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WAVY, Mainstream TV – HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Innovative Housing Showcase – Clayton Homes, and Berkshire Hathaway Revelations

June 11th, 2019 No comments

 

WAVYMainstreamTVHUDSecretaryBenCarsonInnovativeHousingShowcaseClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayRevelationsManufacturedHomeMHProNews

WAVY is one of several mainstream news outlets that came up in a Google search for “Innovative Housing Showcase” (IHS) and “Manufactured Homes” on 6.10.2019.  That’s more than a full week after the event – which ran from June 1-5, 2019 – began.

 

The WAVY report was fine, with a body of 336 words – not counting the headline, captions, etc. – and included the video posted below, which says it was produced by KNWANorthwest Arkansas News.

 

 

The portion that dealt with manufactured homes read as follows.

Ben Carson, the U.S Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said the federal government is focused on improving  building standards and codes to reduce risks. He said officials are also looking at many options including encouraging alternatives like manufactured homes,” per WAVY and the KNWA video.

They are bolted down to cement foundation. They are better able to withstand hurricanes and tornadoes than site-built homes are,” according to a brief clip with Carson.  But it is unclear from that statement, if Carson was speaking about a “Boxabl” prefab that he is standing in during the interview, and/or if he was speaking about HUD Code manufactured homes.

As manufactured home retailers know, not all manufactured homes are placed on a cement slab foundation, although they must be installed on an approved foundation for the area that it is being placed in.  The short video below sheds some light on the topic for those not familiar with the details.

 

 

Allow us to take a 100 acre area and put in 1,000 units in a matter of days or weeks instead of a year or more,” Carson said about the potential for more rapid post-disaster relief, per WAVY.

The HUD and National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) co-sponsored event can be viewed as positive for the industry.  The reactions from those in various videos taken during the event would reflect that impression.

 

Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Connections, and Revelations

However, upon closer scrutiny, some interesting points emerge both pre-IHS, during their National Mall display, and post-event.

First, “Innovative Housing Showcase” and “Clayton Homes” turns up zero results, as of this morning on the Google search shown below.

 

InnovativeHousingShowcaseClaytonHomes2019-06-10_1127GooglesearchManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

 

Clayton, as most industry professionals know, is the largest builder of HUD Code manufactured homes.  They and their fellow Berkshire Hathaway brands are commonly viewed as the dominating force at the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Clayton did not display any manufactured homes, but per our sources, had team members present for the event.

 

InnovatieHousingShowcaseIHSManufacturedHomeGoogleSearch2019-06-10_1116ManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Perhaps more noteworthy is the absence of any BH Media Group coverage of the IHS event.

BH Media Group, part of the Berkshire Hathaway owned assets – including their de facto flagship Omaha World Herald – turned up no results in the search above. BH Media Group has several media assets in Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. where this event took place.  A 2018 list of BH Media group newspapers is below.

BerkshireHathawayMediaGroupNewspapersLogoPerTheirWebsite8-14,2-18DailyBusinessNewsMHProNEwsLogo

Most manufactured home industry professionals don’t realize the broad scope of the BH Media Group’s direct assets. Beyond these, there are other media ties and interests that Berkshire Hathaway arguably can leverage. Why haven’t they done so with respect to the Innovative Housing Showcase? Or Secretary Carson’s positive address in New Orleans? How does this reality compare with the claims of Kevin Clayton, MHI, or their sycophants, such as MH Insider and George F. Allen?

 

Given the fact that a media outlet from Northwest Arkansas, Bloomberg, Fox Business, and Epoch Times – among others – all thought this is relevant topic, why not the BH Media Group?

The very limited number of total Google search results for on IHS and manufactured homes further undermines any claims that might be made that Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway, or MHI are properly promoting events like this one that could sway more consumers who are considering their housing options.

Such factoids reinforces other concerns raised by MHProNews, MHLivingNews, or MHARR about Clayton’s, Berkshire’s, and MHI’s intentions regarding the growth of the industry.

There are only a few logical explanations for this.  They reasonably could be summed up as follows:

  • Clayton, Berkshire, and MHI are inept at promoting the manufactured home industry. (MHProNews doesn’t think this is the case, this is just a potentially logical explanation for the poor media coverage during an affordable housing crisis).
  • Clayton, Berkshire and MHI lack motivation or the talent necessary for promoting such an event (same parenthetical comment as above).
  • Clayton, Berkshire, and MHI posture efforts and offer fig-leaves like some nice, professional videos, which are getting very few views – especially when compared to negative media coverage.
  • Clayton, Berkshire, and MHI are allowing the industry to struggle during an affordable housing crisis, and are therefore promoting or allowing impressions to exist that would not appeal to most consumers.
  • Clayton, Berkshire, and a few ‘big boy’ MHI members are allowing headwinds that might be abated to continue, precisely with the goal of consolidating more of the industry into ever fewer hands.
  • In support of the above, the fact millions of dollars in Warren Buffett’s donations have gone to organizations that have often opposed manufactured housing supports some of the later bullets.

As prior reports last week reflected, there are some MHI videos of the event, see the more detail report from the linked text image box below.

 

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

 

But for an organization – MHI – that has a full-time public relations person, plus other staff members, what were they doing in the run-up to the event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.?  Why wasn’t this event last week an all- hands-on-deck to promote the turnout of federal, other public officials, and the mainstream media?

A related and upcoming report on MHProNews will reveal that the turnout of elected officials was embarrassingly low. MHI claims ‘clout,’ but when it comes to actually using it on something that could potentially grow industry acceptance and sales, why is it so lacking?

These relevant queries and factoids beg more questions.

  • Does MHI and other ‘big boy’ members do ‘fig leaf’ promotion, designed primarily to appease industry critics of their efforts?
  • Are MHI and a few ‘big boy’ firms trying to impress their followers? Because if they are trying to move the needle for the industry, 8 straight months of year-over-year declining new home shipments clearly reveals that however bold their claims may be, the sobering facts mitigate against any rationale notion that their efforts are working.

The acid test is new home sales, production, and shipments.  Anything else is a fig-leaf, dodge, or distraction.

 

Secretary Carson’s Historic Effort

HUD Secretary Carson certainly has done more than perhaps any of his predecessors in the 21st century to promote manufactured homes and other forms of prefab or tiny housing.  But has Dr. Carson’s staff tell him about “enhanced preemption,” or other relevant details from reports linked with added evidence that should be red flags?

Certainly, there are those at HUD who have made it clear to mainstream media that Clayton Homes and their lenders are already under investigation.

 

 

There is no indication that we can find that Secretary Carson has been briefed by his staff about the “enhanced preemption” enjoyed by manufactured homes under federal law established by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.  When MHProNews recently asked multiple HUD officials about that concern, they declined to comment.

MHI has declined comment on that topic as well.

MHI’s president and CEO signs a form with the IRS every year that claims that MHI is seeking to address regulatory and market acceptance. Evidence uncovered from this and related reports linked herein call that claim – made under penalty of perjury – into doubt.

 

IRSForm990RichardDickJennisonMHIPresidentCEODailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It is not legally permissible for MHI, or other nonprofits, to deliberately deceive prospective or current members, or the federal government, about their true goals and objectives. While the standards are different with publicly traded firms, failure to properly disclose the reasons for underperformance, per legal sources, could likewise be a possible source for liability and/or various types of federal action.

 

This is the #1 news, fact-checks, and analysis resource that makes manufactured home industry professionals think.  With that, it’s a wrap on this installment of News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

 

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Bonuses, Bonuses! Manufactured Housing Struggles During Affordable Housing Crisis, While Top MHI Staffers Get Bonuses

Members Point to Positives, Problematic – Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) says, “Get the Facts on Zoning”

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Bonuses, Bonuses! Manufactured Housing Struggles During Affordable Housing Crisis, While Top MHI Staffers Get Bonuses

 

Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

June 3rd, 2019 Comments off

 

WashingtonLeakJusticeDepartmentPreparesMajorAntitrustInvestigationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

According to Rueter’s and Yahoo Finance, “The U.S. Justice Department is preparing an investigation of Alphabet Inc’s Google to determine whether the tech giant broke antitrust law in operating its sprawling online businesses, two sources familiar with the matter said.”

 

Officials from the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division and Federal Trade Commission, which both enforce antitrust law, met in recent weeks to give Justice jurisdiction over Google,” according to those sources, and the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) which broke the story.

This word from Washington, D.C. will fuel speculation that Berkshire Hathaway brands, along with other tech giants that impact manufactured housing and the nation, will soon become more visible targets of antitrust regulatory scrutiny. Those who’ve relied on the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their industry trade mouthpieces would have had no clue that this has been brewing for years. Meanwhile, MHProNews has been covering this developing topic from several angles for years. Our sister site has been laying the foundation for understanding on MHLivingNews too, in reports like the one 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. MHProNews has given these firms an opportunity to refute or clarify the issues and concerns raised.  They and MHI have all declined responses. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

Pivoting back to the Google-specific matter, this could be welcome news for manufactured housing industry professionals for several reasons.

Google declined comment initially, but DOJ would not confirm or deny the claim of an antitrust investigation. It’s worth noting that the European Union (EU) has fined Google billions for prior antitrust concerns.

During the Obama Administration, there was DOJ and FTC pressure on Google, but it went nowhere substantially. In April, 2016, the left-of-center news source – the Intercept – reported that “the Google lobbyist with the most White House visits, Johanna Shelton, visited 128 times, far more” than others. The Obama Administration and the tech giants – including Google – had a cozy relationship, by several mainstream media accounts.=

Lawmakers have complained about alleged political bias, its plans in China, and more.

 

“For the Good of Consumers and Competition”

TripAdvisor remains concerned about Google’s practices in the United States, the EU and throughout the world,” TripAdvisor chief executive and co-founder Stephen Kaufer said in a statement, adding: “For the good of consumers and competition on the internet, we welcome any renewed interest by U.S. regulators into Google’s anticompetitive behavior.” Note to first time visitors, MHProNews often takes direct quotes and turns them bold and brown to make them pop, but otherwise the content is as stated.

This is very big news, and overdue,” Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican Google critic, said on Twitter with respect to this investigation.  In that, he joined President Donald J. Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, who said that Google is a threat to democracy.

 

Brad Says POTUS Trump is Right: More than Facebook & Twitter, Google Threatens Democracy, Online Freedom

 

This has become an increasingly bi-partisan issue, as what follows will reflect. While MHI devotees fly into Washington, D.C. today, will this even be a topic, unless a brave member raises the relevant questions?

 

The Broader Antitrust Picture and Manufactured Housing

As MHProNews has previously reported, several Democratic lawmakers and 2020 presidential hopeful candidates have made antitrust part of their platform.  Among the most visible to date has been Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D), who has renounced any corporate contributions in favor of individual donors.  Perhaps of more import to manufactured housing industry firms, Warren has sent off a round of formal letters of inquiry to manufactured home community operators. See that MHProNews exclusive report, linked here.

Even more specifically, Democratic Senators have asked the CFPB to take steps to curb allegations of predatory behavior by Clayton Homes and their lenders, see that recent report, linked here.

Senator Cory Booker (NJ-D) threw down an antitrust gauntlet with ABC News, in a video and report posted below.

 

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

 

Daily Business News on MHProNews reported in 2018 that the Trump Administration had prepared an antitrust executive order.

 

Draft EO for Trump Administration AntiTrust Order Obtained by MHProNews

 

This trade media platform also reported Democratic steps taken, such as the one below.

 

Lina Khan, AntiTrust Legal Queen, Set to Join Democratic Staff, FAANG & BM, Beware – Plus MH Market Updates

 

Sources have told MHProNews that Berkshire Hathaway has ‘beefed up’ its antitrust legal team, perhaps in anticipation of just such an expected move. That may also explain why Berkshire’s industry players who have allegedly been involved in allegations of antitrust and other potentially corrupt practices have remained silent when asked about this topic.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Learn more at this link here, here, and here.

MHProNews will continue to monitor this developing issue. Antitrust is likely to be a significant part of the 2020 debate.  Consolidation and monopolization is a concern across numerous industries, and manufactured housing is one of them. To learn more about this topic which is expected to expand to other giant firms, click the links above, or further below the byline and notices.

That’s this Monday 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.)

 

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

May 28th, 2019 Comments off

SenateDems2020ContendersAskCFPBProtectconsumersAgainstPredatorLendersClaytonHomes21stVanderbiltWarrenBuffettLogophotosManufacturedHomeMHProNews

U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) led a group of eight other Democratic Senators in calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to improve transparency around manufactured home financing, according to a release from the office of Senator Cortez.

 

Senator Cortez was joined in the letter signed “by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.),” said the statement informing the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

The letter, found at the link here, was dated May 9, 2019.  To date, there is no known response found in an online search on this topic made by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, or Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).

Specifically, the letter from Senate Democrats did not name a company, which is potentially more problematic for independents.  However, it did link to the Seattle Times/Center for Public Integrity report found at this link here.  That report specifically names Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway’s manufactured home lenders, and Warren Buffett.

It begins with this paragraph, “Billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett controls a mobile-home empire that promises low-income borrowers affordable houses. But all too often, it traps those owners in high-interest loans and rapidly depreciating homes.” For new readers, note that MHProNews often turns quoted text brown and bold to make it ‘pop,’ but otherwise the words are as in the original.

The original letter from the Democratic Senators is linked as a download here, and said in part “We urge the CFPB to work with consumer advocates to design and implement an appropriate disclosure form that ensures manufactured home buyers understand their options and are not steered into high-cost loans.”

Their provided copy of the letter is not scannable, so MHProNews recreated a scannable (readable) version for online researchers, which is found as a download linked here.  Thus far, no one in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis have published a response to this Democratic initiative.  Why not?

SenateDemocratsSignLetterCFPBManufacturedHousingPredatoryLendingMHProNews2019-05-27_2024

There are times that MHProNews waits to see what response, if any, Omaha based Berkshire, Knoxville metro based Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, or the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) makes. Recall Nathan Smith’s pledge that MHI should become more pro-active? Where is the evidence for that in this report? Are we to think that the manufactured housing’s powers that be don’t know about this Democratic call to action?

 

What to Expect?

Should Democrats retake the Senate and White House and hold the House of Representatives in 2020, expect this document to be a harbinger of what’s to come. Recall the deep dive on the Masthead, linked here.

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

 

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Related Reports:

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Customer or Product of Tech Giants? Manufactured Housing Connections and Implications

May 23rd, 2019 Comments off

AreYouCustomerProductTechGiantsManufacturedHousingConnectionsImplicationsMHProNews

There is significant evidence of the monopolization of America.  Perhaps the best-known examples are the tech giants, many of which have come under fire from both sides of the left-right political divides here in the U.S.  The New York Times reported on Mar 20, 2019 “European authorities on Wednesday fined Google 1.5 billion euros,” equal at that time to some $1.7 billion U.S. dollars, for antitrust activity.

 

As CNN pointed out, that was the third in a series of billion-dollar penalties” for Google.

As MHProNews reported, a co-founder of Facebook, along with other former executives, have called for the breakup of Facebook. That report can be accessed below from the hot-linked text-image box.

 

 

Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg Discusses Antitrust Breaking Up, What Kevin Clayton, Joe Stegmayer, MHI Can Learn, plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

 

MHProNews has thus far been alone in industry trade media to report that Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway now have roughly a billion dollars in common interests.  Given that Amazon has moved into prefab housing, and Kevin Clayton led Clayton homes is likewise into conventional, prefab, and manufactured housing, it ought to be considered as a rumbling of a potential earthquake in manufactured housing.

 

Amazon-Berkshire Announcement – Emerging Factory-Building Elephant in the Room?

 

The list that follows includes some of the top billionaires in the world.  There have been times that #3 Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, parent company to Clayton Homes and other manufactured housing brands, has reportedly been rivaled briefly by #4, Bernard Arnault, a Frenchman.

 

top10BillionairesinWorldVisualCapitalistManufacturedHousingMHProNews

 

When one grasps the concept of interlocking directorates, and then how nonprofits can be weaponized to expand that reach of these giants even further, the threat to independents in all segments of society – including manufactured home independents – grows.

InterlockingDirectoratesGraphicExampleManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It is with this backdrop, that Jeff Desjardins Visual Capitalist (VC) infographic comes into focus.

Here is how VC says the tech titans are earning their billions.

 

HowTechGiantsEarnTheirBillionsVisualCapitalistInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

How the Tech Giants Make Their Billions

At a glance, it may seem like the world’s biggest technology companies have a lot in common.

But a closer look, says VC, suggests that there are two broad categories between these firms.  You are the customer, and you are the product.  Here is how they put it.

You are the Customer

In the broadest sense, three of the tech giants make money in the same way: you pay them money, and they give you a product or service.

Apple (Revenue in 2018: $265.6 billion)

  • Apple generates a staggering 62.8% of its revenue from the iPhone
  • The iPad and Mac are good for 7.1% and 9.6% of revenues, respectively
  • All other products and services – including Apple TV, Apple Watch, Beats products, Apple Pay, AppleCare, etc. – combine to just 20.6% of revenues

Amazon (Revenue in 2018: $232.9 billion)

  • Amazon gets the most from its online stores (52.8%) as well as third-party seller services (18.4%)
  • Amazon’s fastest-growing segment is offline sales in physical stores
  • Offline sales generate $17.2 billion in current revenue, growing 197% year-over-year
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) is well-known for being Amazon’s most profitable segment, and it counts for 11.0% of revenue
  • Amazon’s “Other” segment is also rising fast – it mainly includes ad sales

Microsoft (Revenue in 2018: $110.4 billion)

  • Microsoft has the most diversified revenue of any of the tech giants
  • This is part of the reason it currently has the largest market capitalization ($901 billion) of the Big Five
  • Microsoft has eight different segments that generate ~5% or more of revenue
  • The biggest three are “Office products and cloud services” (25.7%), “Server products and cloud services” (23.7%), and Windows (17.7%)

The remaining tech giants charge you nothing as a consumer, so how are they worth so much?

 

You are the Product

Both Alphabet and Facebook also generate billions of dollars of revenue, but they make this money from advertising. Their platforms allow advertisers to target you at scale with incredible precision, which is why they dominate the online ad industry.

Here’s how their revenues break down:

Alphabet (Revenue in 2018: $136.8 billion)

  • Despite having a wider umbrella name, ad revenue (via Google, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Ads, etc.) still drives 85% of revenue for the company
  • Other Google products and services, like Google Play or the Google Pixel phone, help to generate 14.5% of total revenue
  • Other Bets count to 0.4% of revenue – these are Alphabet’s moonshot attempts to find the “next Google” for its shareholders

Facebook (Revenue in 2018: $55.8 billion)

  • Facebook generates almost all revenue (98.5%) from ads
  • Meanwhile, 1.5% comes from payments and other fees
  • Despite Facebook being a free service for users, the company generated more revenue per user than Netflix, which charges for its service
  • In 2018 Q4, for example, Facebook made $35 per user. Netflix made $30.

So while the tech giants may have many similarities, how they generate their billions can vary considerably.  Which is why MHProNews for some years has been spotlighting those professionals who are raising the warning about monopoly in general, often who specific several tech giants.

 

Some are marketing products to you, while others are marketing you as the product.  Odds are excellent that you are engaged using products or services from multiple – if not all – of these giant firms.

The solution? Understand the pattern, and fight back legally and ethically with whit and wisdom.

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

 

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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.

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MarketWatch Reports on Manufactured Housing, 2018-2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside Scoop on the Manufactured Housing Industry in Memes

May 17th, 2019 Comments off

 

InsideScoopManufacturedHousingInMemes$100MillionCashPalletManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

Some readers have asked the Daily Business News for MHProNews for an executive summary of why manufactured housing is underperforming compared to its historic norms.

 

It has been a while since we’ve done cartoons or memes.  While these are meant to be a bit on the lighter side, the issues they reflect are serious ones.

 

WarrenBuffettKevinClaytonPhotoClaytonHomesModelHomePhotoBerkshireHathawayAnnualEventPhotoMemeCartoonManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

 

While some of the conversations are obviously fictional, as is common with memes or satire, the impacts and nature of the matters described are arguably correct.  Those in Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington or their allies are welcome to formally reply.

In spotlighting the next meme, it should not be construed as partisan. Democrats and Republicans in Minnesota have studied manufactured housing, and agreed in a bipartisan way that that the industry offers an important part of the solution for the affordable housing crisis.  That said, its a real photo, and there is no disputing that Warren Buffett backed candidate and then President Barack Obama, and that he had access – and a Buffett grandson – working in the Obama White House.

 

WarrenBuffettPresidentBarackObamaPhotoMemeManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

To underscore the reasonableness of these themes of these memes, click on the first of several reports linked below the byline and notices.

 

WarrenBuffettPhotoPresidentBarackObamaPhotoMemeCartoonManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

We value reader input, as well as news tips. Many of our reports are based on tips from people working in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) orbit.

 

PhotoKevinClaytonWarrenBuffettKeithHoldbrooksClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayClaytonFactoryMemeManufacturedHousingIndustryCartoonProNews

 

Readers are reminded that our publisher was elected by his peers to be on an MHI board.  He has a better than average sense of that trade group than the vast majority of industry professionals who have never been to any or only a few MHI events or meetings, because he was there for years of meetings and first-hand observations.

If this is your first article to read on MHProNews, know that we do mostly serious research, analysis, and fact-checks which have made and kept us the runaway #1 in manufactured housing since our first year. We are now in our 10th year of serving the industry.  But it helps to break up the serious with some periodic satire.

Our evening market report will be posted soon.

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

 

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

May 13th, 2019 Comments off

 

SenCoryBookerWeNeedAPresidentToEnforceAntiTrustLawsDiggingElizabethWarrenPOTUSTrumpManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Still frame from video, posted below. The text graphics are by MHProNews.

I don’t care if it’s Facebook, the pharma industry, even the agricultural industry. We’ve had a problem in America with corporate consolidation that is having really ill effects,” New Jersey Senator and 2020 Democratic Nomination contender Cory Booker said in an interview for ABC News “This Week.”

 

It’s driving out the independent family farmers. It’s driving up prescription drug costs. And in the realm of technology, we’re seeing…one or two companies controlling a significant amount of the online advertising.” he continued.  Booker’s comments come on the heels of Facebook’s co-founder and former chief executive Chris Hughes’ publicly calling for the breakup of Facebook, see that and other former FB insiders comments, linked here.

IfMHProNewsIswritingAboutItIWantToKnowAboutItQuote

Executive level readers comment.

Tens of thousands of manufactured home industry professionals use Facebook daily.  But the issue of controlling wide swaths of media, or other antitrust concerns that impact manufactured housing, are far broader.

It should be noted that Big Tech, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg are more routinely saying to federal officials, ‘regulate us.’ But as deeply-focused, regular, and longtime MHProNews readers know, that call for ‘regulation’ can be akin to big banks getting ‘regulated’ by Dodd-Frank.  The consequences of Dodd-Frank and the regulations that flowed from it were that smaller lenders got driven out.

Rephrased, a giant firm can better handle regulations, which pushes out smaller ones.  Thus FB’s and Zuckerberg’s – or any other similar call for regulation vs. antitrust law breakup – can properly be seen as a ruse that simply won’t work in practice as it is being promoted.  It’s a false flag solution to a real and pressing issue of the growing monopolization of America.  It is possible to posture opposing a big company, but de facto take an action that helps it, rather than controls or breaks it up.

 

Booker on Antitrust, President Trump and Elizabeth Warren

If I’m president of the United States, I will have a Justice Department that uses antitrust legislation to do the proper investigations and to hold industries accountable for corporate consolidation,” Senator Booker said to ABC’s Jonathan Karl.

Booker said he believes in “process,” and in this ABC News video delivered a not too subtle elbow at both fellow Democratic contender, Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D) as well as GOP President Donald J. Trump.

In early March, fellow 2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren called for the breakup of Facebook, Amazon and Google. MHProNews and MHLivingNews have spotlighted Warren’s more aggressive posture on antitrust than some of her fellow Democrats.

As these companies have grown larger and more powerful, they have used their resources and control over the way we use the internet to squash small businesses and innovation, and substitute their own financial interests for the broader interests of the American people,” the Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote. “To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it’s time to break up our biggest tech companies.”

The arguments being made by these and some other Democratic and GOP voices could be applied to Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, and their top manufactured home lenders.  It could be applied to Microsoft.  Thus an apt battle cry could be #DeFaangBM. Break up the FAANG companies, plus Berkshire and Microsoft.  These are important places to start the restoration of a more truly free marketplace in the U.S.

 

DeFaangBmAntiTrustOpenMarketsAffordableHousingManufacturedHomesHousingChoiceMHProNews

 

Booker said he doesn’t “think that a president should be running around, pointing at companies and…breaking them up without any kind of process here.”

It’s not me and my own personal opinion about going after folks. That sounds more like a Donald Trump thing to say, like, ‘I’m going to break up you guys, I’m gonna break’ — no.” He deflected the point that it was Senator Warren saying that, not President Trump. “Well, that’s what she’s saying. She’s the one that’s saying that,” ABC’s Karl said.

Booker deflected, saying it was up to Senator Warren to discuss her positions.

I’m telling you right now, we do not need a president that is going to use their own personal beliefs and tell you which companies we should break up,” he said. We need a president that’s going to enforce antitrust laws in this country, and I will be that person.”

 

 

Given the crowded nature of the 2020 field, with about 21 Democrats currently in contention, and Howard Schultz possibly moving towards an independent run, hopeful’s like Booker are looking for media oxygen as well as financial support to sustain their White House ambitions.

 

The Issue of Antitrust, America, and MHVille

Both sides of the major party political aisle have allowed antitrust laws to languish, certainly since the 1990s.  As it is becoming obvious to both the left and the right, there are increasing calls to act in a way that will benefit the economy, jobs, and ultimately the vast majority of the people. ICYMI, or need a refresher, a useful overview was provided in the article linked below.

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

 

President Trump’s White House let it be know that an executive order on antitrust was drafted last year. His campaign manager has also talked about the threat posed by big tech. See more on that, in the related reports, below the bylines, notices, and offers.

While POTUS Trump has not yet acted, in fairness, it was only recently that the Mueller report came out, which lifted the cloud of baseless ‘Russian collusion’ that acted as a drag on his presidency, especially during his first year in office. It now remains to be seen what he will do with the remaining two years of what he hopes will be his first of two terms at the helm in D.C.

Given the significant extent to which consolidation has been impacting manufactured housing independents and manufactured home community residents in recent years, the interest in this issue is and should be high among industry professionals.

See the related reports, which includes the ‘November Rain’ address by the Trump DOJ’s top antitrust watch dog, further below.

It is difficult to imagine how an investor or professional in manufactured housing can begin to properly grasp the market without having a firm handle on the trends toward monopolization.  That means one must also understand what are the root causes of that trend.  The related reports reveal that it is an issue that spans the left-right divide.  There is oddly no one else in manufactured housing trade media that focuses on this issue, perhaps because they are de facto mouthpieces for the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis?

It’s “Monday, Monday.” Will it be good to thee?  That’s this pre-dawn edition of the #1 most-read “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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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.

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“Warren Buffet’s Exploitative Mobile Home Investment” Kori Hale in Forbes Rips Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway’s Predatory Manufactured Home Practices

April 18th, 2019 Comments off

 

WarrenBuffettsExplotativeMobileHomeInvestmentKoriHaleInForbesRipsClaytonHoemsBerkshireHthawayredatorManufacturedHomePracticesMHProNews

Starting with the featured image, which may have been provided by a Forbes staffer, and moving on to terminology errors, it must be noted that Kori Hale’s allegations against Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes and related lending units includes inaccuracies.  But that doesn’t mitigate the fact that the thrust of Hale’s comments are devastating, especially coming from the black-female CEO of CultureBanx.

 

Here is the link to her column on Forbes, entitled Warren Buffet’s Exploitative Mobile Home Investment, which is being reproduced below under fair use guidelines for commentary and analysis.

 

Warren Buffett’s Exploitative Mobile Home Investment

Kori Hale Forbes Contributor – I’m the CEO of CultureBanx, redefining business news for minorities.

 

TWEET THIS

Warren Buffett’s company Clayton Homes, the biggest mobile home manufacturer in the U.S. has continued to profit from high interest rate loans. The Oracle of Omaha has sold low-income Americans the dream of ownership for nearly 20 years, and his investment company Berkshire Hathaway makes money on the loans, since they own the company that Clayton urges its buyers to go through. Many of the people buying these homes are minorities and have helped to fuel Clayton’s $13.7 billion mortgage portfolio.

 

The Breakdown You Need to Know

Clayton operates the two biggest mobile home lenders, 21st Mortgage Corporation along with Vanderbilt Mortgage. Clayton finances more mobile home loans than any other lender by a factor of more than seven. CultureBanx noted that in 2105, 72% of black borrowers got their loans from Clayton’s Vanderbilt Mortgage and 21st Mortgage, according to FFEI federal data.

They have outsized dominance in the manufactured home market with a 49% share, and where profit margins are greater. Buffet’s Clayton company brought in $765 million in revenue, in 2017.

Mobile home loans are similar to car loans because they’re typically classified as personal property, instead of real estate. Interest rates can be as high as 13.5% or more, and like a vehicle, lose as much as half its value in three years. These rates make it hard for mobile-home owners to leverage equity from their purchase in order to buy a traditional home.

Capitalizing on Trailer Debt

Families who are able to get a loan for their mobile homes generally lease the land on which it sits, a common practice in this industry that can trap people in a cycle of debt. The national monthly average to rent a space in a trailer park is around $250 and can be as high as $600. Trailer parks tend to be built in warmer climates, with Mississippi and Alabama having some of the highest rates of mobile homeownership.

If you’re thinking mobile homes are perhaps only for an older demographic you would be wrong. The majority of mobile-home residents, 23% are between the ages of 18 to 29 and have an average household income of $28,400. If that’s not alarming enough, in 2015, the average sales price for a new manufactured double-wide home was around $110,000.

There are some mobile home communities attempting to rezone trailer parks, to prevent owners from selling the land to developers that may raise the rent even higher. If residents are able to pool their resources together and buy the park, it would give them the opportunity to run it as a co-op.

###

KoriHaleCEOCulturebanxLinkedInDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

FactoryHousingEvolution101TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHome-768x601

 

Once more, the point of sharing this Forbes column to MHProNews readers isn’t to confirm, challenge, or corroborate this or that claim made by Hale’s, the author of the above published Op-Ed this morning.  Rather, it is to raise the related point that is often at the core of the industry’s image challenges.

The bad news that often harms the industry’s image routinely comes from Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) connected firms, the largest of which is Clayton Homes, and their Berkshire Hathaway related lending and other brands.  consider this Google search screen capture, done this morning.

 

ClaytonHomesMobileHomeFinancingNewsHeadlinesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews765

 

The first steps to organize independents into a new post-production trade group are underway.  To learn more contact us in confidence via the link here.  Use the words New Association Inquiry in the subject line.

See the related reports to learn more, found further below the byline, offers, and notices. That’s another episode of manufactured housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use© where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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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.

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Factory-Builders, Retailers, Developers – Is This Your Future Competition Beyond Berkshire Brands in MHVille? Understanding Jeff Bezos’ Amazon

April 9th, 2019 Comments off

 

FactoryBuildersRetailersDevelopersIsThisYourFutureCompetitionBeyondBerkshireBrandsMHVilleUnderstandingJeffBezosAmazonDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNews

There are several operations that believe they are positioning themselves for the future of manufactured housing. Some are not only aware; they are arguably counting on the Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes and their “strategic Moat.”  A number of those firms are Manufactured Housing Institute members, but others are not.

 

But this report is about Amazon, not Clayton or Berkshire.

 

You may love Amazon Prime. You might admire the rise of Jeff Bezos. You might recall that Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos and Jaime Dimon shook the financial markets on the day they announced their plans for a joint health care initiative.

But don’t forget that Bezos directly entered the factory-built home market in 2018 when his Amazon Alexa Fund estimated bought Plant Prefab.

 

$300 Billion Market, As Predicted, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Alexa Fund Dives Deeper into PreFab Homes

 

They stated that they estimated the annual factory-built housing market potential to be a whopping $330 billion dollars annually.

The video on this page outlines how Bezos has ducked by antitrust activism so far. But don’t forget that after this video was produced, and after Senator Elizabeth Warren and others rattled sabers about big tech and monopolies, Bezos’ Amazon quietly backed off one of the complained about tactics.

 

Under Scrutiny, Giant Amazon Pivots, But What About Berkshire’s Manufactured Housing Brands? Plus MH Market Updates

See that prior report, linked above.

You and other independents need to be aware of how they operate. Their next target could be you. Finally, keep in mind what CNN aptly observed about the three involved in the health care deal, noted above.  ‘These guys [the billionaires] talk to each other all the time.’  Buffett himself says that he spends 5 to 6 hours a day reading, and then he spends added time on the phone, a point that Kevin Clayton mentioned in the video on the page linked here.

That’s this afternoon’s chapter in “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory built housing.” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

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.

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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.

 

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Gannett Media Exposés, MH Community Owner Moves Sparks Outrage – IEDs of Manufactured Housing

April 2nd, 2019 Comments off

 

GannettMediaExposeMHCommunityOwnerSparksOutrageIEDsManufacturedHousingHavenparkCapitalPartnersMHProNews

Given the nature of the internet, bad news in one part of the country travels nationally and globally. So, while this specific incident may or may not seem to be in your market(s), or that of some professional that you know, this Gannett Company media series of exposés could well cost you potential customers.

 

Even if you aren’t in the manufactured home (MH) communities’ sector (MHCs), given how interconnected manufactured housing is, this report will – properly understood – reveal real-world impacts on honorable businesses and investors.

This vexing series is obviously causing angst among hundreds of residents that these stories covered.

 

 

In the American Heartland…Where Politicians Are Criss-Crossing Their State

In a series of reports by Gannett owned Iowa City Press Citizen and the Des Moines Register reflects the outrage by residents who are being hit with rent increases reportedly over 50 percent that will impact them this summer.

Residents at Golf View Mobile Home Court in the Iowa City suburb have been notified by Utah-based Havenpark Capital that they will see their rent spike from $284 to $450 on June 1 — a 58 percent increase,” wrote Ian Richardson and Zachary Oren Smith on March 29, 2019.

Havenpark reportedly did more in another community they acquired. “When the new owners of Midwest Country Estates in Waukee taped notice of a 69 percent rent increase on the doors of residents last week, they were doing the same thing at another recently purchased mobile home park in North Liberty.”

George W told the Better Business Bureau (BBB) on 02/07/2019 that, “Havenpark Capital bought eight Value Homes LLC parks in Mid-Michigan. Our rent increase (including new fees) included a 40%+ hike. Every communication from them states, “we are going to do amazing things.” Nothing amazing has or will happen. Our property manager even encourages us to contact our State Representatives and expresses displeasure in the company’s greedy business practices. Meanwhile, a whole lot of people on fixed incomes are hurting to pay their bills. Some are having to sell their homes and move.”

So, when the Gannett-owned newspaper’s journalists reported the quotes cited herein, they underscore a pattern that complaints to the BBB had already established. The bullets below reflect three quotes from an article linked here.

  • Don Lund, who’s lived at Golf View for 21 years, told the Press-Citizen he’s worried about how his current income — $700 per month from disability and about $160 from newspaper writing — will be able to handle the increase.
  • Most people buy a trailer ’cause we can’t afford a house,” said Lund, who was born without hands or feet. “I spent $40,000 on this back in 1997, and it took 20 years to pay it off.”
  • In Waukee, 91-year-old resident Arletta Swain said she’s lived in the mobile home park for nearly 50 years, and this increase will “take me right down to my last dollar.”

Or ponder the impact on residents, prospective buyers – and thus independent businesses – that reading the following bullets pulled from this link here.

  • Alex Kornya, assistant litigation director with Iowa Legal Aid…,which offers free civil legal assistance to the elderly, low-income, veterans and other vulnerable groups, sees a “high proportion” of people coming to its office with mobile home-related issues.
  • Rent will be going up to protect our community,” the letter [from Havenpark Capital] says. “If the rent did not go up, the land where Midwest Country Estates sits today would have been more valuable if it were changed into apartments, or a large retail store, causing all of our residents to be evicted.”

 

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Havenpark Capital Partners Website

We presently own and operate 25 communities totaling approximately 5,000 home sites. We continue to source properties meeting our investment parameters and offer qualified investor access to a geographically diversified portfolio of properties through private fund offerings.” So says the Havenpark Capital Partners website.

They also stated that their investment criteria is as follows.

  1. 100+ Home Sites
  2. Located in a Metropolitan Area of 100,000+
  3. 3-5 “Star” Asset Quality

 

What the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Says About Havenpark

BBB File Opened: 5/31/2018
Years in Business: 3
Business Started: 1/5/2016
Business Started Locally: 1/5/2016
Business Incorporated: 1/5/2016 in UT
Type of Entity: Limited Liability Company (LLC)

The BBB currently rates this firm as a D+.

 

HavenparkCapitalPartners4-2-2019DesMoinesRegisterDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

Another Comment from the BBB, and Statements from MHC Seller Barbara Hames

Horrible company! They come in added $100 to our rent, then added water bills on a well, and sewer charges and even school tax. Anyone looking to move into anything these greedy money grubbers own…DON’T. They didn’t add a clubhouse, child play area nothing of any real benefit. This area has many senior citizens who live here who will probably have to give up their meds to live here.” – Shar K, 12/11/2018, per the BBB.

 

Among the sellers to Havenpark Capital described by the Gannett owned newspapers was Barbara Hames, of Hames Homes.  Here is a video from their website.

 

 

Barbara Hames told the Press Citizen that they were not looking to sell two of their communities.  For half-a-year, Hames said they were getting 2 to 3 calls a week from potential buyers.

 

 

Hames, a prominent and popular figure in the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA), explained the decision to sell to Utah-based Havenpark Capital in these terms.

  • We were absolutely not looking to sell….It is a family business here.”
  • The DNR informed us that Sunrise (Village) would need to be upgraded in a year or two and West Branch would eventually need to be upgraded.” DNR is short for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
  • The reason the offer [from Havenpark] was tempting was both [manufactured home land-lease communities] in Iowa City and West Branch would cost a lot to bring into full compliance.”
  • Hames described the hike in site fees as “surprising…”
  • Even if they raise the rent, they also invest a lot of money in the parks they purchase,” Hames told the Press Citizen.
  • The prices in eastern Iowa have been artificially low for years,” Hames said, which likely made such hikes inevitable.
  • When supply is bigger than the demand, prices go down,” Hames said, who explained that the lack of other credit sources after the fall of Green Tree Servicing forced them to establish their own lending. “The supply of manufactured home sites has been high because of the lack of financing for people wishing to purchase.”

Knowingly or not, Hames has described a pattern that the Daily Business News on MHProNews has tracked for years. More recently, our analysis reflects that several of these issues arose in the aftermath of events described on MHLivingNews at this link here. As Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage and Clayton Homes built their respective strategic moats, thousands of retailers were tipped out of business.  That in turn had a cascade effect that impacted communities like Hames’ and thousands of others too.  After all, it was those retailers that used to sell homes into communities that kept them near capacity, and allowed property owners to maintain their locations.

The well-liked Joanne Stevens was reported as the broker in the deal with Havenpark.  Per her website, “NAI Iowa Realty Commercial is proud to be part of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies.”

So, on at least two levels, Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway brands are in the mix of what has transpired in these Iowa manufactured home communities.

 

The Intersection of Mainstream Journalism Realities and Manufactured Housing

Contemporary local media journalists have numerous pressures and limitations placed upon them.  As the number of writers and editors declines, due to dwindling ad revenues lost to competitors such as Google or Facebook, a journalist often lacks the time to dig deeper into an issue than may have been the case in years past.

To generate reader interest – which yields more clicks or sold newspapers – media sources tell MHProNews that they have to focus on controversy and attention-sparking headlines and stories.

So finer details, correct terminology, mitigating circumstances, or other nuances may not rank as high as it otherwise might have in years gone by. It’s not fake news. But it is news that by accident, media dynamics – or at times, an unstated agenda – often reflects poorly on manufactured home living.

 

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

Sometimes media has an agenda, and Brad Lovin’s comment is quite apt. But in other occasions, journalists pressed for time may not be able to dig deeply enough to understand the often subtle or complex dynamics at play. But the impact of news articles is real in either case.

 

For example, these bullets from the same Gannett media source.

  • Resident Janet Hook said…”We’re sitting ducks is what we are…”There’s a lot of us out here who don’t know what we’re going to do.”
  • An NAI Iowa Realty Commercial survey of 13 mobile home parks in the Des Moines metro from October 2018 showed rents ranging from $244 to $596 per month, with an average monthly rent of $436.
  • Joanne Stevens, an NAI Iowa Realty agent who helped with the Midwest Country Estates sale, said owners that want to stay in the mobile home business long-term need market rate rents to keep parks operational and well-maintained.

Nowhere is the Berkshire Hathaway connection to these events explicitly mentioned. Nowhere in these reports will you find a more in-depth explanation for how Berkshire owned brands arguably helped fuel the issues that caused these communities to lose occupancy for years.

As regular and detail-focused MHProNews readers know, the industry’s business model was disrupted in large measure by the events documented here.  There rest are details and commentary.  It is the kind of nuance – or even in-your-face-facts that mainstream journalist who are not well versed in manufactured housing, for the reasons noted above, can easily miss.

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

The terminology matters because
the terminology determines the
construction standards a home was
built to,” Steve Duke, LMHA.

 

It will be recalled that not long after Berkshire bought Clayton Homes, the community side of Clayton’s operations were spun off.  Per sources, “Warren” didn’t want to be seen ‘as raising the rents on grandma.

Yet thanks to the domino effect, it is apparently okay with ‘Warren’ when someone else raised granma’s and others site fees.  It is even better when a firm Buffett-led Berkshire owns gets a slice of the brokerage commissions involved. Then, in an ironic twist, Buffett can go on national television, and lament how some citizens become “roadkill” that should be cared for by a Big Brother government.

Buffett has also reportedly used some of his profits to help fund the protest groups – such as MHAction – as reported by the Golden States Manufactured-Home Owners League or GSMOL – see a report, linked here.

The net results?

Real- but artificially-sparked headwinds arise or are allowed to develop.  Lacking the time to dig beyond the surface, journalists in the contemporary media environment may not be able to properly spotlight the underlying causes or contributing factors to the issues that they report on.

So, hearing from residents or others that ‘mobile homes depreciate like a car goes unchallenged, even though there is evidence by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2018 research that manufactured homes can and do appreciate.  Cases like the ones these Gannett media stories reflect may indeed result in depreciation, if someone is forced to move quickly.  But that same loss of equity could occur with conventional housing too, given similar dynamics and a hasty sale.  Stating the facts, but absent all the nuances, can thus cause still more harm to potential sellers of a manufactured home, when they might rightly ask in the wake of such reports, ‘why would I want to be next in line for this kind of situation?’

 

The MH Industry’s Largest Post-Production Association…

Where is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) on this or similar issues?  The Daily Business News on MHProNews asked the Arlington, VA based national association.  They are silent. Why? Could it be because some of their ‘big boy’ members benefit from such patterns?

Meanwhile the independents of the industry at large suffer. Who suffers most? The mom-and-pop ‘family’ operations, that may or may not realize what dynamics they have succumbed to, as this report from Iowa sadly reflects.

 

Metaphorical IEDs in Manufactured Housing

Buffett’s and his minions’ strategic moat tactics don’t require specific foreknowledge of precisely what will occur or to whom.  All they need to know is that when a domino is tipped over, other dominoes in the chain will follow.  See the illustration at the top of this article.

What the Atlantic’s report earlier this decade pointed to impacted not only independently owned manufactured home retailers.  It also logically harmed manufactured home communities, producers, lenders – anyone involved in the manufactured home industry business-supply chain.  ICYMI, or need a refresher, you can click on the hot-linked text-image box below for more details.

 

Examining Derek Thompson’s Atlantic Report on ‘Mobile Home’ Retail Market as Fastest Dying Business In America

 

What is occurring in Iowa is like a metaphorical improvised explosive device (IED) planted by a terrorist. Only these IEDs have an economic impact on people, whose personal or professional lives are just as disrupted as soldier’s would be when hit by an unexpected land-mine.

The industry’s once multi-decades successful business model has been disrupted. It could be rebuilt. #OpenMarkets, antitrust law and other solutions must be put into play to right the imbalances (see related reports, further below the bylines and notices).

 

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryDailyBusinessNEwsMHproNEws

Click here to see the referenced document, quotes from Warren Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders that year, and a video with Kevin Clayton.

But until the necessary steps are taken to change the dynamics already in play, consolidators like Havenpark Capital will do what Buffett’s “Conquest Capitalism” arguably allowed it to accomplish.

And none of the Omaha-based Berkshire brands found in the Knoxville metro, or MHI would – or could? – respond to these concerns in the presence of their peers, who met in Tunica last week to discuss just such issues.

Tick-tock, tick-tock. That’s not just a clock, it’s effectively an improvised economic-explosive device that mimics IEDs.  How long before politicos in Iowa or elsewhere decide that they will step in to ‘fix’ the problems?

If so, will their political fixes only hasten the issues that caused Barbara Hames and independents like her to sell in the first place?  See the rent control report, linked here.

That’s the latest #NettlesomeThings from MH “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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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.

 

 

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Anti-Monopolistic or “Antitrust” Action Heating Up in Washington, D.C., What It Could Foreshadow for MHVille

March 7th, 2019 Comments off

AntiMonopolisticAntiTrustActionHeatingUpWashingtonDCWhatCouldForeshadowforMHVilleDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

On the left or so-called progressive side of the political aisle, several Democratic candidates for the 2020 race have made strong statements about doing more antitrust action. One of those are linked further below. Then, on the conservative side of the aisle, some Republicans and others are condemning what they see as a trend toward bias by Big Tech that violates their free speech rights.

 

Furthermore, President Donald J. Trump has purportedly had drafted an executive order (EO) on antitrust action. See that prior report, from the linked test image box below the byline and notices.

Against that backdrop, there is talk of how this talk of antitrust could play out in MHVille. That talk about the issue is more behind the scenes of late, but it exists. Some firms, per sources, are shoring up antitrust and other legal experts.

With that, there is a growing move in Washington, D.C. to take a more serious look at antitrust, most of the news revolves around big tech. But it should not be though that it would end there.

There’s discussion, for example, of how Cavco and their SEC woes may or may not include possible antitrust issues.  If so, that could prove difficult for Clayton Homes and their related Berkshire Hathaway manufactured home lenders.

These two videos and the pull quotes from Bloomberg Law, therefore, should be construed not only on the obvious level of big tech. Big Tech also obviously impacts manufactured housing, via marketing and in other ways.

While there is debate back and forth, one could argue that there is growing energy behind antitrust action in Washington and beyond.

So, these videos and the Bloomberg Law commentary should be construed through the lens of how this may play out for members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

 

 

Antitrust Enforcement in Spotlight at Senate Hearing

  • Posted on Bloomberg Law, at this link here, March 5, 2019, 5:46 AM Updated March 5, 2019, 5:20 PM
  • Senate antitrust hearing comes amid heightened pressure on Alphabet’s Google, Facebook
  • Robert Reich, Joshua Wright testify
  • The Senate’s top Republican [Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)], on antitrust issues March 5 cautioned against using competition law to address growing concerns about big-tech companies.

By contrast, Bloomberg’s recent video discussion, posted below, said the following

Feb.27 — U.S. antitrust enforcers are zeroing in on technology giants following years of criticism that they haven’t done enough to rein in dominant internet companies like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. The Federal Trade Commission said it’s creating a task force led by senior competition officials and 17 staff lawyers to investigate potentially anticompetitive conduct by technology companies. Matt Stoller, Open Markets Institute fellow, and Bloomberg’s David McLaughlin discuss on “Bloomberg Technology.”

 

 

Note that the Open Market’s folks have taken specific aim at Clayton.  Some tweets are shown below.

AustinFrerickOpenMarketsAntiTrustAntiMonopolyClaytonHomesWarrenBuffettPredatoryLenderMinoritiesMoreDailyBusinessNewsManufacuredHousingIndustryMHProNews

HowClaytonHomesMakesMoneyAustinFrerickTwitterOpenMarketsDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

See the related reports below for more that is more manufactured housing specific, and ties together mentions of the above.

 

Independent Businesses, Affordable Manufactured Housing, Open Markets, & Robust MH Sales Growth

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

 

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

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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.

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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.

 

 

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

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