezuela exceeded 1 million percent.  Crippling shortages of food and medicine plague the country.  Socialism has so completely ravaged this great country that even the world’s largest reserves of oil are no longer enough to keep the lights on.  This will never happen to us.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  USA!  USA!  USA!

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

Already, more than 3 million Venezuelans have fled Maduro’s brutal opposition — and brutal it is.

Today, we are honored to be joined by Amintha Perez, the mother of Oscar Perez — a courageous Venezuelan police officer.  (Applause.)  You know the story.

In June of 2017, Oscar piloted a helicopter over the city of Baruta with the banner, “350 Liberty,” a reference to Article 350 of the Venezuelan constitution, which states: “The people of Venezuela…shall disown any regime, legislation or authority that violates democratic values…or encroaches upon human rights.”

Oscar said he wanted to give the people hope.  He loved the people.  He fought for the people.  And they loved Oscar.  But Oscar was gunned down and killed by Venezuela’s — you know this very well; you all know the story — by the Venezuelan security forces, viciously.

Amintha, our hearts break for your loss.  Oscar gave his life for the freedom of his people.  We all have hope today because of great, great people and patriots like Oscar.  (Applause.)  Please, Amintha.  (Applause.)

I said, “How about saying something in Spanish?”  She likes Spanish.  She’s a little bit better in Spanish.  Please.  Please.

AUDIENCE:  (Inaudible.)

  1. PEREZ:  (Speaks Spanish.)  (No translation provided.)

(Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  I don’t know what she said, but I think I know what she said.  And she is an incredible woman.  And Oscar was an incredible man who will not have died in vain.  (Applause.)

A few weeks ago, on January 23rd, Venezuela’s National Assembly invoked the Venezuelan constitution to declare the President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, as the country’s legitimate leader.  In one of his first acts, President Guaidó invoked the same constitutional article that Oscar carried through the skies to notify the world that Maduro was illegitimate.

Within 30 minutes, the United States was proud to be the first nation in the world to recognize President Guaidó.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  USA!  USA!  USA!

THE PRESIDENT:  And, by the way, John Bolton is here.  Where is John?  (Applause.)  Working hard.

Today, more than 50 countries around the world now recognize the rightful government of Venezuela.  And the Venezuelan people have spoken, and the world has heard their beautiful voice.  They are turning the page on socialism, turning the page on dictatorship, and there will be no going back.  (Applause.)

Peace-loving nations are ready to help Venezuela reclaim its democracy, its dignity, and its destiny.  All the nations in our hemisphere have the shared interest in preventing the spread of socialist tyranny.  Socialism, by its very nature, does not respect borders.  It does not respect boundaries or the sovereign rights of its citizens or its neighbors.  It’s always seeking to expand, to encroach, and to subjugate others to its will.

The twilight hour of socialism has arrived in our hemisphere — (applause) — and, frankly, in many, many places around the world.  The days of socialism and communism are numbered not only in Venezuela, but in Nicaragua and in Cuba as well.  (Applause.)

Do we love Cuba?  (Applause.)  Do we love Nicaragua?  (Applause.)  Great countries.  Such great potential.  Remember that word.  Such unbelievable potential.

In the meantime, we must all work together to end a humanitarian disaster.  As we speak, there are truckloads filled with hundreds of tons of desperately needed humanitarian supplies stopped at the borders of Venezuela and waiting to help the millions and millions in need.

Two days ago, the first U.S. Air Force C-17 — that’s a big, beautiful plane — landed in Colombia loaded with crucial assistance, including thousands of nutrition kits for little Venezuelan children.  (Applause.)  Unfortunately, Dictator Maduro has blocked this lifesaving aid from entering the country.  He would rather see his people starve than give them aid, than help them.

Millions of Venezuelans are starving and suffering while a small handful at the top of the Maduro regime plunder the nation into poverty and into death.  We know who they are, and we know where they keep the billions of dollars that they have stolen.

Incredibly, there are members of the Venezuelan military still barely supporting this failed dictatorship.  They are risking their future, they are risking their lives and Venezuela’s future, for a man controlled by the Cuban military and protected by a private army of Cuban soldiers.  (Applause.)  Maduro is not a Venezuelan patriot; he is a Cuban puppet.  That’s what he is.  (Applause.)

And remember that hundreds of millions of dollars used to be paid to Cuba — but no longer, because they no longer have that kind of wealth to be able to do it.  So things are changing, and they’re changing fast.  (Applause.)

And today I have a message for every official who is helping to keep Maduro in place:

The eyes of the entire world are upon you today, every day,
and every day in the future.  You cannot hide from the choice that now confronts you.  You can choose to accept President Guaidó’s generous offer of amnesty, to live your life in peace with your families and your countrymen.  President Guaidó does not seek retribution against you, and neither do we.  But you must not follow Maduro’s orders to block humanitarian aid, and you must not threaten any form of violence against peaceful protestors — (applause) — opposition leaders, members of the National Assembly, or President Guaidó and his family.

We seek a peaceful transition of power, but all options are open.  (Applause.)  We want to restore Venezuelan democracy, and we believe that the Venezuelan military and its leadership have a vital role to play in this process.  If you choose this path, you have the opportunity to help forge a safe and prosperous future for all the people of Venezuela.

Or you can choose the second path: continuing to support Maduro.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  If you choose this path, you will find no safe harbor, no easy exit, and no way out.  You will lose everything.  (Applause.)

So today, I ask every member of the Maduro regime: End this nightmare of poverty, hunger, and death for your people.  Let your people go.  Set your country free.  Now is the time for all Venezuelan patriots to act together as one united people.  (Applause.)  Nothing could be better for the future of Venezuela.  And nothing could be better for the future of another captive nation — Cuba — than the rebirth of freedom and democracy in Venezuela.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  USA!  USA!  USA!

THE PRESIDENT:  For decades, the socialist dictatorships of Cuba and Venezuela have propped each other up in a very corrupt bargain.  Venezuela gave Cuba oil.  In return, Cuba gave Venezuela a police state run directly from Havana.  (Applause.)

But this is a much different day, and those days are over.  (Applause.)  The ugly alliance between the two dictatorships is coming to a rapid end.  A new future is beginning.  All of us in this arena, and thousands and thousands and thousands of people outside — you have to see it — are united because we know the truth about socialism in Venezuela, in Cuba, in Nicaragua, and all around the world.  (Applause.)

Socialism promises prosperity, but it delivers poverty.
Socialism promises unity, but it delivers hatred and it delivers division.  Socialism promises a better future, but it always returns to the darkest chapters of the past.  That never fails.  It always happens.

Socialism is a sad and discredited ideology rooted in the total ignorance of history and human nature, which is why socialism, eventually, must always give rise to tyranny, which it does.  (Applause.)  Socialists profess a love of diversity, but they always insist on absolute conformity.

We know that socialism is not about justice, it’s not about equality, it’s not about lifting up the poor.  Socialism is about one thing only: power for the ruling class.  (Applause.) And the more power they get, the more they crave.  They want to run healthcare, run transportation and finance, run energy, education — run everything.

They want the power to decide who wins and who loses, who’s up and who’s down, what’s true and what’s false, and even who lives and who dies.  (Applause.)

In short, all of us here today know that there is nothing less democratic than socialism.  Everywhere and anywhere it appears, socialism advances under the banner of progress, but in the end, it delivers only corruption, exploitation, and decay.

With us today is David Smolansky.  (Applause.)  David was one of the youngest mayors in Venezuelan history when the Maduro regime removed him from office and issued a warrant for his arrest.  David fled into Venezuela’s treacherous southern jungle.  Eventually, David reached Brazil, where he was welcomed with open arms.

Today, David lives in exile in the United States, where he continues to speak up for the Venezuelan people.  Sadly, David is the third generation of his family to flee the agony of socialism and communism.  David’s grandparents fled the Soviet Union in 1927, and his father fled communist Cuba in 1970.

As David said, “The difference I want to have from my father and grandfather is to go back to my country.”  (Applause.)  “My grandparents never went back to Kiev…my father has not been back to Havana.  I hope I can [soon] return to Venezuela.”  (Applause.)  I think that will happen, David.

Thank you very much, David.  I think it’ll soon happen.  Your courage, David, is an inspiration.  And not only David; many of the people in this room.  You’ve been through much, but you see it coming to the end.  You see it really coming to an end for the first time.  For the first time, you’re seeing it — because the United States, a true great nation, is behind you.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  USA!  USA!  USA!

THE PRESIDENT:  And so as the United States stands up for democracy in Venezuela, we reaffirm the solidarity with the long-suffering people of Cuba and Nicaragua and people everywhere living under socialist and communist regimes.

And to those who would try to impose socialism on the United States, we again deliver a very simple message: America will never be a socialist country.  (Applause.)

We are born free and we will stay free, now and forever.
(Applause.)  We know what freedom can do in Venezuela because we have seen that future right here in Doral.

We know what freedom can do in Cuba because we have seen that future right here in Miami.  (Applause.)

We know what freedom can do in Nicaragua because we have seen that future in Sweetwater.  (Applause.)

And one day soon, with God’s help, we are going to see what the people will do in Caracas and Managua and Havana.  (Applause.)

And when Venezuela is free, and Cuba is free, and Nicaragua is free, this will become the first free hemisphere in all of human history.  (Applause.)

It was my great honor to be with you today, and the First Lady’s great honor to be with you today.  We are winning.  We are winning on every front.

Thank you.  God bless you.  God bless the people of Venezuela.  God bless the people of Cuba.  God bless the people of Nicaragua.  And God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.

END

5:19 P.M. EST

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