Posts Tagged ‘Capital’

Canadian and American Financial and Banking Systems Compared, Infographic

May 16th, 2018 Comments off


The Daily Business News reports every day on Canadian based companies as well as U.S. based firms in our evening market report.  But it’s been a while since we’ve taken a broader look at the Canadian market, or done a comparison with how U.S. and Canada are similar and differ.


So, the following interesting Visual Capitalist infographic is a step toward providing a look at life north of the longest peaceful border on planet earth.

As is widely known, Canada avoided much of the turbulence that was experienced in the U.S. during the run up to and since the 2008 mortgage/housing crisis.  But like the U.S., affordable housing is an issue north of the border.

Manufactured housing regrettably experiences resistance on either side of the 49th parallel.

Against that backdrop, per RBC Global Asset Management and VC:

General Differences:

Historically, the Canadian banking system favors a limited quantity of banks, and many branches. It also carries the British influence of valuing stability over experimentation. Meanwhile, U.S. banking is more decentralized and localized, and more open to experimentation. This has led to trial and error, but also the world’s largest bank system.”


Regulatory Focuses

Canada’s banking system tends to promote safety and soundness, while the American system keys in on privacy, anti-money laundering, banking access, and consumer protection measures.”


Market Environment
The Canadian market is worth C$142 billion (US$111 billion) per year, while the U.S. market is over 10x bigger at US$1.4 trillion. Interestingly, these market sizes explain why Canadian banks often seek growth opportunities in the U.S. market, while U.S. banks just focus on the massive domestic sector for growth.”

Number of Banks

There are 85 banks in Canada, and 4,938 in the United States.”

Market Share
Canada’s five biggest banks hold a whopping 89% of market share, while America’s five biggest banks only hold 35% of market share.”



To see of download the full sized version of this infographic, click here or the image above.

MHProNews will also take this as an opportunity to link up under related reports below of some of the previously published Canadian-connected manufactured housing news. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third party images and cites are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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New Mortgage Lending Changes Impacting Hundreds of Thousands of MH Owners

Tricon MH Community Stock Insider Trade, Plus Manufactured Home Market UPdate$

UPDATE: MHC Future in Doubt, the Other Side of Rent Control



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Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

May 9th, 2018 Comments off


During a crisis, when people are desperately trying to swim for shore, details can often get lost in the fog of panic and pressure.

Thus, some issues only come into focus after a crisis – like the 2008 housing/mortgage meltdown – has come and gone.

When the Urban Institute or others study the manufactured home industry, and they ask why it is at such relatively low ebb, these two documents ought to be among the top exhibits examined.

When federal officials, investors and others wonder why manufactured homes haven’t done better, given the affordable housing crisis, these two documents are an important starting point.

And when independent manufactured home retailers are wondering about the future – as in which supplier(s) and service providers they should use – an adage ought to be applied.  Namely, that a reasonable predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

This Smoking Gun 3 report and analysis will look at two historic documents:

  • an annual letter from Warren Buffett to his shareholders,
  • married up against the letter from Tim Williams, 21st Mortgage Corp President and CEO, which is a Berkshire Hathaway owned unit, and a ‘sister’ company to Clayton Homes.


Quotes from Buffett’s Letter

WarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayChairmanManufacrturedHOusingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsOur gain in net worth during 2009 was $21.8 billion, which increased the per-share book value of both our Class A and Class B stock by 19.8%. Over the last 45 years (that is, since present management took over) book value has grown from $19 to $84,487, a rate of 20.3% compounded annually,” said Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, in his 2009 annual letter to shareholders.

Here are a few examples of how we apply Charlie’s [Munger, Berkshire Vice-Chairman] thinking at Berkshire: Charlie and I avoid businesses whose futures we can’t evaluate.”

In manufactured housing, that meant that Buffett and Munger had no doubt about the future of the industry.  Investors, take note.

When the financial system went into cardiac arrest in September 2008, Berkshire was a supplier of liquidity and capital to the system, not a supplicant. At the very peak of the crisis, we poured $15.5 billion into a business world that could otherwise look only to the federal government for help,” said that same 2009 annual letter. What did that mean for manufactured housing professionals?

Simply this.

That the 21st Mortgage Corporation letter to independent retailers includes claims that were at best a mistaken, misleading – or even false – assertions.


This document was provided as a news tip to MHProNews. To see the PDF of this document, click here or above.

Berkshire made money that year.

Buffett’s conglomerate lent billions that year, his letter said. Yet, 21st had the chutzpah to claim they couldn’t lend to manufactured housing retailers that didn’t carry Clayton product?

Buffett’s own words – plus Tim Williams letter to retailers – seem to be in conflict on claims and/or facts.

Wouldn’t a reasonable person be led to believe that Williams was widening the Berkshire moat by choking off lending to independents?

Indeed, many of those companies later sold off to others – including Clayton – for less than they would in a more normal economic circumstance.

Scores of manufactured home connected companies of all sizes, slid into oblivion. Among those firms were those that had years of prior success, and good service to their customers.

How many retailers failed?  How many communities lost the benefits of having retailers sell homes into their properties?  How many factories supporting those retailers sold out for less, or failed as a result of the above?


What Buffett Said – Who’s Responsible?

We tend to let our many subsidiaries operate on their own, without our supervising and monitoring them to any degree…Most of our managers, however, use the independence we grant them magnificently, rewarding our confidence by maintaining an owner-oriented attitude that is invaluable and too seldom found in huge organizations,” said Buffett that year.

But it should also be recalled that Buffett preaches about widening the moat.   See all of the Buffett videos on the key Kevin Clayton videos on the page, linked here, or watch the two videos posted below.

Buffett referenced this from his 2008 annual letter, “We are certain, for example, that the economy will be in shambles throughout 2009 – and probably well beyond – but that conclusion does not tell us whether the market will rise or fall.”  He chastised many in media for sensationalism, in quoting only have of that, and added: “Any investors who were misled by the sensationalists paid a big price: The Dow closed the day of the letter at 7,063 and finished the year at 10,428.”

Skipping deeper into that 2009 Buffet annual letter to Berkshire shareholders, we find the section that deals with Clayton Homes, and manufactured housing.


Smoking Gun 3…”

“Finance and Financial Products

Our largest operation in this sector is Clayton Homes, the country’s leading producer of modular and manufactured homes. Clayton was not always number one: A decade ago the three leading manufacturers were Fleetwood, Champion and Oakwood, which together accounted for 44% of the output of the industry. All have since gone bankrupt. Total industry output, meanwhile, has fallen from 382,000 units in 1999 to 60,000 units in 2009.”

By the way, the industry shipped 372,000+ in 1998 – not 1999. And in 2009, the total shipments were under 50,000 homes  So that last sentence above has two fact errors.

The collapse of so many companies in manufactured housing has several causes.  But cutting off capital – in the form of lending – has to be high on the list, if not on top.

After all, Harvard’s Eric Belksy said credit is the lifeblood of housing.  At the very time – post 2008 – when hundreds of thousands were walking away from site-built housing due to mortgages they couldn’t afford, why didn’t manufactured housing spike?  Does this choking off of lending and capital – reflected in the 21st letter above – explain why?

But why would Berkshire Hathaway units choke off business for the industry, some ask?

Answer – Buffett routinely says, grow the moat, per Kevin Clayton in the video posted below.  Indeed, the Berkshire/Clayton Homes “moat” grew rapidly from 2009 to 2017.

Kevin Clayton says in the video below that in 2011, Clayton Homes was 25 percent of the industry’s production. By the end of 2017, per Berkshire’s data, it was about 50 percent of the industry’s production. Doesn’t cutting off lending explain that rapid growth in market share? Isn’t that a monopolistic ploy – a market share grab – hiding in plain sight?

What Buffett next describes in his annual letter as an overhang – meaning overproduction – of new housing in the U.S.  He said that the severe drop in new housing starts “Paradoxically, this is good news.”

The second reason that manufactured housing is troubled is specific to the industry: the punitive differential in mortgage rates between factory-built homes and site-built homes,” said Buffett, and he gave a disclaimer that the 21st letter did not phrase in a similar way.  “Before you read further, let me underscore the obvious: Berkshire has a dog in this fight, and you should therefore assess the commentary that follows with special care. That warning made, however, let me explain why the rate differential causes problems for both large numbers of lower-income Americans and Clayton.”

The residential mortgage market is shaped by government rules that are expressed by FHA, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Their lending standards are all-powerful because the mortgages they insure can typically be securitized and turned into what, in effect, is an obligation of the U.S. government. Currently buyers of conventional site-built homes who qualify for these guarantees can obtain a 30-year loan at about 5 1⁄4%. In addition, these are mortgages that have recently been purchased in massive amounts by the Federal Reserve, an action that also helped to keep rates at bargain-basement levels.

In contrast, very few factory-built homes qualify for agency-insured mortgages. Therefore, a meritorious buyer of a factory-built home must pay about 9% on his loan. For the all-cash buyer, Clayton’s homes offer terrific value. If the buyer needs mortgage financing, however – and, of course, most buyers do – the difference in financing costs too often negates the attractive price of a factory-built home.

This was another odd statement, as the more accurate phrasing would be “…negates [some of] the attractive price of a factory-built home,” as the Fannie Mae graphic below from 2011 reflects.


The price difference between much of conventional and new manufactured housing is so great, that even with higher interest rates, the manufactured home remains the bargain in both price and monthly payments.

So both Buffett and Williams made several questionable statements, and some outright fact errors.  But the key is that Buffett’s letter reveals that 21st could have had the money they told their retailers they didn’t have.  The result, was a contraction of credit that killed off businesses or forced many to sell out for less.  Isn’t that monopoly power at work?


Two Sides of the Story

It is important to note, that we’ve given several voices with Berkshire Hathaway brands and the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) numerous opportunities to explain these seemingly contradictory matters, in writing and/or on stage and by video.

Is there is another explanation that what’s shown in this analysis?  If so, please, let MHI – which has been viewed by voices inside and outside of manufactured housing as dominated by Berkshire Hathaway for years – Mr. Buffett, or leaders of any of Berkshire owned manufactured home brands explain it.

They’ve repeatedly demurred, and we’ve documented several of those outreaches.

So, quoting directly from Berkshire Hathaway or Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) source documents is the next best thing to presenting “both sides” of the story.  Facts, balance, evidence all matters.


Back to the Buffett 2009 Annual Letter

Last year I told you why our [manufactured home] buyers – generally people with low incomes – performed so well as credit risks. Their attitude was all-important: They signed up to live in the home, not resell or refinance it. Consequently, our buyers usually took out loans with payments geared to their verified incomes (we weren’t making “liar’s loans”) and looked forward to the day they could burn their mortgage. If they lost their jobs, had health problems or got divorced, we could of course expect defaults. But they seldom walked away simply because house values had fallen. Even today, though job-loss troubles have grown, Clayton’s delinquencies and defaults remain reasonable and will not cause us significant problems.”

We have tried to qualify more of our customers’ loans for treatment similar to those available on the site-built product. So far we have had only token success. Many families with modest incomes but responsible habits have therefore had to forego home ownership simply because the financing differential attached to the factory-built product makes monthly payments too expensive. If qualifications aren’t broadened, so as to open low-cost financing to all who meet down-payment and income standards, the manufactured-home industry seems destined to struggle and dwindle.”

Once more, by way of analysis, Fannie Mae’s data is different.  But the Government Accountability Office (GAO) also had similar statistics, which demonstrated that even with a somewhat higher finance rate, because of the far lower home price, monthly payments on manufactured homes are still typically considerably less.

But there’s another problem with Buffett’s statement above. The manufactured home (MH) industry has experienced prior shipment levels far higher then – or now – and MH did it with higher interest rates than conventional housing. Pardon me, sir, but shouldn’t that paragraph be rephrased?


Tim Williams, CEO, 21st Mortgage Corp. Photo credit,

Furthermore, Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage took steps that several sources indicated would contribute to the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) not making an earlier, and more robust entry, into the manufactured housing marketplace. 

That report, which quotes from Williams and others, is linked below.

In other words, there are several third parties and multiple sources – including Williams – that made it clear that Berkshire operatives took steps that could predictably cause the GSEs not to enter manufactured housing earlier, or more robustly.

Duty To Serve, “Complete Waste of Time” per Tim Williams, CEO/21st Mortgage; POTUS Trump, Warren Buffett Insight$

As Mark Weiss, president and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has said, every day that the GSEs don’t robustly provide chattel and other lending for manufactured housing is a gift to Berkshire Hathaway.


Continuing from the Buffett 2009 annual letter:

Even under these conditions, I believe Clayton will operate profitably in coming years, though well below its potential. We couldn’t have a better manager than CEO Kevin Clayton, who treats Berkshire’s interests as if they were his own. Our product is first-class, inexpensive and constantly being improved. Moreover, we will continue to use Berkshire’s credit to support Clayton’s mortgage program, convinced as we are of its soundness. Even so, Berkshire can’t borrow at a rate approaching that available to government agencies. This handicap will limit sales, hurting both Clayton and a multitude of worthy families who long for a low-cost home. In the following table, Clayton’s earnings are net of the company’s payment to Berkshire for the use of its credit. Offsetting this cost to Clayton is an identical amount of income credited to Berkshire’s finance operation and included in “Other Income.” The cost and income amount was $116 million in 2009 and $92 million in 2008.


Summing Up “Smoking Gun 3”

Tim Williams claimed in the letter sent to retailers that 21st didn’t have sufficient access to money.

Yet, Warren Buffett said that money was being provided to Clayton and affiliates.

Buffett also said that same year, that they loaned money to others.  If they loaned it to others, then why not to 21st and through them, to independents? ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third-party images are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

Manufactured Housing – Regulatory, Other Roadblocks and Potential Solutions, Up for Growth Research, plus Urban Institute Report Revisited



L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach addressing industry professionals in an educational session.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for

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Tech’s Tumble, POTUS Trump & Antitrust Panel Discussion and Potential MH Industry Impact

March 30th, 2018 Comments off


Among the nation’s many trillion-dollar sectors is housing.

So as tech has taken it’s hit this past week, is it a passing blip?  Or is it as Axios and other media sources suggest, the start of something bigger?

This panel discussion on right-of-center Fox Business looks at some of the factors beyond President Trump and the growing calls in the U.S. for regulatory action – or even a break up – of the tech giants. With markets closed today, this is a timely topic that directly and indirectly can impact the flow of capital.

Will some of that capital flow into manufactured housing?  Should it?

Billions have been pouring into manufactured housing in recent years.  But will even more investment capital be attracted?

Investor$, Manufactured Housing, and Proof of Concept

That related report on why investors may find manufactured housing appealing, is linked above. This is one more aspect of the news through the lens of manufactured housing. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##

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Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for

Imports, Capital, Manufactured Housing, and U.S. Policies

October 9th, 2017 Comments off

HYB1684-313SunshineHomesRedBayALMHLivingNewsMHProNewsMadeInUSAHUDCodeManufacturedHomeSingleSectionIt is widely known in the industry’s circles that most manufactured homes are “Made in the U.S.A.”

Many of the raw materials and comments that go into, or under, a manufactured home are also made or sourced in the U.S.

But there are also an array of items that go into building, and moving manufactured homes that are imports.

  • Canadian lumber,
  • Chinese tires,
  • imported oil,

are just a few of the ways that trade policy enters the manufactured housing scene.

Clayton Competitor Tells MHProNews…

One producer competing with Berkshire Hathaway owned factories on the “entry level” type HUD Code product told the Daily Business News on MHProNews that they import Chinese products “by container loads” regularly.  The statement was made off-the-record.

Foreign and trade policy thus impacts manufactured housing, in very direct ways.

Imported Housing? Foreign Capital, and More?

Sources foreign and domestic tell MHProNews that some entire units – HUD Code, PreFab and modular – are also being brought into the U.S.


Click the image above to read the ICE raids MH producers report.

The recently reported I.C.E. raids in manufactured housing industry production centers should make it clear that raw or finished goods are not all that comes into the factory-built housing’s industry mix.

As the Daily Business News reported, capital that has fueled some of the acquisitions, notably in the manufactured home community sector, are also coming in.

YES_Communities__their_credit postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Singapore based GIC invested 2 billion dollars in U.S. based Yes! Communities, to learn more, click the photo from Yes! Communities, above. </>

But there are numerous other indications that foreign capital also is involved in U.S. manufactured housing production too.


America First

The trend of imported labor, raw, and finished goods being used in HUD Code manufactured housing’s production is not new.  It has been taking place for decades. Some argue that it is occurring at an accelerated rate, under both Democratic and Republican administrations.


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So when President Trump upended the Washington D.C. “Establishment” in last November’s presidential election, his trade and other policies weren’t just a hypothetical for manufactured housing.


President Trump and VP Mike Pence have both said they will be in the promise keeping business.

Or as the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform’s president and CEO, Mark Weiss put it recently in a column in MHProNews, For Manufactured Housing, The Obama Administration Never Left Town.” ## (News, analysis.)

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SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for


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Major Moves at Tricon Capital Group

April 14th, 2017 Comments off

Credit: CBS Local.

Big news for Tricon Capital Group Inc. (TCN), as they have announced their acquisition of Silver Bay Realty Trust Corp (NYSE:SBY), an owner and operator of single-family rental homes in the United States for $1.4B.

According to HousingWire, the all cash transaction valued Silver Bay at $21.50 per share, and the deal will create the country’s 4th largest publicly owned single-family rental operator with over 16,800 units nationwide.

The proposed acquisition of Silver Bay is an incredibly exciting and transformational event for Tricon. This acquisition will more than double the size of Tricon American Homes, establishing it as the fourth largest publicly-owned SFR company in the U.S. Silver Bay’s high-quality and well managed portfolio of SFR homes is a natural complement to our TAH assets, in particular given the geographic overlap in the Sun Belt,” said Tricon President and CEO Gary Berman.


Gary Berman. Credit: Tricon Capital.

We believe that the transaction will result in significant operating and overhead synergies creating immediate value for our shareholders. In conjunction with the Acquisition, we also intend to exit our smaller non-core businesses and take a meaningful step toward simplifying our overall corporate business model by focusing on scale, industry leadership, enhanced disclosure and operational integration across our investment verticals.”

The newly combined company will operate in a total of 18 markets, including six markets with one thousand homes or more.

We have continually evaluated the most prudent way to drive sustainable, long-term capital appreciation and we believe this transaction is the best opportunity to return maximum value to our stockholders,” said Silver Bay CEO Thomas Brock.

Over the past year, we have been making excellent strides in driving efficiency across our operating platform. We closed out the year with the best quarter in our company’s history, which I credit to the dedication and focus of our Silver Bay team.

Our well-crafted portfolio of single family properties and the recent strong performance across our platform will serve as a great complement to Tricon Capital Group Inc.’s business as the single family rental industry continues to evolve and consolidate.”

The deal is expected to close by end of Q2 2017.


Tricon 1 year look. Credit: Bloomberg.

Insider Action

Tricon Capital Group Director Ira Gluskin purchased 50,000 shares of the company’s stock last month, at an average price of C$10.72 ($8.05 USD) per share for a total transaction of C$536,000.00 ($402,482 USD).

The company has received an overall “buy” rating consensus from analysts, including CIBC, BMO Capital Markets, TD Securities, and Royal Bank of Canada.

Tricon Capital Group is a principal investor and asset manager focused on the residential real estate industry in North America with approximately $3.1 billion USD of assets under management. Tricon owns, or manages on behalf of third party investors, a portfolio of investments in land and homebuilding assets, single-family rental homes, manufactured housing communities and multi-family development projects.

For the most recent closing numbers on Tricon Capital Group – and all MH industry-connected tracked stocks – please click here. ##


(Image credits are as shown above.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.