Archive

Posts Tagged ‘antitrust’

Tic Toc – July 4th, Tim Williams 21st Mortgage, John Greiner, JD, Graydon Law – Message Review

July 5th, 2019 No comments

TicTockJuly4thTimWilliams21stMortgageCorpJohnGreinerJDGraydonLawMessageReviewDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Part of the ‘secret’ for legal victories can be consistency, procedures, and documentation.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOMHProNews

Tim Williams, prior MHI chairman, president and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corp, photo credit, MHProNews.com

There is little doubt that Tim Williams, President and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage Corporation and his company has vastly more experience in legal matters than our far more modest operation does.

It should similarly stand to reason that the outside attorney for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), John “Jack” C. Greiner with Graydon Law would likewise have more experience in legal matters than little ole us. Per Graydon’s website, “Jack is a commercial litigator with an emphasis on communications and media law. He is one of the region’s leading advocates for governmental transparency.” Transparency, how interesting. That’s one we’ll all have to place in our memory file. Jack, should nonprofits, corporations, and their officers be transparent too?

That said, it would not be surprising if they would agree with the first sentence at the top. Juries and judges look for consistency, evidence, facts, and common sense.  The court system – judges and juries – also keep an eye out in cases for inexplicable, odd, or behavior that is in conflict with their stated claims. It’s been many years since we’ve been involved in any litigation, over a decade in fact. Though it is rarely fun, we recall the lessons, and have routinely been successful on the rare occasions it was necessary.

The truth backed by evidence is an often powerful thing. My hunch is that the other side has carefully researched that claim, and knows it to be accurate.  

 

Consistency?

In 2017, 2018, and 2019 were some of the years when messages and letters were sent to the management of MHProNews by attorneys for MHI, as well as by purported surrogates for the Arlington, VA based trade group. Those messages were threats, legal or not, and arguably attempts at intimidation.

Part of our consistent response has been to call out those actions publicly but also to invite them to reply to our many fact-checks, related analysis, and reports. In early 2017 and previously, responses from Berkshire Hathaway brands and/or MHI were swift, as numerous articles and letters published over the years reflects. Williams was among several MHI leaders who publicly praised this publication publicly and in writing.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgagePublicationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews

It was apparently only as reasonable answers to reasonable questions posed by MHProNews became elusive for the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis that they stopped replying directly.  But they often used indirect means to communicate, including those noted above. 

Those patterns of behavior could prove relevant in several ways the days ahead.

 

Shifting Sands in Washington and Beyond

The dynamics in Washington, D.C. are shifting rather significantly in recent months. There are some things, as Warren Buffett correctly observed, that just take time.

·        Antitrust drums are heating up on both sides of the left-right political aisle.

·        More in Congress are talking and writing about the Duty to Serve, and why it hasn’t been fully implemented with respect to manufactured housing.

·        Affordable housing, homelessness, zoning, regulatory barriers, and even enhanced preemption are being discussed by more people in and out of the industry.

Slow, steady progress is apparently being made.

Those are all topics that are largely found in manufactured housing trade media only on MHProNews and MHLivingNews. Why? The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform has been on several of those topics for years, to their credit.

But by contrast, MHI sycophants are mute or deflect from those topics. Why?

MHI themselves tout their latest photo op, their latest lightly viewed videos, or the newest bill that they support. Those are all apparent razzle dazzle, but where is the beef?

Where are the bottom line results as measured by new manufactured home shipments?  Given the MHI claim that they are the umbrella trade group that should ‘lead’ the industry, what direction has that MHI leadership actually taken MHVille at large?

The facts speak loudly.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryProductionShipmentsMay2019DailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsMHARR 

MarkWeissQuoteFactsAreStubbornThingsManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformLogo

 

Tic Toc, Tic Toc… 

Moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years go by. Some things only gain clarity from the passage of time and consistent observations. As Warren Buffett aptly said, the rear view mirror is clearer than the windshield. This is a point of agreement between our publication and Mr. Buffett.

 

InBusinessWorldRearViewMirroIsAlwaysClearerThantheWindshieldWarrenBuffettMHProNews

 

It was about 5 years ago that we brought to the industry’s attention the full length video version of this now better-known 18 second video clip.

  

 

That comment by MHI’s president made no sense at the time, but in hindsight it was arguably a piece of a puzzle. 

Because it was an odd and embarrassing MHI comment, not long after, during a time when Tim Williams at 21st was still in rapid-reply mode with MHProNews, and while this writer was still an MHI member, MHProNews asked Williams/21st – then MHI’s chairman – to have MHI’s Jennison clean that comment up publicly.

Williams agreed.

Jennison, no doubt with Williams’ prompting, did so on video camera and in front of dozens of industry professionals.  MHI’s president pledged both that the industry could achieve 500,000 new HUD Code manufactured home shipments as well as promised the passage of the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. 

 

MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments

 

Neither one has come to pass. Both are part of the MHI Orwellian ‘memory hole.’ 

Words can be cheap at MHI, it seems?  

JohnCGreinerAttorneyPhotoGraydonlawLogoDailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsWith the industry now into its ninth month of year-over-year downturn, MHProNews sent the following to Tim Williams/21st, John Greiner, and one of Greiner’s colleagues at Graydon Law. Greiner is MHI’s outside attorney assigned, said Greiner, to monitor our website.  MHI members, that’s where part of your dues are going to, why not rather to suing cities like Bryan, TX for failure to abide by enhanced preemption

That logical but rhetorical question aside, the meat of that message’s contents is shown below, between the dashed lines.

 

 

Subject: Tim, a formal request for you/MHI

Tim,

1)    Let me hereby request copies of any and all audio or other recordings, notes, emails or any records in any format relative to our discussion in Las Vegas during the dinner we shared with your colleagues from Berkshire Hathaway brands in the context of that year’s Congress and Expo.

2)    You and/or your colleagues are also hereby invited to respond to any of our recent or other reports.  See the below. Please email those for our mutual accuracy in handling said comments.

Thank you. 

Tony

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/but-i-was-born-free/

Other articles are linked from the forward below. Thank you. 

tk

 

The screen capture that documents that email is found below.

 

TimWilliams21stMortgageCorpJohnCJackGrienerGraydonLawManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIOutsideattorneyMHProNews

 

We will report back on what response, if any, is obtained. 

Until then, let this be kept in mind by investors, professionals, researchers, public officials, attorneys, investigators and others.

·        There is an affordable housing crisis.  Yet with numerous positive reports that debunk the myths and misconceptions often held by the public, somehow, magically, the industry is shirking in new home shipments? Why are MHI staff given bonuses instead of being terminated for lack of performance?

·        HUD Secretary Ben Carson has valiantly laid out a thoughtful case for manufactured housing.

·        On MHI’s own website, examples of those important topics are difficult or impossible to find, and Carson’s fine speeches are not to be found.

·        Manufactured housing is now into 9 months of year-over-year declining shipments.

 

By contrast, on MHARR’s website, topics like “enhanced preemption” are easy to find several articles. An MHI state affiliate successfully obtained a letter from HUD invoking enhanced preemption, so why not MHI? Yet MHARR is a fraction of the size of MHI, and has been online only a fraction of the time that MHI has.

Which association is doing their stated job better?

To George F. Allen’s [past] credit, his blog does raise some of these same issues and concerns.  But he has contradicted himself in arguing in recent months for MHI, the Berkshire brands, and larger community operators that behaved in problematic ways – per Allen.  Rephrased, Allen – without public explanation, other than what sources say is a compensated flip-flop – has gone from criticizing Clayton, 21st, MHI and others, to now being their cheer leader.

2019-06-30_0852-GeorgeAllenEnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingInstituteSurrogateMHProNews

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNews

FrankRolfeDaveReynoldsRVHorizonsMobileHomeUQuoteSlammingManufacturedHousingInstituteMHI

Frank Rolfe swore off commenting about MHI further publicly, but he and Dave Reynolds recently took this swipe at MHI. They are MHI members, taking a shot at their own trade group. http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/daily-business-news/frank-rolfe-dave-reynolds-both-finger-manufactured-housing-institute-mhi-failures-in-writing-again/

GeorgeFAllenCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOcoba7MonopolyConsolidationClaytonHomes21stMortgageBerkshireHathawayQuotesManufacturedHomesCommunitiesMHproNews

More on this below.

Allen, more recently has called for a boycott of this publication, a possible antitrust violation, and has urged his readers to only read other trade media in manufactured housing that he has personally approved.  Ironically, one of those publications – Kurt Kelley’s – has praised our work, and said that they are leaving our call for accountability to us.  Interesting, isn’t it?

KurtKelleyPublisherPhotoManufacturedHousingReviewMHLivingNewsQuoteFriendHoldMHIAccountableMHARR

Indeed, Kelley has contributed to MHProNews numerous times over the years, and has commented on political topics too. He published an article by Berkshire Hathaway unit manager Joanne Stevens, which without mentioning MHI, was clearly slamming them for what her article in MHR saw as a failure of industry preparation for obvious attacks on the industry.

 

Some things take time.  With a shifting political climate in America, it may only be a question of time before topics and issues found only on MHProNews, MHLivingNews or on the MHARR websites may become more common headlines and topics elsewhere in Washington, and then the mainstream media.

 

Unorthodox 

This writer freely admits that some of what we have done in trade publishing has been unconventional by MHIndustry standards. It was also never my or our publications’ ambition to stumble into troubling facts via news tips about the underlying causes for so many of our industry’s woes. But once discovered, where we supposed to ignore them?  Turn a blind eye as others do?  Cower in fear over every threat? 

If the industry is to regain its former glory and surpass it while independents still have an opportunity, it will only happen when enough honest professionals and other people of good will stand up and force the issues.

BloombergShipmentProductionGraphicManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

April data reflects month 8th of the downturn, with nary a whimper from MHI or the big boys. Why?

That said, what has harmfully impacted thousands of independents in manufactured housing has arguably been largely avoidable, and it has harmed the interests of millions of our fellow Americans. Unconventional situations can’t always be addressed in the normal ways.

 

MobileHomeEraManufacturedHomeEraMHIA2000EraShipmentProductionDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews2019-06-29_1051

There are several factors that should be understood to explain the rises and falls in the sales, production, and shipments of new factory-built homes during the varied mobile home and manufactured home eras. One should not be overly simplistic. That said, the historic trend is far higher than it has been since Berkshire Hathaway acquired Clayton Homes and their affiliated lenders. Political and other factors enter into the mix as well.

Keep in mind, we’ve spotlighted examples of these topics for years, beyond having the most extensive coverage of industry stocks, business and other news. A first look at our June 2019 traffic suggests a record month for readership. Our thanks to readers like your, our business development clients, and our sponsors who make this possible.

NothingIsChangedUntilItisChallenged-768x318

MHProNews’ parent operation demonstrated to MHI over the course of years options for lending, and ways to improve image at a low cost. For years, even though our parent operation as an MHI member showed the way to grow business, MHI leaders ignored those options. Why? Could it be that slow growth or negative growth allowed more consolidation and at a cheaper price for big boy companies

 

Given the choice, thoughtful professionals can discern fluff and cheerleading from logic, fact-checks, and evidence. Perhaps that’s why we are the industry’s most read, and the others that cheerlead for MHI merely lag behind. The manufactured housing industry is arguably engaged in an undeclared war, and has been since 2003.  The big boys have decided to conquer MHVille, and the remaining independents have to recognize and decide to sell out, fold, or resist. The odds favor the big boys, but when the 13 colonies declared their Independence the odds favored the Brits of that era. This too is doable. This undeclared war is winnable. 

ManufacturedHmeIndustryAchieveGreatPotentialAddressingResolvingCauseCorePerceptionIssuesLATonyKovachQuotePresentationPhoto

When the 13 colonies declared their independence from Britain, they were taking on the most powerful army and navy in the world. The odds were against the rebels. But after a long struggle, the U.S. became independent. Freedom is never free. It always comes at a cost. But the price is lower, and the cause of freedom far nobler, than the cost of bondage and servitude.

We Provide, You Decide.” © Dig into the related and linked reports above and below to round out the picture. Let’s restore the American Dream, starting with an understanding of Independence Day. ## (News, analysis, fact-checks, and commentary. All third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.)LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is co-founder of MHLivingNews and MHProNews. He is a highly acclaimed industry expert and consultant, a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, and is a 25 plus year award-winning manufactured home industry professional. Kovach earned the Lottinville award in history at the University of Oklahoma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Reports:

Click on the hot-linked text-image boxes below to learn more.

“But I Was Born Free”

 

 

 

Nobility Homes Bucks National Trends, Reported Serious Growth, plus Manufactured Home Stock Updates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Incestuous” Lobbying? Kings of K Street, Revolving Door, Big Tech, Berkshire Hathaway – Follow the Money

June 25th, 2019 Comments off
IncenstuousLobbyingKingsofKStreetRevolvingDoorBerkshireHathawayFollowMoneyManufacturedHousingInstituteClaytonHomes21stMortgageMHProNews

Videos are further below. Collage by MHProNews.

When it comes to risk, here’s a reality check,” says FINRA. “All investments carry some degree of risk…within [a] country…political risk and currency risk are notable factors…”

 

Investopedia says that “political risk and macroeconomic risk…affect the performance of the overall market…” The centrist Financial Times points to the dangers to investments posed by political risks too.

Investors and professionals will be discerning 2020 candidates, as will the broader population. But in a nation of hundreds of millions, the lens candidates are viewed through are clearly going to differ.

The perspective of the millennial racked by student debt may well be more attracted to a candidate that promises to deal with that issue than those candidates who say there is no money to pay for such a debt-elimination program.  By contrast, the investor or small business owner may look dimly at those candidates who pledge higher taxes and more regulations.

That’s not to suggest that all businesses or investors are more centrist or right-leaning.  Some of the world’s and America’s richest men often bet on Democratic candidates, as the Daily Business News reported in the run-up to the 2018 midterms. The recent revelation that the Koch brothers could be supporting more Democrats in 2020 is just one indicator that the wealthy see politics and lobbying as a tool of business that they play which can pay hefty returns on investment.

The business of politics influences the creation of new regulations, the suspension of regs – and sometimes the failure to properly enforce existing laws – that can help or harm businesses. 

This Daily Business News item on MHProNews will look at lobbying and the revolving door in general, and then pivot in the third part of this article to more manufactured housing specific items in this 30,000-foot level report.

 

Mainstream, Investment Takes on K Street, Revolving Door, and Business

Gearing up for a big fight in Washington, four of the biggest tech companies are increasing their lobbying efforts,” says CBS News’ YouTube page to introduce their recent video report posted below. “Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are drawing out lobbyists with connections to the government as they face mounting scrutiny for alleged anti-trust violations. Kenneth Vogel, Washington reporter for The New York Times, joins CBSN to discuss.”’

 

 

As an editorial note about the video above, Vogel lays out several of the facts quite nicely. But if one detects a tone of ‘regulation over breakup’ in his analysis, MHProNews would observe that ‘regulating’ these companies is arguably not going to work as some think. The regulations in place haven’t worked, or the vexing scenarios Vogel describes wouldn’t exist. ICYMI, see what Professor Ed Lotterman says on the topic in the report linked from the text-image box below.

 

Real World Economics’ Professor Ed Lotterman says “Playing Monopoly is More Than Just Rolling the Dice”

 

Several of the Democratic 2020 candidates – Senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren jump to mind – as well as a growing number on the political right have said that they think these tech giants need to be broken up under antitrust laws. Some of those same Senate Democrats have signed a letter asking the CFPB to dig into concerns over Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes and their associated manufactured home lenders.

In the CBS News video, Vogel touches upon several useful underlying themes to understand, including the ‘revolving door,’ which will be the focus of an upcoming manufactured housing industry specific exclusive report.

With regard to the New York Times’ Vogel’s narrative, antitrust law and how it is used is likely to be a campaign topic in the contests ahead. Clearly, Big Tech will be fighting it, as they have for years.  It is likely no coincidence that the Trump Administration’s antitrust division at the Department of Justice is reportedly opened investigations into some of the firms named above.

While they may approach these subjects from a different perspective, when both major parties spot a similar problem, that may be a sign that critical mass on an issue is approaching.

The video below is from the Obama Administration era, and thus is a bit dated.  But it makes clear just how large the lobbying business is, and why big business is willing to invest so much in it. The ROI on lobbying is stunning. This Motif investing video also has a touch of dry humor in the music an imagery.  The sources for the data are often shown in the bottom right corner of the screen.

 

 

As Motif summed it up, “If you follow the “Kings of K Street” motif, you know that companies that invest in influence have a leg up.” What that means is that smaller businesses and investors have to play smarter or they can get run over.

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, follows the evidence, and the money. 

 

MHProNews recently spotlighted how the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has spent its lobbying dollars via their political action committee, the MHI PAC.

 

Democrats? Republicans? Political Campaigns Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) PAC Supported

 

Berkshire Hathaway, as thousands of industry pros know, is the parent to Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), plus a number of other manufactured housing industry connected firms.

But Berkshire’s ties with the so-called tech giants are deep and growing, so that should not be overlooked in the snapshot outlined above.

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates of Microsoft fame have long-standing ties, including Buffett donating billions in Berkshire stock to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where Buffett is a trustee.

BillMelindaGatesFoundationWarrenBuffettTrusteeLeadershipPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Collage from the Gates foundation website.

 

Berkshire now has roughly a billion dollars of Amazon stock.  Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Buffett certainly collaborated on various levels years before that formal investment.

Berkshire also owns stock in giant Apple. According to CNBC on May 3, the value of Berkshire’s holdings in Apple in late 2018 was some $40 billion dollars.

So, when one is thinking about the tech giants, don’t forget that Berkshire and Buffett are not likely that far off. 

 

“Have…Giants…Stifled Competition,” Antitrust Battle Lines in D.C., plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

 

Berkshire’s own lobbying is prodigious. See the summary in the graphic that follows.

 

BerkshireHathaway2018OpenSecretsCampaignContributionsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Thus the tech giants plus Berkshire all share an interest in fighting antitrust action. Never forget that for Buffett and Berkshire, regulations can be a tool on their side that is wielded against other lesser firms.

 

Raw Power Over Manufactured Housing

The raw power to destroy independents is linked below.  That hot-linked text-image box takes a reader to the report which purportedly documents collusion and violations of antitrust laws.  Based upon years of research, MHProNews believes that only an AT&T style breakup of these firms under antitrust laws will suffice in the end. 

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by their president Tim Williams, Warren Buffett’s direct quotes from that same year’s annual letter, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, all line up in what attorneys who reviewed it see as ‘smoking gun’ evidence of antitrust violations. They demonstrate how thousands of independent retailers, communities, and several producers – among others – where purportedly directly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. See for yourself: https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

But as a much-needed lead up to federal antitrust action, Congress can hold open hearings to spotlight on camera how Berkshire brands, MHI, and the ‘big boys’ dominating our industry impact consumers, investors, and most others.  In a similar vein, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), a trade group that represents independent producers, is calling for just such congressional investigations on the finance topic: see that from MHARR, at this link here

There are resident-community leaders who are coming to a similar conclusion.

 

MH Community Leader Robert Van Cleef – Public Call – Federal Investigations of Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Manufactured Housing Institute

There will be an exclusive, special report planned for later this week on the revolving door and how that is connected to and impacts manufactured housing. That impacts thousands of industry operations. So if MHVille matters to you, don’t miss it.

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

Submit confidential or on-the-record news tips, or comments at this linked email mailto:iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com. Put the phrase “News Tips” or “Comments” in the subject line to help us spot yours in our volume of emails, thank you.

That’s today’s third installment of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. ## (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.)

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsConnect on LinkedIn here. (Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

1) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources

Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Related Reports:

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

Antitrust – “You Can’t Penalize Success But Can Penalize Bad Behavior.” Former Ast AG Bill Baer, plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

Senator Cory Booker – ‘We Need a President…to Enforce Antitrust Laws,’ Digging Warren, POTUS Trump

 

Democrats, Independents, Elephant in the Room, Third Parties, 2020 Kickoff, and Manufactured Housing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Views From Trenches of Manufactured Housing – Factories, Retailers, MHCs, Others Sound Off

June 18th, 2019 Comments off

 

ViewsFromTrenchesManufacturedHousingFactoriesRetailersMHCsOthersSoundOffDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

National and state level data are obviously relevant. But so too are impressions and facts that arise from street retailers, manufactured home communities, and HUD Code producers.

 

 

One multiple location retailer told the Daily Business News on MHProNews that they are having a good year.  They report that most, but not all, of their locations are up over last year. That’s not Clayton, which will be the focus of a separate upcoming report. 

Other sources besides ‘Big Blue’ – code for some that means Clayton Homes – have told us that they are up, flat, or down compared to last year. One producer is reportedly ‘to the saws,’ per a well-connected independent retailer, while others are 30 to 45 days out.

Factory lead-times are generally down from a year ago.  Depending on the part of the country and the plant, they are from about 2 weeks to 10 weeks out.  A year ago, 16 weeks was far more commonly heard from numbers of HUD Code factory-builders. 

While a buyers group says that they are up year-over-year last year, that must be taken with a grain of salt, as the industry is down about 10 percent nationally vs the same time next year. 

A source with Legacy Housing (LEGH) said, “Tony, production here is 3-5 weeks out.” As a publicly traded company, that data will eventually turn up in their SEC filings.

Here is a snapshot from a well-placed source with another non-‘big blue’ vertical operation.  As a reminder, MHProNews turns some quotes bold and brown to make them pop, but the punctuation, spelling, etc. are all in the original:

Orders are soft at mfg. but applications up at Retail

It is coming

My monitoring graphs tell me over last 20 years there is a pick  of 8 to12% at mfg. that starts in mid  July…. It has always been thereripple or tsunami it happens many speculate why it happenssometimes it falls in Sept and sometimes it goes through winter.

Also, business has never been down in an election yearcoming..

June Vacation month over 

Got get ready for school this fall

Time to turn and act on plans

No doubt the excessive rains have slowed deliveriesthat is going to pass

Sales centers got jammed with inventory during winter and those are beginning to come downwhich will create some scattered opportunities for mfg. replacements. 

New Vision Homes in Madill, OK may be a stressful situation to make itI didn’t say it.

This should not have happenedbut a blip in the market shows how vulnerable some are

Presido, TX. mfg. dodge a bullet on 5% tariffSolitaire

Built in Mexico, transported over the bridge and tested and appliances installed and labeled in Presidio… (built in Americaso they skate the built-in-Mexico to exploit labor.. could have killed the singles with a 5% hit….

Biggest issue with GSE is not getting us chattel in HUD homes and

Treating us like chopped liver on the upper end HUD product…  missed the marktrying to make a new class

Went to Tunica and there were plenty of Freddie/Fannie proposed product….

And the new market …. The site builder who is squeezed on the cost of stick built

…. Did not do anything for main stream for  us…  if so we may not be in a down turn… if the economy is roaring …. Where is our ray of sunshine… ???

Best kept secret…”

That source has previously blasted the so-called new class of homes, see that and more in the report linked below.

 

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

 

As a follow up, that manager was asked if zoning placement barriers hindered the industry?  The response:

You are probably correct

It is the look, not the code. 

…. But you disqualify many with the price to get the look…

Strange that a 3.5:12 pitched roof will keep out weather, but if [the] power [that be, the GSEs] does not like the look… it will not get accepted… and some customers are denied housing… why?

(not talking about subdivisions; they have to be similar to promo community at the address)

Strange, if not 100% drywall it will not qualify for the [GSEs] program why.. who says. Why are you getting into that specwhy not let the customer chooseyou cannot see it from the street but you knocked out customers and some mfg. facilities

Okay, we have a two year window of trial….

We will see…”

Rephrased, angst over a misdirection of the Duty to Serve financing to the new class of homes, and away from all other manufactured homes, plus and a lack of parity in placement that ought to be permitted by the enhanced preemption provision of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000 are on that professionals mind.  That manager is far from alone.

 

Manufactured Housing Professionals, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Must Promote These Two Words

 

Land-Lease Community Frustration, Anger

Independently owned manufactured home communities have expressed anger and frustration over the types of headlines and concerns raised by videos like the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” sparked.

Several have thanked us for the reports like the one linked below.

 

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

 

A notable recent public comment from a higher profile MHI member is the one below.

 

 

Concerns Over Vertical Integration and Consolidation

One can learn a lot from inbound callers, as well as from messages.  The following Q & A helps reflect the view of a previously growing retailer.

Q: Member of your state association? 

A. No.

 

Q. Do you go to factory-sponsored events?

A. YES…All events

 

Q. What is the approx. radius of your prospect client base? 

A.    80% of sales are within a 25 mile radius.

 

Q. How many homes in inventory?

A. Carry about 30+ homes in one location, and about 20 in another

 

Q. How many MH communities do you know [well]?

A.    6.

 

How many retailers?  

A.    5.

 

Q. This isn’t a term paper, but any relevant thoughts to the above and our phone conversation are welcome.

A.    Challenges:

1. Ability to grow, be profitable and have long term staying power as a business.

2. Develop a competitive advantage to most effectively serve retail customers, park owners, and different customer segments we wish to serve,

3. Rationalize our product offering to reduce inventory level by 50% by year end. We are paying about $23,000 in floor plan each month,

4. Ability to compete when competitive dealers resort to lower prices ranging about 10% less since they belong to dealer buyer groups and we do not,

5. Continue developing simple processes to follow and delegate more responsibilities with accountability,

6. Develop a more effective social media platform,

7. Train our sales team to improve how we serve customers, follow up and more self-sales staff sufficiency,

 

Q. Are you on our email list? (Notice: brackets are edited what follows below for clarity, otherwise the text is turned bold and brown to make it pop, but the balance is as submitted).

A.    I am the only one [at his store] on your mailing list. [Note, several owners and managers forward articles to their team members].

In response to a hypothetical question, what does the realtor expect if Democrats take control of all three branches of the federal government in 2020, this source said the following. It should be noted that this retailer works in markets that has significant numbers of Hispanics, has a bi-lingual staff, and note that many of their customers are undocumented.

 

1. Impact to individuals – There is a high probability to increase demand for affordable housing. Legacy [Housing] financing could be a great avenue to accommodate non-citizen retail financing…more so than Vanderbilt and 21st for customers with ITIN and non-citizens. There will be more regulations similar to Dodd Frank which will favor the corporate stores vs independent retailers. The scales of business survival tip in favor or corporate stores…with more regulation

2. Impact to U.S.-retailers will be taxed more and take incentive to grow. There will be regulation and cost to do business which will impact home affordability

3. Future Impact to independents and business professionals – I see a market where Clayton [Homes], Palm Harbor, Titan [originally part of Champion], and in 2020 Legacy through corporate stores will generate the majority of the business over time. [Independent] Retailers will be mostly found in rural or smaller areas. I see more dealers focus on specialty markets such as: Tiny Homes and used homes

 

 

Takeaways for Industry, Politicos, and Partisans

The Daily Business News on MHProNews are using those responses cited above not because there aren’t other perspectives, of course there are. There are industry firms led by pro-Democratic, pro-GOP, independents and those that could care less about politics. But quoted above are commonly held perspectives. It comes from a part of the country that could be viewed as more open to and accepting of undocumented immigrants than others.

Democrats elected dozens of Congressional representatives in 2018 based upon the notion that they were going to behave as more pro-business political moderates.  The quoted source above isn’t buying it based upon the verbal and written feedback. 

A non-association attorney who has numerous media and political ties told MHProNews that they expect a historic electoral college win in 2020. He said it he thought it would be similar to the Nixon vs. McGovern blowout, or Reagan vs. Mondale.  When asked if he trusted the polls, the short answer was no, especially this far out (about 500 days to the election).

That same attorney said his reasoning was historically low unemployment, wages up, taxes down and other positive economic news.  When asked about antitrust, housing access, or other issues that several 2020 Democrats are raising, he said he thought that was necessary for them politically, as they can’t take President Trump on without shifting the subject away from economic successes.  He did acknowledge that several things could occur between now and the election that might shift the momentum.

The industry’s independents often see trust-busting of monopolistic operations as an important topic. 

The trust in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is low among many independents, even among some in management whose companies are MHI members.

This snapshot is far from scientific in the way that Gallup, Pew, Rasmussen, or media polling operations are done. But it does reflect slices of insights that both professionals and politicos should be mindful of as they plan ahead.

These are the reports found nowhere else, except here at the manufactured home industry’s largest and most-read trade media – MHProNews – your source for “News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.) ##

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.) 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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 or Comments or Letter to Editor in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Related Reports:

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

Real World Economics’ Professor Ed Lotterman says “Playing Monopoly is More Than Just Rolling the Dice”

 

Manufactured Home Communities’ Dodd-Frank Moment Looms, Senator Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Several Manufactured Housing Institute Community Members

Dueling Statements, NAMHCO, MHI, MHARR, Weigh In On Controversial MH Bill, “George Allen Pawn Gambit”

 

Senate Democrats – Including 2020 Presidential Contenders – Ask CFPB Protect Consumers Against Predatory Lenders — Point Finger at Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Lending

Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

 

“Have…Giants…Stifled Competition,” Antitrust Battle Lines in D.C., plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

Shocking, True State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, plus Solutions for Profitable, Sustainable Growth – May 2019

MHARRCallsHUDSecretaryCarsonEndDiscriminatoryZoningHUDRegulatedManufacturedHomesCommodoreHomesCorpMHARR

Photo of Commodore Homes model, MHARR logo, are provided under fair use guidelines. See article and letter to Secretary Carson, linked here. https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-calls-on-hud-secretary-to-end-discriminatory-and-exclusionary-zoning-of-hud-regulated-manufactured-homes/

 

TimeToInvestigateFannieFreddieMishandlingofDutyToServeDTSMHARRissuesPerspectiveManufacturredHousingAssocRegulatoryReformLogo

https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/time-to-investigate-fannie-and-freddies-mishandling-of-dts/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real World Economics’ Professor Ed Lotterman says “Playing Monopoly is More Than Just Rolling the Dice”

June 18th, 2019 Comments off

RealWorldEconomicsProfEdLottermanSaysPlayingMonopolyMoreThanJustRollingDiceDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Since 2005, Ed has been a professor of economics at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, MN, but has taught at many of the higher ed institutions in and around the Twin Cities. In his 30 years as a teacher, he’s had the privilege of educating thousands of students.

 

Before he stood at the head of the classroom, he spent time at the University of Minnesota where he got a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies and a master’s degree in agricultural economics,” per the EdLotterman.com website page linked here.

Professor Lotterman recently authored an article for Twin Cities entitled Real World Economics: Playing monopoly is more than just rolling the dice.”

The Daily Business News on MHProNews noted on April 26, 2019 that: Ryan Young at the Competitive Enterprise Institute had this to say…“Both parties are making antitrust regulation a 2020 campaign issue. Neither President Trump nor most of the Democratic candidates are proposing improvements.

Let’s note for our ever-growing audience, which obviously means numbers of first time readers, that quoting a source doesn’t imply agreement.  A quote is what it is, and presumably reflects the views of the person or organization cited.  Let’s further note that MHProNews has for years often turned quoted text bold and brown to make it ‘pop.’ Those points made, let’s proceed.

Young also said, After a two-decade lull following the Microsoft case, big antitrust enforcement cases are back in vogue. Both political parties are making antitrust regulation a 2020 campaign issue. Regulators, politicians, and voters have reasonable concerns about concentrated corporate power.” 

Last year, MHProNews spotlighted columnist David Leonardt’s snapshot of current trends in monopolization and a look at ‘trust busting’ history in the report linked below.

New York Times-David Leonhardt-“The Monopolization of America,” Manufactured Housing Slant

 

Industry professionals are well aware of the hot nature of this topic, particularly for manufactured home independents. But those ‘big boys’ who are increasingly being spotlighted for possible collusion and antitrust behavior are likewise following this issue with keen interest.

With that backdrop, Professor Ed Lotterman’s recent column on monopoly follows, provided under fair use guidelines for media.  It will be followed with some additional information and commentary.

 

RealWorldEconomicsPlayingMonopolyMoreThanJustRollingDiceTwinCitiesPioneerPressDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Defense and aerospace giant Raytheon announced plans last week to merge with rival defense and aerospace giant United Technologies, creating a huge corporation, albeit a bit smaller than Boeing, and reducing competition in defense contracting.

Yet hardly anyone is raising the issue of “antitrust,” as we call competition enforcement in our country.

This may be because we have seen a progressive concentration of big business into fewer and larger firms, with resulting reduced competition, in many sectors in recent decades. There has not been any real government action to stem this tide in 20 years. So why start again now?

The last was the Clinton administration’s suit against Microsoft’s monopolistic practices over software and operating systems. That was well along, but not yet decided, when successor George W. Bush was inaugurated in 2001. Many economists thought the suit promoted economic efficiency and many legal observers thought the Justice Department had essentially won. But limiting business pricing power was not an objective of Bush 43. The government abruptly dropped the suit.

Nothing much has happened since then, even as we have seen growing concentration in many sectors, including defense, aviation, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, agricultural seeds, fertilizers and chemicals, banking and other financial services, and many more.

That may change, however, if a Democrat is elected to the White House in 2020. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a law school professor specializing in bankruptcy and consumer protection legislation, is the most vocal and specific of the many Democratic candidates in regard to curbing monopoly power. But nearly all of the other candidates make it part of their platform.

Anyone with historical perspective may note parallels between today and the Gilded Age at the end of the 1800s and into the Theodore Roosevelt administration. We are now similarly seeing high concentrations of upper incomes with business exercising great political power. This was curbed back then by the political reaction of the progressive era, one in which Republicans and Democrats played a big part. Sen. John Sherman, of Ohio, who sponsored the 1890 Sherman Antitrust Act, was a leading Republican who also served as both secretary of State and secretary of the Treasury in GOP administrations. GOP president Roosevelt prided himself on being a “trust buster” and in 1912 led a third-party revolt against his own hand-picked successor, William H. Taft, for the latter’s insufficient willingness to regulate business.

Regulation of business abuses was key in the platform of Democrat Woodrow Wilson, who won that year. Alabama Democratic Rep. Henry Clayton wrote major legislation in 1914 that strengthened antitrust powers.

But issues wax and wane. By the 1970s, deregulation was in vogue. President Jimmy Carter presided over the deregulation of air, rail, trucking and barge transport. Democrats from Nevada and West Virginia sponsored the key legislation ending 90 years of railroad rate controls.

At the same time, within the economics discipline, interest in control of monopoly power waned. Many economists thought economic losses to monopoly power were small and that regulation could cause greater harm.

But now the pendulum is swinging again. Abuses of customers by financial firms such as Wells Fargo and extreme and apparently unjustified price increases for basic essential drugs such as insulin produce public and political outrage. Just last week, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called for a special legislative session to address the insulin problem. So expect the issue of monopoly control to re-emerge on the forefront of public debate and stay there for some time.

All this merits a review of basic terminology and economics of monopolistic issues. Start with some definitions:

Monopoly is a situation in which there is only one seller of a good. With no competition, a monopoly firm will reduce output below the level that would prevail in a free market and can sell it for a high price. That harm to the public is well known, but econ students also learn that monopoly inherently creates economic inefficiency, with waste of resources for society as a whole.

Pure monopolies are rare, but we do create them when we grant pharmaceutical and medical device firms patents while not doing anything to control prices charged for their patent-protected products. Price-regulated monopolies such as utilities are allowed because the barriers to market entry, such as building rival electrical power grid networks, are prohibitive to competitors and inefficient to operate.

The next step is duopoly, a market in which there are two producers, though not necessarily the same size. Large passenger airliner production, in which Boeing and Airbus dominate, is a duopoly. But for smaller planes, including those in the class of the Boeing 737, the barriers to entry are lower and smaller firms like Canada’s Bombardier and Brazil’s Embraer can compete.

Note that duopoly is different from bilateral monopoly. This is a market in which there is only one seller facing only one buyer. The Electric Boat division of General Dynamics is the only U.S. producer of submarines and the U.S. Navy is the only buyer of most classes, is an example of this.

At the Fortune 500 level, most corporations operate in situations of oligopoly. Just as oligarchy was government by a few powerful nobles, oligopoly is a market dominated by a few powerful businesses, usually corporations. Farm machinery, autos, air travel, pharmaceuticals, grain marketing, electrical equipment, petroleum, chemicals and many other sectors are dominated by a few large firms, particularly in any single geographic area. So too, increasingly, is health care.

This market structure is not static. In the 1930s, my mother, as a college debater, argued for government regulation of main-street chain stores. In the 1960s, Sears, Wards and new entrant K-mart dominated household retailing. But Target and Walmart shouldered these aside only to see themselves lose market share first to specialized big-box retailers and now to e-commerce.

“Monopolistic competition” is a situation of great competition, but not quite meeting the textbook ideal of “perfect competition.” Often the only difference is a branded product rather than the “homogeneous commodity” in perfect competition. Retail groceries, gasoline, restaurants and so forth are examples of monopolistic competition.

The structure here may vary depending on the level of analysis. McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Culvers and others are in oligopoly nationally, but at the consumer level there are dozens of individual eating places from which to choose. And even these larger national and regional providers vary in terms of individual consumer taste and level of convenience.

The incentives for a pure monopoly and the actions they do take are clear and easy to analyze. Those for oligopoly are murkier.

Yes, as a group, an oligopoly will be better off if companies cooperate to act as a single monopolist. That is what “trusts” were all about. That is what a cartel like OPEC strives to do. But as OPEC well knows, it is hard to keep members from cheating. So collusion is difficult. There were no real tools for economists to use in analyzing the dynamics within oligopoly until the application of game theory to economics in the second half of the 20th century.

There are certain situations, beyond granting patents to motivate innovation, where we tolerate monopoly, as in the utilities example above. Officers of Raytheon would argue that defense systems now are in this category. Development costs are so high and production numbers so low, that preserving multiple small firms would reduce research and increase production costs. The same may be argued by drug companies.

Industry structure varies with mergers and divestitures. These often aim for some sort of “integration.”

“Vertical integration” means bringing all steps of production into one firm. At one time, U.S. Steel operated iron mines, limestone quarries and owned coal mining companies. It made raw steel but also had a bridge-building subsidiary and others that made products like barbed wire. UnitedHealth acquiring the Express Scripts on-line pharmacy falls under this rubric.

“Horizontal integration” is the merging of firms engaged in the same stage of production. McDonnell and Douglas had somewhat different product lines, but both were major airplane manufacturers. Raytheon and United Technologies are complementary in products.

There may be a two-step process. A large Mexican cement company purchased South Dakota’s state-owned cement plant, one of many such acquisitions worldwide. But then it started buying up small-town ready-mix concrete plants, moving eastward along I-90. The first step was horizontal, the second vertical.

Much more could be said about such “industrial organization” issues. They will be in the news in coming months. Exactly how seriously voters take competition issues is uncertain, but expect them to play a role in the next elections. ##

By St. Paul economist and writer Edward Lotterman, originally published at this link here.

###

 

Once upon a time, blogger George Allen, citing the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform at the now defunct Journal of Manufactured and Modular Housing at length, had plenty of things to say about the monopolization of manufactured housing. However, most in our industry’s trade media have remained largely mute on the topic, as the report linked below documents.

“Monopoly” in Manufactured Housing Alleged by George Allen, MHI Defender’s Turn by former Community-Investor, Self-Claimed EducateMHC Blogger

 

When CNBC’s Diana Oleck asked Clayton Homes CEO Kevin Clayton about what was tantamount to a question on monopoly, his reply was captured on video.  That is found in the report linked below.

 

Tariffs “…Will Effect Demand,” says Kevin Clayton, Answers CNBC’s Monopoly Question – Video – plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

 

MHProNews has repeatedly asked Clayton, 21st, the Manufactured Housing Institute that they purportedly dominate, and their outside attorney to comment on the concerns linked below.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. Why hasn’t Allen told his readers how that cost them money? https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

They have exercised their 5th Amendment right to remain mute in response to our offers to confirm or deny the concerns raised and evidenced in reports like the one linked above. That said periodically, for whatever reasons, others will speak up for them.  One such was ManageAmerica’s Andy Gedo. That exchange is linked below.

 

Andy Gedo, Partner at ManageAmerica, Raises Clayton Homes Monopolistic Practices Debate; Manufactured Housing Institute Related Issues

 

Lotterman’s debatably correct in saying that there are indeed significant reasons to believe that antitrust will be a higher visibility issue in 2020.  There have been mixed signals out of the Trump Administration, sometimes signaling a strong stance, sometimes more subdued.  That may well be in keeping with a similar tact on a range of thorny issues.

While the hometown video from Knoxville TV doesn’t mention antitrust, it does outline other federal challenges that Clayton and their lenders are facing.

 

 

Sources tell MHProNews that the Department of Justice has Clayton and Berkshire on their radar.  Time will tell.  MHProNews will continue to monitor this issue, as it impacts investor, owners, public officials, and the nation at large. Stay tuned.

That’s today’s first installment of “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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 or Comments or Letter to Editor in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Related Reports:

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

Manufactured Home Communities’ Dodd-Frank Moment Looms, Senator Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Several Manufactured Housing Institute Community Members

Senate Democrats – Including 2020 Presidential Contenders – Ask CFPB Protect Consumers Against Predatory Lenders — Point Finger at Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Lending

Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

 

“Have…Giants…Stifled Competition,” Antitrust Battle Lines in D.C., plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

Shocking, True State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, plus Solutions for Profitable, Sustainable Growth – May 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Flag? Tariffs, Manufactured Housing Institute Fly-In, Antitrust Exemptions Topics by Politico in Washington, D.C.

June 5th, 2019 Comments off

 

WhiteFlagTariffsManufacturedHousingInstituteFlyInAntitrustExemptionsTopicsByPoliticosWashington, DCMHProNews

Politico is a left-of-center media outlet that is part of the News Media Alliance. That’s a trade group of some 2000 publications, of which this trade media is not a member of, that is pressing for legislation to exempt them from antitrust laws for a four-year period.  The goal is to allow them to negotiate with Google and Facebook in order to survive in the news industry, without themselves being charged with an antitrust violation. “We are at a critical time for the news publishing industry. Present trends simply cannot continue. We need to take action to give publishers the right to stand up for themselves and fight for a sustainable digital future for journalism,” says the News Media Alliance.

 

That is part of a ‘newsletter’ that paired or included reports on China, trade, tariffs, and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) fly-in and more. There was no mention of the Innovation in Housing event that has its final day in Washington, D.C. on the National Mall today.

 

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Affordable Housing, Obscuring the Truth, Innovations in Housing, and Manufactured Homes

 

 

MHI’s Fly-In

Per Politico, “FLYING IN: The Manufactured Housing Institute is on the Hill today for the second day of a two-day fly-in. They’ll meet with Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind,), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Reps. Andy Barr (R-Ky.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), David Kustoff (R-Tenn.), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), John Rose (R-Tenn.), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), David Scott (D-Ga.) and Bill Foster (D-Ill.).”

Ponder that the list above.  It had to be provided to one or more reporters.  Who is more likely to have provided that list than someone at MHI?  So why didn’t they also plug the display of manufactured homes on the National Mall?

That list of legislators includes several familiar names from the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act days. After years of effort and millions spent, that Preserving Access bill failed, in what’s been termed in hindsight as a rope-a-dope ploy. What part passed into law via S 2155 could have been achieved without legislation years earlier. See those links for more details, because even though these are well documented and evidenced insights, others in the manufactured home industry’s trade media routinely avoid such topics.

Trade, tariffs, and antitrust were dominating themes in Politico’s D.C. focused newsletter. They noted that Google and Facebook are spending millions in the nation’s capital, preparing for the antitrust, Congressional and other looming battles. It will be recalled that MHProNews spotlighted the revealing Kevin Clayton take on the matter, linked below. If Clayton is arguing to stop tariffs, that’s a possible signal to tea leaves readers to consider the opposite view.

 

Tariffs “…Will Effect Demand,” says Kevin Clayton, Answers CNBC’s Monopoly Question – Video – plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

 

White flag?

 

Andy Gedo, Partner at ManageAmerica, Raises Clayton Homes Monopolistic Practices Debate; Manufactured Housing Institute Related Issues

Never.

But a new piece of bipartisan legislation that was highlighted is a bill to fight Google and Facebook by exempting publishers from antitrust in negotiations with the digital duopoly giants. Think about that for a moment. Why not just break up Google and Facebook, and save the digital marketplace that way? Isn’t it akin to waving a white flag, to beg Congress to do what antitrust laws should be protecting digital publishers or others in business from already?

According to Roll Call on 6.4.2019, “The News Media Alliance reported spending about $385,000 on federal lobbying during the first three months of this year, while Google and Facebook both disclosed shelling out nearly $3.4 million in the same period. In all of last year, the alliance spent $1.8 million on federal lobbying, according to congressional lobbying disclosures. Google reported $21.2 million for 2018, while Facebook dished out $12.6 million.

In the convoluted world of Washington, D.C. following the money doesn’t automatically lead one to instantly discerning the underlying logic. Google and Facebook are individually outspending the combined lobbying efforts of the News Media Alliance. Allow monopolistic players to become too big, and of course they will use that power.  Or as NY Stern’s Scott Galloway phrased it last year in speak about 4 of the tech giants:

 

 

Without denigrating the aim of the News Media Alliance backed bill, perhaps the simplest and fastest answer are the ones reported here and here Monday. Investigate and break up the corporate giants, but extend it formally to Berkshire Hathaway, Microsoft and all of the FAANGs. #DeFaangBM.

 

DeFaangBmAntiTrustOpenMarketsAffordableHousingManufacturedHomesHousingChoiceMHProNews

 

These are not liberals vs. conservatives, or ‘left vs. right’ issues.  Rather, they are about what is wrong or right, and that should be non-partisan. This pattern impacts manufactured housing professionals and investors, wittingly or not, day by day.

 

Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

This is your hump-day, second installment of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,© where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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 or Comments or Letter to Editor in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Related Reports:

8 Months of Declining Year-Over-Year HUD Code Manufactured Home Production – When Will Manufactured Housing Institute Act?

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Surprise Appearance at Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, Exclusive Quotes – Addressing Manufactured Home Industry

Dr. Ben Carson Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Housing Conference Remarks New Orleans, Louisiana, Hyatt Regency Hotel, May 7, 2019

Census, HUD Official Residential Construction Report for April 2019, Dare to Compare to Manufactured Housing Data

MHARR Weighs in, HUD Secretary Carson Letter – “Discriminatory…Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes”

 

Cowards, How Winning Is Done, and Manufactured Housing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Tech, Big Brother, 1984, Manufactured Home Professionals, and You

June 5th, 2019 Comments off

BigTechBigBrother1984ManufacturedHomeProfessionalsYouDailyBusinessNewsMhProNews

Prager U” has a formula that works.  They create videos that are typically under 6 minutes long, have a narrator that some will know, and that woman or man will provide a relatively balanced view of a topic for consideration.  This video, posted on 6.3.2019, had 427,548 views in under 48 hours.  If only manufactured housing could say the same about a pro-industry video.

 

The thrust of the Prager U concept is educational. They take a controversial issue and strive to shed light on it. Prager U is branded, but in a mild way that keeps millions coming back to see their next video.  Yes, they are generally conservative, but do so citing the views of other political or moral perspective.

In fact, that’s the point.  They look at what the opposition says, and then they do a fact-check and analysis. 

Sound familiar?  It’s Prager’s video version of what significant parts of MHProNews content has been in recent years.  In fairness, this has been done for years by media, but has grown more popular on both the left and the right.  So one takeaway is that the Prager approach is a proven one. Manufactured housing industry leaders should sit up and take notice.  

On this specific video, “Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center, explains how and why Big Tech is making Orwell’s 1984 a 21st century reality.” 

Their YouTube page says, “George Orwell’s fictionalized world where Big Brother reigns supreme is no longer a figment of the imagination, but a prophetic vision of present-day threats.”  It would be hard to name many businesses today that operate in our factory-built home industry that don’t use one or more of the services that are spotlighted by this video.  

What this video doesn’t do is call for boycotts or even an antitrust breakup. MHProNews has argued for antitrust action, and word earlier this week that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are gearing up antitrust investigations sent the FAANG stocks down.

 

Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

 

The earlier report MHProNews did on the Creepy Line took an in depth look in text and videos into the ways that big tech is purportedly manipulating data that harms companies and can tip elections.

 

“The Creepy Line” Video DocuDrama, Manufactured Housing – The Problem, Solution, and You

 

While Bozell doesn’t call for a breakup, he does make it clear that the situation is serious.  It is.  Monopolization isn’t just a manufactured housing industry problem; it is a broader economic threat that impacts a score of industries. This video is one of about 100 that as of this post being drafted YouTube has ‘restricted.’  What is there about this video that is anything other than a simple exercise of free speech?

 

 

Among the 2020 issues we expect to be significant is consolidation, monopolization, and antitrust. It’s a topic most of our colleagues in manufactured home trade publishing simply won’t go near, perhaps out of fear for what the industry’s Big Brothers in Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis might do.

As the powers that be in manufactured housing are viewed by numbers as a cause – rather than a solution – for the industry’s underperformance, the FAANG threat to economic, political, and free speech freedom should be seen as part of the bigger picture that arguably should include Berkshire Hathaway and Microsoft, perhaps others too.  While the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis bears responsibility for the widely misunderstood manufactured home industry, don’t overlook the supporting role played by these tech giants.

Learn more from the related reports, below.

This is your pre-dawn installment of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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 or Comments or Letter to Editor in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Related Reports:

8 Months of Declining Year-Over-Year HUD Code Manufactured Home Production – When Will Manufactured Housing Institute Act?

HUD Secretary Ben Carson Surprise Appearance at Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee, Exclusive Quotes – Addressing Manufactured Home Industry

Dr. Ben Carson Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Housing Conference Remarks New Orleans, Louisiana, Hyatt Regency Hotel, May 7, 2019

Census, HUD Official Residential Construction Report for April 2019, Dare to Compare to Manufactured Housing Data

MHARR Weighs in, HUD Secretary Carson Letter – “Discriminatory…Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes”

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Affordable Housing, Obscuring the Truth, Innovations in Housing, and Manufactured Homes

 

Cowards, How Winning Is Done, and Manufactured Housing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Monopoly” in Manufactured Housing Alleged by George Allen, MHI Defender’s Turn by former Community-Investor, Self-Claimed EducateMHC Blogger

May 22nd, 2019 Comments off

 

MonopolyManufacturedHousingAllegedByGeorgeAllenMHIDefendersTurnByFormerCommunityInvestorSelfClaimedEducateMHCBloggerMHProNews

Free enterprise is predicated in part on the ability to compete. Be it in tea, banking, or other sectors of the economy, America from its earliest days as a colony includes examples of not just tax revolt, but anti-monopoly rebellion too. New York Times columnist David Leonhardt are among the scores of sources that have said as much.

 

  • The Open Markets Institute has said that antitrust or anti-monopoly efforts are one of the most important issues of our time. As they put it on their home page, the Open Markets Institute “…promote greater awareness of the political and economic dangers of monopolization, identifies the changes in policy and law that cleared the way for such consolidation, and fosters discussions with policymakers and citizens as to how to update America’s traditional political economic principles for our 21st century digital society.” Note to newcomers, MHProNews often turns direct quotes bold and brown to make them ‘pop,’ but otherwise the quoted words are as reported.
  • Several Democratic 2020 presidential contenders have made monopoly and antitrust enforcement a campaign issue.
  • The Trump Administration has let it be known that they have an executive order drafted on antitrust, a copy of which was obtained by MHProNews.
  • The Department of Justice’s antitrust point man – Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim – was cited at length in a prior Daily Business News on MHProNews report in a talk dubbed “November Rain.”
  • A top antitrust attorney named Lina Kahn was hired by Capitol Hill Democrats.  These 4 bullets make it clear that this challenge of market consolidation and monopoly are a bi-partisan concern, though the two major parties may have differing approaches.
  • Facebook’s co-founder is among several who have called for the breakup of the company.  But it isn’t just big tech that is facing calls of breakup under antitrust law.

 

That brief survey with links to various reports makes it clear that antitrust or anti-monopolistic practices sentiment has swelled in several swaths of the national political and economic discourse.

Which begs the question.  Other than MHProNews, and MHLivingNews, why has the bulk of the other trade media or bloggers in the manufactured housing industry been so obviously silent on the topic of monopolization, antitrust, and consolidation?

As MHProNews has noted before – but will hereby spotlight in a different way with additional quotes – there is an exception of sorts.

It’s George F. Allen, who shed his COBA7 moniker in favor of EducateMHC, reportedly sold his modest direct interests manufactured home communities, but still has a website called “Community-Investor.”

Before turning to Allen’s comments, let’s note that MHInsider, a far larger medium which is a staunchly pro-Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) backer, reveals nothing on a site search under the term ‘monopoly.’  Ditto a search under ‘consolidation’ or ‘antitrust.’ A search for articles about manufactured housing’s ‘enhanced preemption’ – mandated by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 – are missing from MHInsider, much like that topic turns up nothing on MHI’s website too. In fairness and accuracy – to MHInsider’s credit – they provided a few pull quotes from HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s address in New Orleans, which is more than the zero found on MHI’s website as of this morning as this article is being drafted.  But MHInsider lacks the entire – and highly useful for the industry’s independents – recent Secretary Carson speech to manufactured housing professionals.

 

MHInsiderLogoSiteSearchOligarchyMonopolyAntitrustEnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingTradeJournalMediaMHProNews

 

Other publishers in MHVille may lack a search tool, or have so few industry readers, that their pro-MHI stance is worth mentioning but not worth the time to document.  So, there are others, most of whom routinely sing from the same hymnal that MHI provides.  MHI-affiliated state associations often likewise regurgitate uncritically – often verbatim – MHI’s missives, perhaps for reasons noted in a prior report linked here.  That stated, one must note that a few manufactured home community (MHC) state associations broke ranks with MHI, citing the Arlington, VA based trade group’s lack of effectiveness.

 

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

 

Onto Allen and Monopoly…

With that survey and backdrop, here’s what Allen has had to say on the topic of monopoly operating in the manufactured housing industry.

 

GeorgeFAllenCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOcoba7MonopolyConsolidationClaytonHomes21stMortgageBerkshireHathawayQuotesManufacturedHomesCommunitiesMHproNews

The date shown is when the screen captures were performed, not the date it was published. More on that, further below.

 

To use a phrase Allen enjoys, those are salient points. He’s made others before, like this one.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNews

While those are comments were made in years gone by, that begs the question. When the evidence for monopolistic behavior in America and our manufactured home industry specifically has mounted, why has Allen more recently defended the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which is the arguably the breeding ground for what Allen dubbed himself called oligarchs and monopolists?

DougRyanAmericanBankerManufacturedHousingMonopoly-postedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryProNews-575x237

While MHI’s SVP Lesli Gooch has denied the charge that Ryan raised in the article above, Doug Ryan at CFED, and long time MHI member, George Allen, are among those who’ve raised the issue of monopolistic practices by MHI. 

When Allen has demonstrably agreed with the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in the past, why has he attacked the Washington, D.C. based MHARR more recently?   Aren’t his disconnects apparent?

 

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformlogoMHARRlogoSearchMonopolyAntitrustConsolidation

 

Hold those thoughts.

Be it Allen, MHI, or others – each has precisely the same rights protected by the Constitution that we all do. From the days of the British colonies, to after the time that the United States was finally formed following years of revolutionary warfare, and through the varied phases of our national history, America has had a love-hate relationship with pamphleteers and publishers. But with few exceptions – like the classic prohibition of not crying “fire” in a crowded theater when there is none – we defend in principle the constitutionally protected right citizens enjoy to say what they will, even if it is determined later to be demonstrably wrong.

Which brings us to a pressing point of free speech and free press. On the left, right and the dwindling center, there are voices in media talking about the news that have raised concerns about free speech, concentration of media, and manipulation of news reports.  That there is a need for a graphic like the one below is troubling, but speaks volumes.

MediaBiasChartSharylAttkissonLeftRightPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

The quotes that follow exemplify the issue, across the left-right and even academic landscape.

 

TheseLargeConglomerateCompaniesDecideOnTheirownandForTheirOwnPurposesTheNewsWeSeeandHearDanRatherQuoteFormerCBSNewsPhotoTwitterDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Dan Rather quote from the compelling video, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page.

DeepaKumarQuoteGiantMediaCorpLikeTimWarnerandNewsCoprDisneySoForthTheyGetToDecidWhatIsNews

Deepa Kumar quote from the compelling video, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page.

DannyGloverQuoteItsNotOnlyAMonopolyOfWealthItsAmonopolyofInformationasWellDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

Danny Glover quote from the compelling video, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page.

ThomasSowellQuoteIfPeopleInMediaCannotDecideWhetherTheyAreInNewsReportingbusinessorManufacturingPropagandaMoreImportantForPublicchoseNewssourcesAccordingly

 

That’s problematic, but hardly new in either American or world history. In ancient times, a leader might lop the head off someone who brought bad news.  Far more recently, media in the 20th or 21st century have examples of being pushed and prodded by government and/or private interests. One must be aware of that pattern in order to begin to discern the vexing reality that someone’s worldview is forged by what media sources they adhere to most routinely.

 

GeorgeOrwellQuotesOurAGeNoSuchThingKeepingOutOfPoliticsAllIssuesPoliticalPOliticsMassLiesEvasionFollyHatredSchizophreniaManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

HowardZinnQuoteGeorgeOrwellSaidWhoeverControlsthePastControlsTheFutureHeMeantHistoryImportantShapingViewNextGenerationMHProNews

 

The founding fathers themselves experienced the problems of negative media that was often harsh and agenda driven.  The founders used the press and pamphleteering to stoke the flames that caused a revolution against England, and eventually turned colonies into the independent but United States. Those founders believed that it is the clash and testing of ideas that can reveal to those who scrutinize details what is or is not true.

A close reading or attention paid to statement and subsequent events may also reveal the instances when people say or write one thing, but do another.

 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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

 

While all fail from time to time to live up to ideals, there is a special scorn many have for blatant and repeated hypocrisy. Perhaps rightly so.

FrankRolfeMHIChairmanNathanSmithSSKCommunitiesHypocrisyQuote-MHProNews

 

Now the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has an antitrust statement. According to form, MHI’s numerous meetings every year are opened with a reminder that antitrust guidelines apply. But does that mean that they are adhering in deed to those antitrust guidelines, and not just merely in the mentioned word? There are highlighted items in the MHI antitrust statement, linked here, which in this writer’s informed view merit legal and regulatory oversight attention.

So why are these issues missing from MHI’s website?

 

2019-05-22_0735ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoAntitrustConsolidationMHProNews

Every symphony has high and low notes. There may be sobering, often dark drum rolls, and heartening crescendos. Symphonies – like other art forms – are meant to entertain, reflect, and inspire life. Novelists have plots, as well as subplots. Intentionally or not, publishing, writers, and media sources go through their own peaks, valleys, twists, turns, and familiar refrains.

The wonder isn’t that Allen – not just MHProNews or MHLivingNews – has raised concerns about “consolidation.”

Rather, it’s that others in manufactured housing trade publishing have not done the same. Are they unaware? That’s highly unlikely, because this writer hears from those publishers, their team, and followers. Are they afraid to rock the boat? Fearful? Paid-off via ads or other incentives? What?

One trade media competitor, in what was an unintended backhanded compliment said ‘Tony, you [MHProNews, MHLivingNews] write about that others in the industry read or talk about at bars and during meals.’  If so, that may explain why our audience dwarfs all others.  But that statement begs the question, then why doesn’t that gent and other writer/bloggers follow the lead of tackling the real issues, instead of playing footsy with MHI-driven drivel?

 

BarryColeMHInsuranceRVMHHallofFameCongratsManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

 

Why does MHI have an antitrust statement, beyond as legal cover, while doing nothing of merit to commission independent research over concerns that they as a nonprofit group are being used as a tool for consolidation?

 

Then keep your tongue from evil

and your lips from speaking deceit.

Turn aside from evil and do good…” Psalm 34:13.

 

Let’s recall anew that George Washington, and other founders, for whatever their personal failings were – and they had them, as we all do – stressed the need for morality and religion, not just laws or a constitution.

 

OfAllDispositionsHabitsPoloticalProspertityReligionMoralityIndispensable-GeorgeWashington-picWikiCommons-postedMHProNews-

 

With that backdrop, back to Allen, monopoly, consolidation and what to do about it in MHVille.

 

Quoting Allen

A Final Thought for Year 2018, but Key for 2019

No names here, but hope you too boycott an ongoing online MH-related news media attempt to denigrate and divide us as an industry and realty asset class!

In my opinion, life is too short to be making crass and obtuse claims of national advocacy conspiracy, corporate antitrust imaginations, and disgusting personal attacks, only befouling internet platforms better used to promote manufactured housing and the land lease community lifestyle!

If so, join me in 2019, committing to read only print and online trade publications advancing the causes, and improving the image, of HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities! No more caterwauling (‘to fight like cats’) in public and in private. Period.”

To spell it out for those not informed, Allen called there for a boycott of MHProNews, and of this writer. The ironies and hypocrisy there are thick.  Because of his own self-contradictions, and his own de facto concerns over the very kind of monopolization and consolidation – in that quoted case above, of media – that he blasted previously about MHI and Clayton. Can George spell hypocrisy?

Yet Allen’s aptly cited problems with consolidation, oligarchy, and monopoly. He still calls consolidation “a problem” in even recent posts.

 

WeveGotAProblemGeorgeFAllenQuoteCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOMobileHomeParkManufacturedHomesMHProNews

To see more disconnects between Allen and his flip-flops, then and now, click here.

 

Nevertheless, he is hypocritically attacking this platform, and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), each of which have consistently been sounding alarms about those issues – with specific examples – to the attention of the thousands of the industry’s readers.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Allen has pointed out the obvious, that MHARR is a sponsor of our website. But that’s out in the open, MHARR has banner ads here. What Allen fails to mention is that MHI used to sponsor MHProNews too. Our coverage has been based upon our LLC’s own research and work, without favor. What Allen has, by contrast, avoided is what are the ways that he is being coached, rewarded, and influenced?  In pointing an errant finger, are three pointing back at George’s chest? Note too that MHProNews cites sources from MHI, MHEC members, MHARR, and others.  We do so accurately and in their historic context. 

 

Allen’s voice is significant, but small compared to this platform’s.  We have more readers in a few hours than he will have all week.  So, why bother?  Because frankly, reviewing the history of Allen’s musings make clear some of the very problems he once asserted, and now denies.  Its instructive to unpack Allen.

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuote

Many of these quotes are from MHI insiders.

Allen is interesting to the extent that he does periodically make accurate statements.  But a stopped clock is correct twice daily too.  More politely, he is a reason why we believe in the wheat and chaff approach to people and sources. We all have our good and bad days, our good points, and our weaker ones.  Our readers have pointed out that we get typos, for instance.  Guilty as charged.  That’s our chaff, but who strive for finer wheat that feeds our audience that doesn’t find like content from other’s in the industry trade media.

Closely read, Allen’s arguably consistent about only one thing, support for himself.

With that said, he has apparently been re-embraced by the very people – MHI and their leaders – that he railed against for unfair treatment by examining his business interests under the cover of a nondisclosure agreement (NDA), and then unethically going into competition against him. Allen personally felt the sting of manipulative and costly maneuvers from MHI, whose structure and funding point to firms in Omaha and the Knoxville, TN metro areas as their dominating, driving forces.  He ought to be leading the charge, instead of giving the manipulators cover.

Rephrased, Allen knows first-hand who pulls the puppet strings at Arlington, VA based MHI. He fought them, he was marginalized, he lost. That is, he lost until he was more recently reembraced to be the apparent purported surrogate and attack dog for the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.  Now, for example, MHI Chairman Joe Stegmayer is back on Allen’s stage.

The key to understanding Allen’s pivots in publishing is to understand that he is highly motivated by self-interest.  That is per a former, significant client of his, who told this writer that the way to understand Allen is summed up in this saying: “With George, it’s always AAA – All About Allen.” Pondering that claim, and watching the pattern after that was heard, that source arguably proved correct.

The point here isn’t that Allen has flip-flopped, or that the balance of the industry’s trade media has been mute on the issues of monopolization, consolidation, antitrust, and market manipulation that has kept manufactured housing underperforming.

 

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

MHARRshipmentProductionMarch2019ManufacturedHousingReportMHProNews

While MHI in their monthly shipment report doesn’t deny the decline, neither are they addressing the underlying causes, nor have they proposed a remedy via their messages to the industry. Why not?

Frankly, we’ve covered much of that ground previously.

So the point here now is to make clear to new industry readers, investors wondering why a stock isn’t performing as it could be, outside researchers, legal, and public officials looking into MHVille seeking to grasp the facts that have caused obvious patterns to be obscured by others –including, but not limited to, the industry’s trade media.

 

LATonyKovachHenryFordQuotesPrettyPicturesAchieveGoalsDailyBusinessNewsProNews

 

Be Skeptical, Question and Test

It’s entirely logical to test the accuracy of the reports and analysis here on MHProNews and MHLivingNews. It is logical to likewise test the writing and publishing of others in this same news and commentary space, to see how consistent each sources may be, or what evidence is offered by said sources beyond mere words.

GeorgeAllenPhotoPamDannerPhotoEducateMHCMobileHomeCommunityInvestorManufacturedHomeProfessionalNewsUnlike Allen’s railing – as was cited above – about “…making crass and obtuse claims of national advocacy conspiracy, corporate antitrust imaginations, and disgusting personal attacks…” we’ve provided on MHLivingNews and MHProNews the documents and direct quotes from the sources involved.

Besides, Allen himself said similarly – as this report makes clear – only he’s not been consistent about it.

Allen uses the old debaters’ tricks of red herrings, commits the ad hominin attack fallacy, and demonstrably accuses others of what he does himself. It’s the classic definition of a hypocrite.

 

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews-768x609

When we’ve given documented opportunities to Allen to publicly debate the issues we claim.  Bring on the supporting evidence as to what are the factors hindering manufactured housing industry’s growth, during an affordable housing crisis.

Other than MHARR and our trade media, who today in MHVille have offered a cogent explanation for the why and how the explains the cause of over 15 years of manufactured housing as an industry’s underperformance?

That underperformance in turn cost taxpayers, homeowners, and independent businesses collectively billions, at each turn.  Some of those independent businesses are the smaller community owners that Allen and his allies claim to care about.

That public debate offer with George Allen is one he’s routinely ducked out on. Thus, noting his roar like the lion in Wizard of Oz – but his failure to back up that roar – he’s arguably earned the mantle of that fictional character. It should be noted, Cowardly Lion finally got his courage, and did the right things.

We hope and pray Allen will do the same. Because Allen, in fairness and accuracy, has at times – albeit inconsistently – argued similar claims to those we, MHARR or others in MHVille seeking to maintain a lower profile have raised. Let’s note that some of those MHI sources, unhappy with what the Arlington trade group is apparently doing, have said they would testify to federal investigators about what they know.

Let’s return to one of those flashes from the past of apparent candor from Allen about the problem of monopoly power.

GeorgeAllenCommunityInvestorBlogMHMPostedMastheadBlogManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryNewsMHProNews-133x150a

George Allen, photo credit, MHProNews.com.

Hopefully you already realize we live and work in turbulent times, where the national economy and our industry’s business model are concerned. But have YOU stopped and considered the lasting effects horizontal (consolidation) and vertical integration have had, and continue to have, on our industry and realty asset class?

If you’re one of those who believe the MHIndustry needs a new, independent national trade association to protect and advance the business interests and concerns of the post production sector of manufactured housing, you’ll want to read this week’s blog posting from beginning to end. Because there is indeed a third such party ‘waiting in the wings’ for the timing and leadership to be right and effective from the word ‘Go’!

  • In short order, the number of independent (street) MHRetailers plummeted from more than 14,000 to fewer than 4,000.”

After listing some of the extensive holdings of Buffett led Berkshire in manufactured housing, Allen says:

Now, here’s the proverbial ‘rub’. With quiet but increasing frequency we read of conspiracies and monopolies gradually taking over (if not already ‘taken over’) the political agenda of the manufactured housing industry.”

Assuming truth and legitimacy of these claims of ‘conspiracies and monopolies gradually taking over the political agenda of the manufactured housing industry’, what’re the solutions? In the same op/ed piece in THE JOURNAL, the writer makes this case for a new independent national trade association to represent the post production sector of manufactured housing:

  • “…to monitor issues in the nation’s capitol, mobilize for effective action, and fight for their interests and issues, rather than the few industry-dominant lenders and the corporate conglomerates that stand behind them.” And until that happens, the writer opines, our shipments of new HUD-Code homes will continue to languish well below 100,000 units per year.

So, where’s this new independent national trade association going to come from? Surely not the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) with its’ 80+ percent national member market share of new HUD-Code manufactured housing distribution; nor, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) and its’ regional housing manufacturing firms.”

Allen on that occasion from his blog dated 21 August, 2016 proposed himself  and his now defunct COBA7 as the industry’s solution and savior.  It is as if he set out to prove the point noted above from that former client of his that said, “With George, it’s always AAA – All About Allen.”

But sadly, one must ask, is Allen a white hat in MHVille, or a black hat?

 

White Hats, Black Hats…

 

 

TomLackeySECO2018-06-06_1742PlanningCommitteeSECODailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Allenites – those who uncritically follow him – turn a blind eye to problems like his ‘education’ on lease-purchase, or contract for title, which an industry attorney has called ‘illegal’ in the Dodd-Frank era, and which the NY State Attorney General’s office punished dozens of manufactured home communities for practicing. Hasn’t Allen condemned the kind of problematic negative news headline causing issues that his buddy Tom Lackey is accused of running? If so, why didn’t Allen called Lackey out, and asked for his ouster from SECO’s board? See the Chattanooga Times Free Press report, which notably cited MHProNews in part of its coverage. Note the circle.  MHVillage – which is a sister firm to MHInsider, which has Allen as a writer.  MHInsider’s parent company is part of MHI.

Allen failed to mention at all then that Dick Moore/Bob Crawford had launched a third party effort dubbed the MHIDEA, which MHProNews reported years before this specific 8-21-2016 musing by Allen.

While the effort never garnered the traction its concept merited, MHIDEA – short for the Manufactured Housing Independent DEaler Alliance – was launched in 2008, even before the full effects of Buffett’s Moat became clear.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached.

 

MHProNews reviewed MHIDEA’s otherwise insightful notions in depth in a report, linked below.

 

Giving Thanks for Manufactured Housing Independents, Applauding “MHIdea!”

 

During the 2010 timeframe, MHProNews reported on the MHIDEA efforts. Hindsight can be 2020. Had MHIDEA been better supported – by us and others – would the industry’s current issues be as severe as they are now?

By contrast, MHARR covered these issues to various degrees, and in a consistent fashion.  It must be noted that several of Allen’s references to concerns over monopolization were oblique references to claims and allegations made by MHARR.  They have been by far the most consistent in the industry on the topics that they’ve engaged upon.

Once more, it must be noted that MHI avoids these controversies, as reflected by using the site-search tool on their website.  If they suddenly, after weeks and months of such reports suddenly popped information that mentions these issues onto their platform, that doesn’t change the fact that they’ve avoided it for some years.

 

 

Summing Up

This current and historic survey revealed the following.

  • MHARR has consistently called out the problems of market monopolization, proposed solutions, and has done so for a period of years. It should be noted that the MHARR website is relatively new, so one would have to go to MHProNews’ MHARR module, or specific MHARR monthly articles to see the years of consistency in their reports and analysis.

DannyGhorbaniFormerMHIVpQuoteFoundingMHARRPresidentQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

  • MHIDEA – while effectively dormant at this time – raised these concerns over a decade ago.
  • NAMHCO – which does not yet have a website – is still young, but has made it clear that they felt that MHI was ineffective and not advancing the interests of their members, which is why they said they broke from MHI in 2017.
  • MHI has nothing on several potentially positive items for the industry, ignored publishing Secretary Carson’s fine speech, and has nothing on these controversies.
  • MHInsider – essentially parrots the MHI stance, as have most if not all of the lesser known trade bloggers and publishers.
  • Blogger George Allen has flip-flopped, apparently based on if he’s getting benefits from MHI or not. But what’s clear is that Allen on several occasions raised the issue of monopoly, consolidation, and ‘oligarchy.’  More recently, Allen has attacked MHARR, and MHProNews for making arguments similar to those he himself previously advanced.  Allen does not bother to explain his contradictions, which can demonstrably occur within the same blog post.
  • MHProNews raised the issues years ago, in reporting on the MHIDEA and MHARR reports. But frankly, this writer – and our LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC family of publications – were not convinced initially. We reported what others said, but did not strongly advocate on the issues of monopoly, consolidation, marketing rigging, and the need for legal and federal action.
  • As I’ve said previously, per the SPJ standards of journalism ethics that call for clearly stating errors or omissions once noted, it took years of evidence, documents, news tips, and commentary by others until the scope and chutzpah of the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis was fully grasped in more recent years.
  • Oddly, some of Allen’s and MHI’s circle and readers have been among those who’ve for some time explained why they thought market manipulation was underway. They explained Allen’s role – or lack thereof – in masking or exposing it at various times.
  • It should also be noted that MHInsider publisher Darren Krolewski himself praised this publication and writer for taking on the tough issues. He was among those that informed us of what was underway, where MHI was allegedly undermining our pro-industry growth work, even as we were dues paying members of that association.

 

DarrenKrolewskiPraisingMHProNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Krolewski is now co-president of MHVillage, and the publisher of MHInsider. He now arguably avoids the difficult topics he once praised us for tackling on MHProNews.

 

Allen could perhaps go back and purge his site, if he was incentivized to do so. But we already have the screen captures, so why bother?

While he loves to charge that we misquote or do something ‘out of context,’ he’s not once provided evidence of that claim. In fact, as noted, when invited to debate or prove his case in a third-party moderated forum, publicly in front of an industry audience, and on video so others could witness it later, he’s always declined that offer.

The allegations and concerns raised in this report clearly tie directly into the issue of what we’ve dubbed  the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.

Namely, that leaders at Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), Joe Stegmayer (MHI Chair), MHI salaried staff, and their inside and/or outside attorneys have repeatedly been invited to discuss and debate these concerns publicly.  Such offers to those leaders have been documented. The offer was to do hold such a discussion/debate in front of a live manufactured home industry professional audience.  That means that those who understand and/or are the most impacted by the issues to be discussed would be in attendance. A third-party moderator, plus video recording so others could see it all later, were part of the offer.

The powers that be in MHVille have declined every time. It’s their right to remain silent.  But that means that the allegations against them stand unrefuted.  One might ask, why they haven’t sued us – with or without just cause – as they’ve threatened in writing several times to do?  Is it perhaps because their leaders have praised us often, and for years, and that would come up in any legal proceedings?  How could they possibly explain it all away with a straight face?

 

TimWilliamsToRephraseMHITonyBothCorrectThereisNoDaylight21stMortgageCorpMHIChairmmanufacturedHousingProNews

 

What the axis apparently did instead was reembraced Allen, who was persona non grata after their purported backstab of Allen only a few years ago. Allen was apparently re-engaged and rewarded precisely, to be used as a purported surrogate and as an attack dog against MHARR, MHProNews, and this writer.  Given that they can’t or won’t defend their actions, they’ve turned to the smear tactics instead. Allen and company do what they allege we do, interesting ploy, isn’t it?

SnearMudThrowingTacticsUsedWorkToDuckDodgeDebatePixabayMastheadCommentaryMHPronews

 

Last week, an MHI member named Andy Gedo began to enter into a question/answer with this writer about an article posted on LinkedIn.  That posted article spotlighted how Kevin Clayton, in a recent video interview with CNBC, did not deny that Berkshire monopolization of not only manufactured housing, but the broader housing market, was underway. Gedo initially questioned, but gave up on, defending Clayton against that claim. The Gedo discussion with this writer in its entirety is linked below.

 

Andy Gedo, Partner at ManageAmerica, Raises Clayton Homes Monopolistic Practices Debate; Manufactured Housing Institute Related Issues

 

While these incidents, Berkshire Hathaway documents and direct quotes in context linked here or other concerns are not proof in an absolute or legal sense, it is enough to cause more federal regulators, public officials, candidates, media/researchers to sharpen their scrutiny.  That’s frankly part of the reason to do such summary articles, which then link evidence and examples.

The reason we say ‘more’ is because there are already – beyond MHARR, NAMHCO, MHIDEA, MHProNews, and MHLivingNews – non-industry sources that have spotlighted some of these same concerns.  Some of those are linked below.

 

  The New York Times had an interesting article on the historic trends, and named several industries being monopolized.

  The Atlantic, without specifying how the monopolization was being accomplished, noted that the independent retailers in manufactured housing were being rapidly eliminated/consolidated, that report is linked here.

  GuruFocus said “Warren Buffett Can’t Escape Unethical Strategic Moats,” their specific points are linked here.

  The Nation called it “The Dirty Secret Behind Warren Buffett’s Billions…” and specifies Clayton Homes among those using the strategic moat in ‘dirty’ ways.

  The Jacksonville Florida Times Union summarized the connection between the John Oliver viral hit video dubbed “Mobile Homes,” MHI, Clayton Homes, and their related lenders. That op-ed was first fact-checked by an editor, before it was published not only in the one newspaper it was submitted, but at least in 5 Florida newspapers.

But what those other sources may lack are specific examples of documents and video that were not yet published, until the trade media our LLC deploys covered them.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. Why hasn’t Allen told his readers how that cost them money? https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

What this summary does is reveal to industry readers and to outsiders looking in that there is substantial evidence of monopolization, consolidation, and examples of potential violations of antitrust laws at play in manufactured housing that date back about a decade or more. That’s almost roughly the same timeframe that Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway bought Clayton Homes, and began the slow ‘strategic moat’ and other related conquest techniques of the manufactured housing industry.

No one with common sense can believe that Buffett, Berkshire, and their billions could somehow have failed to grow manufactured housing to over 500,000 or more shipments a year.  MHI’s president himself said that was doable.

 

MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments

 

Which leads thoughtful readers and researchers with the vexing concerns that manufactured housing has been de facto sabotaged, largely from within.

 

 

That’s why the industry is the ‘best kept secret’ in affordable housing, as Terry Decio from Skyline Homes lamented on camera.

TerryDecioSkylineChampionHomesPhotoQuoteImTiredofManufacturedHousingbeingBestKeptSecretReadyHelpHouseAmericaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

That’s arguably why Secretary Carson’s full address isn’t found on MHInsider, or at all on MHI’s website.  Carson made it clear he wants to promote the manufactured housing solution, and end the secrecy that hangs over the industry.

Alan Amy is one of the many quiet, thoughtful voices that helped advise this writer as to what was occurring, and why. Manufactured housing is the housing of the future, not just the past, said Amy.  The big boys are consolidating the industry at a discount now, knowing that they can reap billions in annual earnings once they’ve completed their conquest of the industry, and a friendly administration to their interests takes over in Washington, D.C.

 

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies, and opportunities.  From independents like Gus, to the largest players in the industry, and thousands in between, this is the most read source in the industry, because we tackle the issues most avoid – all in search of getting manufactured housing to achieve its true potential.

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

Note the trend line. This is from an MHI member firm’s investor relations package.  They point to the industry underperforming, but they refer to it as the upside potential for growth. Manufactured housing is underperforming. Note the difference between RVs 20 years ago, and MH 20 years ago. No one else has advanced a thesis as logical and compelling. To date, Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington have not even attempted to refute the claims. Will they today?

The puzzle pieces fit, which is what Occam’s Razor calls for in its test of reason.  Otherwise, observers are to believe that Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, and MHI staff are all incompetent?  That they don’t know how to grow this industry that used to produce hundreds of thousands of homes per year?  That they can’t achieve growth during an affordable housing crisis? That’s absurd.

Once more, the powers that be are invited to refute or explain away these concerns and allegations. Or they can keep using diversionary tactics, while the industry’s shipments have shrunk for 7 months, during an affordable housing crisis?  Absurd. Preposterous.  Impossible to believe, unless the powers that be want it to be so.

And on that note, let’s call it a morning, as the sky suggests that the dawn will soon break.  We pray that dawn will be a sign for this once far greater industry that a new day is coming.  But like the founders and generations before us, freedom won’t be free. It will only come from a struggle.  That struggle begins with understanding the issues, which hopefully this report, fact-check, and analysis has helped shed fresh light upon.

It is long past time to break up the monopolists, using existing federal and state laws.  As Secretary Carson said about a different topic last night on Tucker Carlson’s show, “enforce the law.”

That’s this morning’s first look at “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Industry news, commentary, fact-checks, and analysis.) ##

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Sign Up Today!

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

Related Reports:

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

Dr. Ben Carson Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Housing Conference Remarks New Orleans, Louisiana, Hyatt Regency Hotel, May 7, 2019

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

MHARR Calls on HUD Secretary to End Discriminatory And Exclusionary Zoning of HUD-Regulated Manufactured Homes

Ultimate, Proven Contrarian Investing – Ethical vs. Unethical, Legal vs Illegal Manufactured Housing Industry Strategies

Rope-a-Dope – Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, Mom, Dad, & You

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Gedo, Partner at ManageAmerica, Raises Clayton Homes Monopolistic Practices Debate; Manufactured Housing Institute Related Issues

May 18th, 2019 Comments off

 

AndyGedoPhotoManageAmericaPartnerLinkedInDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Andy Gedo’s LinkedIn profile says he is a “Partner at ManageAmerica.” They are on online property management platform, that cites manufactured housing as one of their specialties. They are active at Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) events, and per sources, an MHI member.

 

To set the stage for the discussion that follows, let’s note that Gedo – who entered into a public online discussion this week with our publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach on LinkedIn regarding Clayton Homes – previously posed a question to George F. Allen.

Gedo asked Allen a question about one of Allen’s posts, “George, please provide the details of your proforma $12,000 annual expense budget for a 200 site community.  That amount doesn’t even cover a Manager’s salary for such a community.  What am I missing?”  It was a perfectly reasonably question.

Allen’s response?  There was none.  To which Tony Kovach, after liking Gedo’s question, posted this: “George, Andy Gedo has asked a relevant question.  Where is your reply, sir?  How can you claim to educate, when you won’t answer questions?  Isn’t that part of the educational process, Q&As?” For more on Allen, Joe Stegmayer, MHI and related, click here.

That post and exchange reveals several things, because Tony Kovach previously asked Allen a question about another post. Allen’s reply? None.

The first reasonable takeaway is that respectful discussion – which can include direct questions, even pointed questions – are a potentially useful facet of social media.

With that backdrop, Gedo, who’s firm’s website says started in 1999, asked about a post made by our publisher earlier this week.  Here is the link to the that LinkedIn post, and the screen capture below is a reflection of the linked article that Gedo to, which sets the stage for the online discussion.

 

KevinClaytonAnswersCNBCsMonopolyQuestionLinkedInPostManufacturedHousingMHProNews

AndyGedoPhotoManageAmericaLinkedInManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Here’s Gedo’s comment/reaction to that public social media post. “Come on Tony, her question wasn’t whether Clayton/Berkshire intends to monopolize the entire homebuilding industry, but rather whether they intend “own every aspect” of it — to vertically integrate, not own the entire thing.”   The “her” Gedo was referring to is CNBC’s Diana Olick, who covers real estate news for the business focused, left-of-center news website.

Here’s Tony’s reply, with the typos like ‘distinction’ in original.

Its a distiction without a difference Andy.  Perhaps you’ve missed what HousingWire, Bloomberg LATonyKovachMHanufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingProNewsConsultantIndustryExpertor others have spotlighted?  Warren Buffett said he had 3 percent of brokerage in an annual letter, and added “Only “97 percent to go.” Google it.  That said, I respect your question.  Try explaining these facts, linked below.  Kevin, Tim, and their attorneys have declined.  Why not try to explain it for them?

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

We routinely invite Clayton, 21st, and MHI to respond, or dispute our concerns. Why do they duck that, if there is nothing to hide?  So back to your question. CNBC is perhaps the first in mainstream media for a while that asked that question that way. It lacked a follow up, but at least they deserve credit for asking about the growing concerns not just here, but in other mainstream media that use the word “monopoly” when it comes to Clayton and Berkshire.  Those other media are found linked here.

http://mhpronews.com/blogs/tonykovach/ultimate-proven-contrarian-investing-ethical-vs-unethical-legal-vs-illegal-manufactured-housing-industry-strategies/

AndyGedoLinkedInManufacturedHomeCommunitiesPhotoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsGedo rapidly posted on LinkedIn the following retort. As MHProNews has often done for several years, we’ve turned the quoted text brown and bold to make it pop, but the comments are otherwise unedited in any material fashion.

Tony, the CNBC interviewer’s question was:  “Your parent company, Berkshire Hathaway owns a real estate brokerage, it owns an insulation company, it owns a Benjamin Moore… and it owns [Clayton Homes, which has bought 9 site-built homebuilders].  Is this their master plan, to own every aspect of the U.S. housing market?”   Kevin Clayton gives an honest and revealing answer that explains why Berkshire believes that owning both manufactured and conventional builders will enable them to realize efficiencies by “blurring the lines” between the two.  Both the question and the answer are about vertical integration, not monopolistic practices.   You are still entitled to your opinion about whether Clayton wields monopoly power, but it isn’t addressed in this interview, and that is obvious to anyone who bothers to watch it with an unbiased eye.”

Gedo was clearly posing a thoughtful defense for Clayton Homes via his comments.  That’s fair, and MHProNews editorially respects that, and encourages others to do the same.

Tony praised Gedo for his effort.

Andy, kudos on giving it a good shot, sir! Again, it is a distinction without a difference. Kevin’s reply is quoted at length in the linked report:

http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/antitrust-heats-up-with-supreme-court-ruling-monopolization-legal-experts-weigh-in-clayton-related-comment-connection/

We don’t duck the facts, we check ’em.

Kevin didn’t deny the trend toward monopoly. What he did was say it was a 100 year plan, and yes, it includes ‘blurring the lines.’”

Our publisher then pivoted back to Gedo’s original question, which said in part: “…her [CNBC’s Oleck] question wasn’t whether Clayton/Berkshire intends to monopolize the entire homebuilding industry…” With that part of Gedo’s question in mind, Kovach said he added this in his publicly posted reply.

Italics, bold and brown – as before – are added for publication here to make it ‘pop,’ but the text by Tony is as in the original post.

ManufacturedHmeIndustryAchieveGreatPotentialAddressingResolvingCauseCorePerceptionIssuesLATonyKovachQuotePresentationPhoto

Look, you or anyone can ignore what The Nation, OpenMarkets, the Atlantic, Guru Focus, or the Seattle Times published. It isn’t as if it is just MHProNews, is it?

Which begs the question. Why aren’t others in the industry’s trade media raising this issue? Why are so many – perhaps out of fear, going along to get along, etc. – not saying publicly what they discuss privately? Even George Allen, before he was re-embraced by Arlington, raised the issue of “oligarchy” and the problem of consolidation. That’s a polite phrase for alleged monopolistic practices. Please look at the links shared, and respond to those. Then, get your friends in Arlington and Knoxville to reply directly. It’d be the hottest read in MH. Feedback welcome. Thx.”

The Seattle Times in a May 18, 2018 article touched on the issue of ongoing federal investigations of Clayton Homes.

But Tony went further, adding follow up questions for Gedo.

Andy, now let me ask you a few questions, please. I think your firm is an MHI member, right? How do you explain the fact that MHI doesn’t have the Ben Carson speech on their website?

Why doesn’t MHI respond to attacks by MHAction? Or the John Oliver video?

Frank Rolfe, an MHI member, pointed out some years back that MHI fails to either promote good third party news, or defend against third party attacks. We’ve followed the pattern since then. There is evidence for Frank’s concerns.

Tim Williams, while MHI Chairman, said there is a good case to make to defend against every attack. So, why hasn’t MHI done so? Who benefits from 7 months of dropping year-over-year shipments? Consolidators?”

 

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoMHISiteSearchMHProNews

The same was true early this morning. Do you think they will update it during this weekend? Add the Carson speech next week? Ever? If not, why not?

 

The Value of Andy Gedo’s Comments

Now, there could be many possible reasons why Gedo didn’t respond further, as of 6:53 AM ET.  We encourage him or others interested in the discussion to do so.  Again, that LinkedIn post and related question thread is linked here.

It must be noted that Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, other Berkshire Hathaway brands, and numbers of individuals associated with the Arlington, VA based MHI monitor and/or engage there. Why didn’t they weigh into that discussion?

That’s just part of the value of the discussion that Gedo launched.

There could be several reasons why MHI has not yet posted the useful and encouraging Secretary Ben Carson New Orleans speech, or the positive National Association of Realtors (NAR) research by Scholastica Cororaton, or the comments MHI used to publicize – but stopped doing a few years ago – about Eric Belsky about manufactured housing as of 6:59 AM ET.

But that begs the question.  Why are they failing to do what Tim Williams, Frank Rolfe, and others have said is an obvious, useful or logical need?  The possibly reply to that is what Tony Kovach posted “Who benefits from 7 months of dropping year-over-year shipments? Consolidators?”  Kovach noted that even George Allen used to point to the same types of problems, until he was ‘re-embraced’ by MHI leaders, like Kevin Clayton or Joe Stegmayer.

 

WeveGotAProblemGeorgeFAllenQuoteCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOMobileHomeParkManufacturedHomesMHProNews

To see more disconnects between Allen and his flip-flops, then and now, click here. ‘Even a stopped clock is right twice daily.’ See the John Oliver Mobile Homes fact check here.

 

There will be a special report tomorrow morning that will be a ‘taking it to the next level’ report. Watch for it.

In the meantime, two prior quotes will be useful to end on here, after making the following observation.  Thousands of manufactured home industry – along with hundreds of other professionals interested in or researching the industry – logon daily, not for mere opinions. They can go elsewhere for more colorful if routine opinions, but rather, they come here for fact checks, analysis, and answers to the questions that no other trade publisher in the industry is addressing.

The National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) broke away from MHI, precisely because they were not effective at their stated claims.

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) is an independent producer’s association.  For obvious disclosures sake, they are also a sponsor at this site. That said, they don’t control our content – nor do our parent company’s other clients or sponsors. We control our content, based on what seems to be relevant to the industry’s needs, timely issues, topics, and related factory-built housing industry interests.

Given a 7-month downturn of HUD Code manufactured home shipments during an affordable housing crisis, the industry is perched for a new round of consolidation – that is a virtual given.  Especially so, if there is no turn around.  Why has Clayton or MHI ducked that vexing issue?  Why has Clayton’s parent company – Berkshire Hathaway – not used their own BH Media Group to publish articles on manufactured housing that counter the negative media accounts?

But those obvious disconnects beg the questions: why has Buffett/Berkshire apparently used ‘dark money’ channels to de facto help fund MHAction?  Or why fund the Center for Public Integrity, which did the first Clayton Homes/Seattle Times expose?  Why support Prosperity Now, which opposed MHI backed Preserving Access?

To understand the full scope of the arguably deceptive web of traps that have been laid for unwitting manufactured home independents and investors in certain publicly traded firms, click here for more details and analysis.

If mere ‘opinion’ was what readers got here, this platform wouldn’t be the industry’s runaway largest audience by far reading reports like this. For more details, click the below.

 

B2B Statistics, Trends 2019 – April 2019 Snapshot of Manufactured Home Professional Readers

In a small industry, to have over 12,000 logons daily with well in April is an astonishing market penetration. In 12 months, over 16,818,375 pages have been viewed here on MHProNews. To grasp that number, picture a stack of over 525,574  32-page magazines piled high. That blows away anything in manufactured housing. To learn more, click the linked text-image box above.

Do draw this towards a close this Saturday, those who have the time and want to truly understand what is occurring in their industry, there is no other manufactured housing trade media analysis that has even dared scrutinize the facts like those linked here which Gedo, Clayton, or MHI have not responded to publicly. What are they skittish over?

Why are others in the industry trade media afraid to check those facts which quote Kevin Clayton, Warren Buffett, and Tim Williams, word for word?

Apparently so. No investor or professional can understand manufactured housing without understanding the ‘elephant in the room.’ That’s Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, and also Knoxville metro-based Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).

Andy Gedo is to be commended for making professional yet pointed questions. We welcome those. They clarify that what is occurring is more than opinion. We welcome him continuing the discussion, if he so chooses.

The startling issue is why others manufactured housing trade publishing or bloggers have ignored what the Nation, The Atlantic, GuruFocus, Forbes, The Hustle, the Seattle Times, or the Jacksonville Florida Times Union have reported that point to similar concerns that MHProNews and/or MHARR, or NAMHCO have raised. It’s not like we are crazed rogues, rather, we cover topics that others have – only we’ve done so with more focus, details, and depth. We’ve invited the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies to weigh in. Silence. At least Andy Gedo tried.

Note that those linked mainstream media reports above sources span the left-right political/media divides? So, Andy Gedo and others – with all due respect – the facts are what they are.

Dr_Ben_Carson__wikipedia

Dr. Ben Carson, HUD Secretary, official photo. See his full speech in New Orleans, linked here, along with videos, and more. Note: we claim zero influence with Sec Carson, but it is interesting to note that his comments dovetailed with several points found in MHProNews, and in Tony Kovach comments letters to HUD.

When HUD Secretary Ben Carson tells MHI members to their faces that it is time to end the secret of manufactured housing, that should be a wakeup call to the industry and its many investors,” said industry expert, publisher, and former MHI member L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “MHI members have to ask why the Arlington based trade group have not touted to the whole world Secretary Carson’s entire speech?  Why hasn’t Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway, or the BH Media Group done so? Why not use their media contacts and self-proclaimed ‘clout’ to publicize this good news for most manufactured housing industry professionals and possible consumers? Kevin Clayton and Tim Williams – they are educated, and intelligent professionals.  Are we to believe that they are hiding the good news about manufactured homes? If so, why?  Who benefits from hiding the truths about manufactured homes? Perhaps as or more important, how many millions are being harmed?  How much does this cost manufactured housing independents every year?”

Such pertinent, ‘evergreen’ questions are not found anywhere else presently in MHVille’s trade media.  Why not?  Rather, there is an almost echo-chamber like effect, which sings various pages out of the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington hymnal.  But if that song book is resulting in loss of shipments year-over-year, and more consolidations, why sing along?

Perhaps that is why our readers are voting with their browsers, tablets, smartphones, and time here on MHProNews and MHLivingNews because this is where they find news, analysis, fact-checks and commentary that holds together and makes troubling sense.

SubmitNewsTipsCommentsLettersToEditorMHProNews

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 or Industry Comments in the subject line.

The next step in untying the Gordian knots of manufactured housing will be unveiled tomorrow morning. Watch for it.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

AllTruthPassesThroughThreestagesFirstRidiculedSecondViolatentlyOpposedThirdAcceptedAsbeingselfEvidentAuthurSchopenhauerIZQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

FurtherSocietyDriftsFromTruthMoreItWillHateThoseWhoSpeakItGeorgeOrwellQuoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Right is right even if no one is right. Wrong is wrong even if everyone is wrong. Objectivity, an issue that Andy Gedo correctly raised, is valuable. That takes time and discernment.

That’s today chapter for manufactured housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Related Reports:

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

Antitrust Heats Up With Supreme Court Ruling, Monopolization Legal Experts Weigh In, Clayton-Related Comment Connection

 

Tariffs “…Will Effect Demand,” says Kevin Clayton, Answers CNBC’s Monopoly Question – Video – plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

 

Inside Scoop on the Manufactured Housing Industry in Memes

Ultimate, Proven Contrarian Investing – Ethical vs. Unethical, Legal vs Illegal Manufactured Housing Industry Strategies

Ultimate, Proven Contrarian Investing – Ethical vs. Unethical, Legal vs Illegal Manufactured Housing Industry Strategies

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues, May Updates

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance – Investor Lessons Learned

May 11th, 2019 Comments off

 

ClaytonHomesLogo21stMortgageLogoVanderbiltMortgageLogoInvestorProfessionalManufacturedHomeLessonsLearnedMHProNews

The past is prologue ideally to be learned from. When an error is made, it could be ignored, covered up, or deflected by some razzle-dazzle style head-fake. Or an error can be admitted, addressed, amends made as possible, and then one can advance with head held high.

 

 

The Daily Business News on MHProNews pondered separating these three Berkshire Hathaway owned company snapshots.  But Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF) are so interconnected, and the lessons learned for investors and MHVille pros are so interrelated, that it made more sense to do this as one overview article that acts as a hub to several other linked reports.

With that said, let’s note that the nature of a con is that someone is deceived by some form of ruse. The goal of the ruse or con is to separate ‘the Mark(s)’ – the targeted victim(s) – from something valuable.

The hypothetical case for a con job in manufactured housing only requires a few people to be in the know. Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, and Tim Williams would logically be among those purportedly in on such a con job that rigs the market by using political connections, nonprofits, financing, stirring up bad news, and other means.

The vast majority who work with or for those three people have no need to know. Hundreds or thousands in their employ might be terrific personally, and unaware of the ploy. One must be fair and separate wheat from chaff.

So, for surrogates of the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis who scoff at “conspiracy theories,” they are either ignorant pawns, lack discernment, are liars, part of the head-fake, or cowardly sycophants – take your pick. By the way, linking some doesn’t mean or imply that there aren’t others.  There are some mouthpieces that arguably clean up their act better than others do.

 

The Elephant in The Room

The content and links herein set the stage for almost everything else that matters in manufactured housing today vs. 20 years ago.  To understand an industry, one must grapple with the realities of the elephant in the room.

After repeated and documented offers to leaders at Clayton, 21st, VMF, and MHI to clarify, correct any factual errors or offer an alternative explanation, they’ve remained silence.  That’s not proof that what is found herein or that is linked is correct.  But given that we have faithfully quoted Warren Buffett, Tim Williams, and Kevin Clayton at length and in their own words, that’s a good indicator that we are onto something significant.  The fact that we are the most read means something too.

 

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

Regular readers who already know that definitive report linked above on MHLivingNews backwards and forward, know that the evidence to support the allegations of manufactured home market-rigging with related antitrust violations are compelling.

Who says? Numerous everyday industry professionals, but also attorneys, including those into antitrust law.

Furthermore, as noted, we’ve given repeated opportunities to

  • the Claytons,
  • Tim Williams/21st,
  • MHI,
  • their attorneys,
  • and the MHI’s outside attorney assigned to ‘deal’ with us on MHI’s behalf

chances to respond in writing or live in public. No direct replies in the last year from them have denied or explained away any of our fact-checks or reports.  But there have been plenty apparent ‘over the target’ reactions from their surrogates like ones linked here and here, etc.

There are also lesser-known surrogates that have allegedly been used by the axis.  We see no value to mentioning them now.  There has also been legal saber rattling, and other ploys we won’t dive into today.  Clearly, they’ve not been successful in deterring our reports, fact-checks, and analysis.

Before making the investment case for manufactured housing, let’s make the Manufactured Housing Case as a prime solution for the well-known affordable housing crisis in brief.  Because in a housing industry that does well over a trillion dollars a year in business, the potential for manufactured housing could well be over $100 billion a year, not the paltry under $8 billion achieved in 2018.  Manufactured homes are the most proven form of affordable housing.

 

UltimateManufacturedHomeHousingInfographicNotMobileHomeTrailerHouseFactoryBuiltHomeIndustryDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews-600

 

As you ponder motivation for doing what Buffett and his brothers in MHVille are doing or why, ponder the business potential reflected below every few years. There are few if any industries that have more upside.  You can quickly see why someone who thinks long term could be willing to accept millions of lower profits now, in order to gain billions more later, right?

 

CashPileMillionBillion100billionTrillionDollarInfographicManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

U.S. housing sales are about a 1.67 trillion a year business in 2018.

 

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

 

 

Making the Case for Manufactured Homes

This week, HUD Secretary Ben Carson has made a fine summary case for manufactured housing.  It is linked below.

 

 

Oddly, as of 9:30 ET on this date, that speech by Sec. Carson – delivered to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) in New Orleans – is not found on the MHI website. That’s significant and is part of a wider pattern, as will be reflected later.

 

HUDSecBenCarsonNOLOManufacturedHousingInstitutelogoMHIlogo2019-05-11_0933MHProNews

 

Over the years on our 2 industry-leading trade media sites, we’ve complied decades of federal, non-profit, university-level, and other third-party research.  Recently, we took some of the best or most significant of those items and published them at the link below.

 

 

Properly understood, that third party research plus Secretary Carson’s comments, collectively make a compelling fact-based case for manufactured homes.  The common concerns about manufactured homes are routinely and readily debunked.  That can be done by using non-MH industry sponsored research.

 

EvidenceDisprovedMisconceptionStereptypesContinuedInfluenceLocalGovernmentsRestrictionsQuoteLisaTylerPhDExamingAttitudesManufacturedHousingMHProNews

The quote is from a doctoral dissertation that used reams of university-level, peer reviewed research. Dr. Tyler was invited by this writer to participate in various panels. Her work merits attention.  Which begs the question, why didn’t MHI invite or promote her work?

 

Once more, those research documents are routinely not to be found on the MHI Website. Why not?

 

NARNationalAssociationofRealtorsScholasticaGayCororatonGAOReportMHIlogowebsiteManufacturedHousingInstituteLogo2019-05-11_0949MHProNews

MHProNews has been spotlighting this issue for months, of MHI not proving useful research on their website. The decline in shipments continues. Perhaps if they are embarrassed publicly long and often enough, they will finally do something common sense that gets to the heart of the industry’s challenges? Until then, as of the date/time shown, there are numerous, useful, third-party research reports that are not to be found on the MHI website.

 

Three of those more recent linked reports, pardon the plug, happen to name me and/or one of our publications in a footnote or acknowledgement. It’s not bragging when it is true. It is important to note as it acknowledges our expertise in this realm.  So too does the praise by many of the same professionals we’ve been compelled by evidence to now critique. It is evidence of several reasons why MHProNews/MHLivingNews and this writer should be taken seriously, because the opposition does.

Sometimes, you are better known by those who oppose you.

That segue aside, there’s over twenty years of research that makes the compelling case for manufactured housing.

Which begs the questions. Why doesn’t MHI have all this potentially useful research on their website? Or Clayton on theirs?  Again, perhaps they will at some point – out of pressure – finally do the obvious.  But as of the date of this report, such research was absent on the MHI website. Let’s consider a related issue to the point that Dr. Tyler’s quoted comment could address, if it was being used.

TimWilliams21stMortgageCEOthenMHIChairmanGoodArgumentsRefuteEveryStatisticsRespondEveryStoryPBSDIckErnstDailyBusinessNewsmHPronews

Why has MHI for some time failed to mention Enhanced Preemption?  By contrast, why does the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) website have several mentions of the same topic?

 

EnhancedPreemptionMHIWebsiteSearch

Both sources with MHI, and MHI’s outside counsel, have stated that they monitor our website. They’ve been asked directly about this issue. No changes. Given the issues the industry faces on zoning and placement, why are they allowing one of the best arguments to go unused? This was rechecked at 2:58 PM ET, on 5.11.2019. Same result.

 

EnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform4-26-2019ManufacturedHomesMHProNews

 

 

The answers, the evidence suggests, is because the first – MHI – postures promoting manufactured homes. They do enough promotion to be able to say that they promote. The second trade group – MHARR – isn’t marketing focused, they are federal regulatory focused, but often have powerful facts useful for researchers and marketers alike.

However one wants to spin it, MHI and Clayton are either ineffective, and/or nowhere achieving their capabilities or capacity. How is it possible that a fairly modest organization like our LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – the parent company to MHProNews and MHLivingNews – are doing more effective promotions than far bigger and better funded operations do? Why are we able to achieve local results that blows their results away? Why has Clayton purchased locations that we’ve performed coaching and business development services at?  These are a few interesting questions we will allow to hang out for now.

Keep in mind that the Berkshire Hathaway brands of Clayton Homes, 21st, and VMF dominate MHI through dues, via influence on their executive committee, their sway at the state association level, and also via their influence over several individual members.

Yesterday, we did a similar but shorter report on Nathan Smith of SSK Communities. Thousands of industry professionals have already flocked to that report. Smith and SSK have reportedly done business with Clayton and 21st for years.

 

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, Manufactured Housing Institute Leader, Profitably Correcting the Record

 

Rephrased, the Arlington, VA based MHI to a high degree does whatever their Omaha-Knoxville master’s and their ‘big boy’ colleagues want. An award-winning MHI success story has said as much. No questions need to be asked, no explanation of a plot has to be shared; if a directive is given by the powers that be, a directive is followed.

Simple. Easy.

Ergo, there is no need for a conspiracy, when raw power working quietly in the daylight will do.  It is entirely plausible that some at MHI or elsewhere in other nonprofits had no clue as to how they were being used.  They may well have had plausible deniability, that is, until they read about it here on MHProNews and/or on MHLivingNews. 

Frankly, given their deep pockets, it is stunning that they’ve not already sued us, even if they arguably have no valid case against us.  Either way, the as yet unchallenged evidence linked is published for readers like you to ponder and discern for yourself.

 

Third Party Investor Research

There are routine contacts of our operation from a variety of sources. Among the investor contacts was one that indicated they’d studied the kind of ‘strategies and tactics’ employed by Buffett and the Claytons – but they witnessed that in other industries first.  To that operation, what they’ve read here and on our sister site MHLivingNews is stating the obvious.  To them, it is part of the broader pattern of monopoly power being exercised in America.

But that knowledge of their tactics is not deterring them from advancing their own plans in factory-built housing. They believe they can outperform the Claytons. Hold that thought.

About two years ago, MHProNews floated the notion that Amazon could easily enter factory-built housing industry. They were already promoting the sales of container housing.  Last year, Amazon started that process of directly entering factory-home building via their Alexa Fund investment in Plant Prefab.  See the quotes in the infographic above.

SoftBank’s support for modular builder Katerra is noteworthy too. They could, in theory, rapidly rival Clayton in a few years.

Google is experimenting with modular at their own offices.  Other ex- or current-Silicon Valley giants are exploring the industry too.

We won’t go through a litany of other poised to get in, because some of those contacts have asked for anonymity as they prepare their own launches.  To show the flip side, there are investors like Robert Robotti, who for some time cheered manufactured homes.  He’s cooled since.  But my hunch is he didn’t grasp the undercurrents.  Robotti may not have read between the lines on MHI’s now exited president and CEO, in his parting message to the industry.

 

“Out-Performing the Market” Robert Robotti, Value Investing, and Manufactured Housing

But the examples shown reveal that there are those who ‘get it’ about factory-home building. From more modest investors who are thinking in terms of placing a few million into the mix – up to giant-sized firms or investment groups that could enter with a splash – there are several who ‘get it.’

Some in their own words have said that they want to set themselves apart by being ‘white hat’ firms in the manufactured, modular, or prefabricated industry, vs. the ‘black hats’ that posture being a ‘white hat.’

 

Manufactured Housing – White Hats, Black Hats, Investing, Consumers, MH Independents

 

What hat color does Buffett’s brands sport?

Let’s share some screen captures, thirds-party videos, and  links to our own research to allow our readers to answer that question for themselves. Because while vexing to the industry, it spells opportunities in disguise for those who grasp nettles.

 

LeadersGraspNettlesDavidOgilvyFatherModernMarketingQuoteMHProNews

 

Before diving in, here’s the bottom line for investors.  Clayton and Berkshire’s MH brands, per sources, posture nice, but can play rough.  You as an investor must be willing to fight that fight. Current industry pros, the same thing holds true.

 

Mobile Home Militia – “Clayton [Homes] Wants Your Cornbread Too” “Join the Revolution” – ‘You Gotta Have Swagger’

 

But here is the huge potential takeaway for savvy investors with chutzpah.  There are already good laws on the books that if enforced would ‘unchain’ manufactured housing.  For those that need an expert = who want to do a White Hat operation = and can budget for that role to guide that process successfully, click here.

 

 

To sum up, the potential to earn millions to billions in manufactured housing exists. One can make the argument that Clayton/MHI and other nonprofits have allowed and/or deliberately stirred up bad news to suppress and understanding of the industry. The opportunities are so big, they wanted to hide them in plain sight.  That logically helps explain why useful or good news is hidden from the public on the MHI or Clayton sites. To learn more, click the article linked above and below.

 

 

Having teed this up, let’s review the evidence for ‘black hat’ activities alleged by others against Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes, or their lenders. Because what that reveals is this. Those willing to invest, mix it up, and be the white hat in specific markets can demonstrably jump ahead rapidly.  Because there is a hunger for affordable housing.  The evidence supports HUD Code manufactured housing’s value.

A few power players may be keeping their foot on the industry’s brakes, in order to consolidate more of manufactured housing at a discount.  But have they overplayed their hand?

 

“Kevin…the Problem of Your Industry…”

 

 

Are they now stuck, having their grand scheme revealed here?

 

 

Warren Buffett’s Profitable Lessons for Manufactured Housing

 

Investors must weigh the pros and cons of that evidence for themselves, but we are presenting a sampling of the evidence of purported black hat activity, which in the light of the video posted below, reveals the value of what white hat activity could achieve. Note, we’ve since parted ways with the videographer that produced this for us – my bad for not checking his credentials more closely.

That said, the value of this video is significant on several levels to investors, skeptics, the pubic – and us too.  Note how Jim Clayton finished this video?  Is this among the reasons why the ‘big boys’ have rattled sabers, but have not in fact acted legally?

 

 

Let’s sample some pro Clayton videos they’ve made or spotlighted themselves, and then contrast those with videos by others.

 

 

Clayton Homes Third Party Videos

To be fair, here is a video that Clayton produced. It’s a fine video.  It purports to address the image issue.  Published on Sep 1, 2017, it has had as of this morning 8,985 views this morning, per their YouTube page, which said the following.

Clayton Unveils Have It Made Campaign: Clayton, one of the largest home builders in America, is kicking off its biggest marketing campaign to date focused on how its building process can help provide affordable housing to hardworking families.”

 

 

Let’s contrast that Clayton video with a customer-produced video posted by Ted Davis and published on Apr 7, 2017. Also as of this morning, Davis’ video had 22,738 views.  Keep in mind Davis has done more than one such video, as have scores of other Clayton, 21st or VMF customers.

Here’s what Davis said on the YouTube page. For first time visitors, bear in mind that on MHProNews and MHLivingNews we often turn direct quotes bold and brown, to make them pop. Otherwise, the text is as in the original.

 

My Clayton Manufactured Home Features .. Fake Studs

We bought a Clayton Manufactured Home summer of 2015. It wasn’t my first choice, but it was what was available. It would appear that Warren Buffet owns Clayton, and they have bought up several lesser mobile home companies, removing a lot of competition.

If you listen to Clayton, they want you to think they have a quality product, and they say they will stand behind it. So far, they have fixed a few things for us.

However, if they actually had a quality product, the repairs would NOT have been necessary. They say their product is built to HUD standards. HUD must have way different standards for mobile homes vs. site built.

Check my videos of things we have had problems with.

  • Plumbing … bad faucets, leaking pipes, pipes that fell off at a touch. The master bath tub faucets weren’t even connected to any pipes.
  • Wiring … I have never seen hardware like this before. Strange light fixtures, plugs, and switches.
  • Doors … I have discovered that the interior doors seem to be made of cardboard, as well as the door frames. Also some don’t fit right.
  • Interior studs … they are fake, little bits and pieces glued together.
  • Sheetrock … less than a half inch
  • Assembly is with tons of staples and some glue. I haven’t found any framing nails yet.
  • The lids on the toilets were cheap plastic. One broke when I sat on it the first day in the house. I now have real, wood, lids.
  • The house was supposed to have compact fluorescent lights installed. Didn’t have any. Not a single one.
  • They DID get us really nice decks, front and back, including a wheelchair ramp on the front one.”

 

 

 

For newcomers to manufactured housing, please note that there are legitimate answers to the issues and concerns that Davis raised.  Why weren’t they addressed?  Does Clayton want the blowback, so that more decide not to buy a manufactured home at this time?

The most common sense reputation defenses are often not followed by Clayton.  Why not, given Buffett’s statements about defending reputation?  Our sources in Clayton tell us that cancellation of retail orders or agreements are becoming more commonplace, more so now than in days gone by.

 

WarrenBuffettQuoteCantBePerfrectCanAffordLoseMoneyNotShredReputationMeasureActWhatIsLegalHappyToHaveUnfriendlyButIntelligentReporterWriteFrontPageMHProNews

 

Prefabulous® is the latest Clayton Homes campaign. From their YouTube page,

Prefabulous® Clayton Homes. Published on Feb 12, 2019, “We’re building homes a different way. A smarter way. Homes that are beautiful, strong and, most of all, affordable. That’s Prefabulous®.” As of this morning, it has had 6,475 views.

Again, in fairness to Clayton, the video is cool. Quality. It is techy.  It aims at Millennials.

 

 

But the numbers of YouTube views tells the key point of the story.  Are we to believe that Clayton can’t do a better job than this paltry total?  Or is this in fact evidence that it is a fig leaf?  Window dressing? Are videos and campaigns that don’t move the needle much at MHI or Clayton ploys that look real enough to the underinformed? When in fact they routinely fail to hit the bulls eye of what keeps Americans from even considering a manufactured home, much less buying one?

Let’s let those questions soak in, as you consider the following.

By contrast, as was reported, documented, and has gone unchallenged by the powers-that-be at the links herein, Warren Buffett, via ‘dark money’ channels provided funding to Manufactured Housing Action or “MHAction.”  Buffett has de facto funded other nonprofits that have attacked the industry, and his own brands too.

MHAction and two other nonprofits teamed up to do a white paper, that was spotlighted by the Washington Post, along with others in mainstream media. A few weeks later, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver featured a report that spotlighted that same MHAction white paper.  Oliver’s viral video was errantly dubbed “Mobile Homes,” and you can see it either linked here with an analysis or below.

Published on Apr 7, 2019, it says, Mobile Homes: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) and has had 5,867,951 views.  Put differently, in less time, it has had almost 100 views to every view of Clayton’s Prefabulous®.  Ouch.

 

 

Ask yourself this question. Which video – Prefabulous® or Oliver’s Mobile Homes – is having more of an impact on the marketplace?

Isn’t the answer obvious?

Again, there are answers to each of the concerns raised by Oliver, which to demonstrate, are summed up in the link below.

 

https://www.jacksonville.com/opinion/20190420/letter-affordable-mobile-homes-are-desperately-needed

 

Why didn’t Clayton or MHI reply publicly to Oliver’s hit?

Is this only a recent pattern?  Or are there other examples of bad news being created by Berkshire brands in MHVille that date back years?  Let’s look.

This next video by Democracy Now, a progressive media operation.  It spotlights both FEMA woes tied to Clayton, and also the Haiti issues that Clayton and the Clinton Foundation became embroiled in.

 

 

In fairness, here is what Clayton homes published on YouTube as an apparent response to the criticism. “ClaytonHomes, Published on Aug 24, 2010.  Per their YouTube statement, “Just after the earthquake in Haiti, Clayton Homes contacted The Clinton Foundation to offer assistance. As the world’s largest manufactured home builder, Clayton Homes was happy to help, and has already built 20 new classrooms and hopes to be able to provide more in the future.”

 

 

Reality Check appears to be a right-of-center commentator, and they published this below about the Haitan incident. Reality Check: If Haiti Is a “S***hole” Country, Who Is Really to Blame?

 

 

 

The Democracy Now video had less views than Reality Check, but both blew away the views of Clayton’s posted video on Haiti.

But none of those videos were as impactful as the mainstream news reports that others carried at that time.  The Clayton/Haiti tale is one that points to broader issues of how certain reports linger briefly, and are forgotten.  But not by all.  While Clayton wasn’t specifically mentioned in this next video, housing provided is alluded to, and the Reality Check video above shows Kevin Clayton with Bill Clinton in Haiti.

 

 

 

Bear in mind that all of this is connected to Warren Buffett, who backed Secretary Hillary Clinton in 2016, and backed Barack Obama, who helped impose Dodd-Frank on banking, which also drove manufactured home lenders out of business. Once more, that’s not meant as a slam on Democrats.  There are examples of corruption in both major parties. Manufactured housing is a non-partisan or bipartisan issue.

 

https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/democrats-republicans-agree-manufactured-homes-can-play-a-vital-role-in-easing-the-affordable-housing-shortage/

 

That noted, one can’t overlook the facts of how the game is being played, and how the system is arguably being manipulated in manufactured housing by Clayton, MHI, and others working with them.  It’s the truth hiding in plain

WarrenBuffettBillClintonHillaryClintonBarackObamaKevinClaytonNathanSmithPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

 

We’ll link up related reports, further below.  But this much ought to be clear.  While words like “alleged” need to be used to cover such reports, or attorneys could swarm us, there is significant evidence of the following.

 

  • Clayton Homes and manufactured housing in general are underperforming.
  • Other industry producers essentially make a similar claim, without pointing a finger at MHI or Clayton – that manufactured housing is performing well under historic trends and norms.
  • A new trade association formed last year, that broke away from MHI, specifically stating that they were doing so for a lack of performance by MHI.
  • MHARR exists and resisted merger efforts with MHI for years, because there is no confidence that MHI or their ‘big boy’ masters would properly represent the interests of their members.
  • Clayton Homes and their related lenders have sparked more apparent bad news than good news in mainstream media, and have done so for years – as even this brief survey reflects. While most industry trade media – part of an MHI ‘amen’ corner – avoid that painful reality, facts are what they are.
  • Some of these episodes of bad news can be traced back to donations made by Warren Buffett to various nonprofit organizations, see the report linked here.

 

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

In 1998, manufactured homes (MH) outsold RVs by some 3 to 2. In 2017, RVs outsold MHs by some 5 to 1. RVs recovered far more quickly from 2008. The facts raise questions. One, is the effectiveness of MHI as the post-production or ‘umbrella’ association in the country. The other question is more sobering. Has Buffett-Berkshire “Moat” strategies kept manufactured home production at historically low levels to allow a few big boy brands to consolidate others at a discounted ‘value’ by MHI insiders?

 

Certainly, there is evidence of positive marketing efforts by Clayton and MHI.  But they are widely outperformed by negative mainstream news or consumer created content that rips the company. Even Clayton’s hometown news outlet carried this problematic report about the Knoxville-metro based firm and their lenders. These facts, reason, and evidence beg questions.

 

 

  • Are the Berkshire brands in manufactured housing incompetent?
  • Why is Buffett funding his own opposition? Is Warren Buffett a sadomasochist?  Who would do such a thing?

Frankly, we don’t think they are incompetent or trying to harm themselves per se.  Rather, they are arguably playing the long game.

How else can one explain the periodic, almost routine episodes of bad news sparked by Clayton, and often funded by groups that Warren Buffett has donated to?

SeattleTimesCenterforPublicIntegrityClaytonHomesManufacturedHomeMHProNews4292019

Carefully discerned, the pattern can logically suggest that Clayton is using bad news as another element of the fabled Buffett Moat strategy.  If so, that means that without warning, bad news can hit the industry, which while suppressing Clayton too, arguably harms other businesses with less financial staying power more.

 

The Four Purported Known Elements of the Buffett Moat Strategy

It could be summed up like this.

  • The power to tax is the power to destroy.
  • The power to regulate, is the power to destroy.
  • The power to choke off or limit access to lending or capital is the power to destroy.
  • The power to stoke bad news that harms individual business can over time involve the power to undermine a business’ value, and destroy marginal operations.

 

These bullets means that Clayton can acquire weakened, underperforming businesses at a discount. Recall what Ted Davis posted: “It would appear that Warren Buffet owns Clayton, and they have bought up several lesser mobile home companies, removing a lot of competition.” He’s a layperson, a consumer – and he sees parts of this pattern.

Then line that up with what award-winning, manufactured housing industry veteran Alan Amy said.

 

 

 

 

As to keeping industry shipments low, consider the odd statement by Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison made that seemingly encourages slow growth and low production totals.

 

 

 

When this writer, who did that video interview with Jennison, heard that coming from the mouth of MHI’s CEO, I had to control my composure.  It was a shockingly questionable statement – at best – for the president of the industry’s largest trade association to make at a time when the industry was struggling to recover. Frankly, it did not dawn on me until years later what the actual meaning of that statement from Jennison was.

In hindsight, it is far more revealing than it was at the time. It explains why he gets bonuses that we’ve dubbed failure bonuses.

That’s why history has to be part of such fact-checks.  Buffett is right about this, the rear view mirror is often clearer than the windshield.

In the light of the above, consider the summary graphic about ‘the Moat’ below.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Never forget that even during medieval times, castles and their moats were in fact breached.

 

 

 

Dark Grace…

The argument can be made that each of these examples of ‘black hat’ behavior can be an opportunity in disguise for those willing to behave in a robustly white hat fashion.

There is also an argument to be made that individually or in a local group, white hat firms could forge their own white hat trade group.

There is no need for perfect behavior in business when simple honesty will do. But there is a need for trade groups to have and live up to standards of ethical behavior.  If someone routinely harms the industry’s image, why should they be part of a white had trade group?

For those of us who have been in the manufactured housing business for years, and have dealt with the public directly for years, you know as well as I do that if you treat most people fairly and honestly, they are good customers.  There are a few who sadly try to twist anything to get something for nothing. But they are the exception, not the rule.  Good paperwork can deal with those kinds of clients.

For years, we’ve taught professionals not to oversell or overpromise.  Prepare customers for reality and they will be satisfied.  There is a method for training team members for doing so successfully, where the customers will be happy with what they are sold, and will send you their friends after buying.

Every road block in the industry can routinely be traced back to forces within manufactured housing that are keeping the industry at low ebb.  Who said? Prominent MHI member and controversial critic, Frank Rolfe here and here.

That’s opportunity in disguise.  For those willing to do what’s right, and who aren’t afraid to buck the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis, the upsides are many.  As to risk, there is always some risk.  I can look someone in the eye and tell them about all of the efforts that we believe the evidence suggests how the axis threw a variety of slings and arrows at us, in an attempt to try to drive us out of business.

Yet, we are still standing.

After a dip for a time in readership after an assault from the axis, we’ve not only rebounded, we are about double where we stood a little over a year ago.  Professional readers and investors want the truth.  Our opposition wants to know what’s been published here. Across the spectrum, readers from all sized firms flock here daily by the thousands on the most engaged professional trade media site in all of manufactured housing.

Pros and investors want answers that make sense, not the BS that is being shoved at them by the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis sycophants. Anyone can create an echo chamber, and illusion of cheer leading.  Doing real facts with evidence and ‘follow the money,’ takes time, thought, and preparation.

When there are 7 months of declining shipments during an affordable housing crisis, the nature of the threat and the realities of the industry are becoming more self-evident.

Our efforts – thanks to supporters, sponsors, and sources that are often within the axis – in turn gives hope and encouragement to others. Furthermore, it isn’t just us, because other firms have stood up to the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and can say similarly.

Let’s note briefly a plug with a purpose.  Just as a talk radio station doesn’t expect a sponsor to endorse them, nor does a station endorse the sponsor, so too here there are no requirement that someone has to agree with what we publishSponsors and clients can still benefit from the industry’s biggest and most engaged audience.

CaseyMackTonySoheylaMHProNewsTeamFirstCallDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The plug and related business development points aside, and we could do white hats with our marketing/coaching too – leads me to this point. Frankly, I’m convinced that no one in the industry is coming anywhere close to their potential.  Why?

When 8.3 million housing units are needed, per the National Association of Realtor’s Lawrence Yun – and only factory building can logically close that gap – that means that it is possible for single firms on the production side to be doing hundreds of thousands of units a year.  Rollohome went from start up to 60,000 homes delivered in 2 years. If that could be done before, it can be done even better today. That in turn translates into big upsides for retailers or communities.

All business ultimately comes down to a local sale to a local person.  Just as all politics are local, so too all business is local.

A properly motivated company with the right people and resources can rapidly and profitably grow with proven, honest, ethical, and sustainable approaches. That’s the happy note that we will end this report about Clayton on.

What to do about Clayton’s purported black hat tricks and behavior?  Be the obvious local White Hat.  Do the homework. You’ll see that the opportunities are amazing, but one needs the guts and gumption to get the glory.

 

SubmitNewsTipsCommentsLettersToEditorMHProNews

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 or ‘Comments‘ or ‘Professional Inquiry‘ in the subject line.

That’s this Saturday’s special report on manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use© where  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Sign Up Today!

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

Manufactured Housing’s Professional Credibility

Manufactured Housing – White Hats, Black Hats, Investing, Consumers, MH Independents

 

New Manufactured Home Professional’s Website Nears Launch

 

Declining Manufactured Home Shipments More Serious Than Retailers, Communities Being Told

Lanham Act, Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute, Legal Bullies, and You

Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger Video Interview at Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting on GSEs Lending for Affordable Manufactured Housing and Clayton Homes

Warren Buffett’s Profitable Lessons for Manufactured Housing

George F. Allen’s Unity Call for MHI, MHARR, and National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) Examined

 

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2020 News: Big Brother, Antitrust – Anti-Monopoly – Manufactured Housing, and You

April 26th, 2019 Comments off

 

2020NewsBigBrotherAntiTrustAntiMonopolyManufacturedHousingYouMHProNews

Let’s string together what may seem to be disconnected points, that are in fact quite inter-related.

 

When the New York Times this morning opens with the words, “Joe Biden Announces 2020 Run for President, After Months of Hesitation” that is less than a ringing endorsement by their staff writers.

It is followed by this: “The former vice president has stayed on the sidelines while his record has been scrutinized. His entry is sure to reshape the Democratic primary contest.” Those parts of their morning news are certainly worthy of their flagship role in left-of-center media reporting.

A routine irony in reading the NYTimes is this. They often espouse a worldview where the elite can guide the nation into a better world.  For the NYT, government plays a key role in that vantagepoint.  So, headlines like this next one that is also from the NYTimes reveals that government intervention can often make a problem worse, not better.

NYT Editors’ Picks

San Francisco Had an Ambitious Plan to Tackle School Segregation. It Made It Worse.” By Dana Goldstein, “A system devised to empower parents and integrate schools has not worked as intended, offering a cautionary tale to districts across the country.”

That subject, wittingly or not, is directly connected with access to affordable housing, and thus manufactured homes is in the background of so many of these issues.

Access to affordable housing is one of the larger issues that loom ahead.  So too are antitrust laws, and more.

Among the campaign issues in the various races for 2020 that will impact manufactured housing professionals and investors.  Among them are tax or regulatory policies, antitrust, land use or housing policies, law enforcement in general, finance or access to capital, and any rules or proposed laws that have a manufactured housing specific impact.

Ryan Young at the Competitive Enterprise Institute had this to say yesterday, “Both parties are making antitrust regulation a 2020 campaign issue. Neither President Trump nor most of the Democratic candidates are proposing improvements. Over at the Washington Examiner I take a closer look:

After a two-decade lull following the Microsoft case, big antitrust enforcement cases are back in vogue. Both political parties are making antitrust regulation a 2020 campaign issue. Regulators, politicians, and voters have reasonable concerns about concentrated corporate power. But few policies are easier for big companies to game than antitrust regulation. Reformers should favor having fewer regulations for special interests to capture, not more.”

Quoting that’s should not to be construed as MHProNews necessarily endorsing Young’s views.  Wheat and chaff, with all people and things.

 

AntitrustlawsInvestopediaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNes

 

That disclaimer noted, it is to report that Young’s arguably correct about these aspects of his quoted statement above: “Both parties are making antitrust regulation a 2020 campaign issue,” that’s demonstrably true. Further, “big antitrust enforcement cases are back in vogue. Both political parties are making antitrust regulation a 2020 campaign issue. Regulators, politicians, and voters have reasonable concerns about concentrated corporate power.”

Other than MHProNews, there is no one else in manufactured housing trade media that has seriously dealt with the issue of monopolies, antitrust, and how those topics have and do impact the currently low state of the new manufactured housing industry production, sales and the ripple effect that has throughout the industry.

While others talk about monopolistic practices, say our competitors in trade media, they have largely avoid writing about the topic itself.  That revealing, isn’t it?

Now, hone in on this pull-quote from Young:

But few policies [antitrust law] are easier for big companies to game than antitrust regulation.”  That’s also arguably true, as our reports have tended to reveal.  For years, clever methods have been deployed that have as a goal expanding certain big-boy brands Moats. Those methods are ways to game the system.

As you discern who you plan to support in 2020, keep antitrust regulations and law enforcement in mind.

While the Trump Administration has not yet had a breakout case in antitrust, Young is correct in noting that “After a two-decade lull following the Microsoft case, big antitrust enforcement cases are back in vogue.”

As political realists here at MHProNews, one ought to recognize that the nearly two-year Mueller investigation was a drag on the White House politically. As a political ploy, and speaking from the independent perspective of a non-party aligned publication, the Mueller probe and others like it in Congress were arguably successful in hobbling the GOP during the first two years of the Trump Administration.

That’s now in the rearview mirror.  Useful economic growth policies are a testament to what was done despite a brazen attack on the 2016 election outcome.

So, it is unclear what President Donald J. Trump may or may not have done in the absence of that political assault exemplified by Mueller. That’s not to give the White House a pass, but it is a reality that in fairness ought to be considered.

 

Inside MH…

There is a message circulating yesterday and today from our publisher to specific industry leaders, trade publishers, and personalities. It seeks feedback from them.  Several in the message chain are tied to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, their attorneys, plus others.

Because there are already several federal and other investigations reportedly underway tied to the above, and the potential for more, it may not be a surprise if they continue to sit on their 5th Amendment right to remain silent.  Because anything they say could be used against them later in a court of law. MHProNews will update you on that outreach at an appropriate time.

But mainstream news evidence that such probes are ongoing is found in the video posted below.

 

Public viewing on that video are increasing since the Daily Business News on MHProNews began to post it.  Some things just take time, as Warren Buffett has said himself.

That’s this morning’s first look at “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

ManufacturedHousingProNewsMHProNewsConfidentialTipsDocumentsNews

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.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

1) To sign up in seconds for our MH Industry leading emailed news updates, click here.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To pro-vide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Related Reports:

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

American Pie – The Parody Project – The Day Collusion Died, and Manufactured Home Investing

Draft EO for Trump Administration AntiTrust Order Obtained by MHProNews

Restraint of Trade, Manufactured Housing Institute, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage, and Antitrust Law

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

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