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

May 15th, 2019 Comments off

 

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When you talk about monopolization claims, the main issue is exclusion, unfair exclusion,” John Roberti said.

 

Roberti is the head of the Washington antitrust practice at the law firm Allen & Overy.

So all these companies are going to be asking themselves: Is there anything we are doing that is excluding competitors?”

That question may cause some in the manufactured housing industry to wince.

To be clear, the discussion was about antitrust in tech, specifically with respect to Apple. The Supreme Court ruled earlier this week, giving potential litigants the green light to sue Apple for antitrust concerns connected to the alleged monopolistic practices on their App Store.  A video on that aspect of the issue is linked below.  That hold’s a separate relevance to the manufactured home industry – and the nation at large – in terms of the varied impact of tech giants on communications, marketing, media, and business related.

 

 

But Roberti’s point about ‘unfair exclusion’ from the marketplace could be relevant to manufactured housing, specifically, to Berkshire Hathaway owned brands covered in the report linked below.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, Warren Buffett’s annual letter, 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.  They were being excluded from 21st lending, per Williams’ letter, based upon a retailers purchase of Clayton Homes inventory, or not. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

New Kevin Clayton Video Interview

Especially in the light of a new video interview with Kevin Clayton yesterday by CNBC, there could be new fodder for legal and antitrust experts to unpack regarding Berkshire Hathaway’s intentions regarding Clayton Homes and the U.S. housing market.

Diana Olick at CNBC asked Kevin Clayton what might be one of the best mainstream media questions put to Clayton in some time.

First ticking through a list of some of Berkshire Hathaway’s varied investments connected to the housing market, Olick then asked Clayton – “Is this his [Warren Buffett’s] master plan to own every aspect of the U.S. Housing Market?”

Clayton’s response was interesting too.

You know Charlie [Munger] is a huge builder, designer, architect – he has always loved us from the beginning and so has Warren. We are so blessed to have the capital and the 100 plus year vision.” That’s hardly a denial.

The timeline of “100 years” Clayton shared may arguably be a deliberate understatement, given that Clayton has gone from 13 percent of the HUD Code manufactured housing production in 2003, to some 48 to 50 percent market-share by 2018, depending on what data-source one refers to for Clayton’s market-share data.

Back to the interview, Clayton said that: “Right now, our whole goal is to make, you know, attainable home ownership available to more people. Democratization of home ownership. They [Buffett and Munger] love that. The whole [Berkshire Hathaway] board toured our factory recently.”

So, they [Buffett, Munger, the Berkshire Board] are excited too about us trying to blur the lines and bring some of the factory-built efficiencies into the on-site built housing, and that we’ve learned on the off-site side.”

Clayton admitted to CNBC that he wanted to be in the top ten of site builders.

We do. We want to learn that aspect,” Clayton said. “With the nine [site] builders that we have now we are at a run rate in the next 12 months to be in the top ten. One of those [site builders] already has two penalization facilities. We are starting a new penalization facility. We’ll try to be one of the first companies to put more in the panel.  Really help cost efficiency.”

Clayton agreed that it would be a Lego-like paradigm ahead.

That’s right. The homes in the future they will be this blurring of the lines between pieces built off site and on site. So, a panel that already has insulation, windows, and all of that,” per Clayton. “So, we are working with a lot of robotics in doing that.”

The video underscores several ‘enduring competitive advantages’ that Clayton’s commentary de facto pointed to, viewed through the Buffett-Berkshire castle-moat mindsight.

But we are equally excited about the manufactured housing side,” Clayton pivoted. “Because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac just announced their new programs where if it has these high end features, the roof pitch, porch, foundation, they’ll finance on par with traditional housing and appraise those.”

What he was referring to is what they’ve dubbed a ‘new class of homes,’ that are under the HUD Code, but stipulate certain features in order to qualify for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (Government Sponsored Enterprises, or GSEs) lending.

There was no mention of Clayton Homes and MHI’s role in making those GSE and ‘new class of homes’ standards come to pass.

 

To wrap up his interview comments, Clayton said, “That’s that important price point from 149 to 200 [thousand], and then we are trying to bring that site-built side down too.”

The video opens with a discussion of tariffs.  The interview is posted below.

 

 

Excluding Competitors? Back to Possible Antitrust Angles

By purportedly manipulating the GSEs via lobbying and closed door meetings where the minutes have not been released, the comments and implications beg several questions that may involve antitrust concerns.

Before this case, it wouldn’t have been clear if I, as a consumer, went on Amazon and purchased something from a third party seller, that I could sue Amazon for anticompetitive damages related to that sale,” said Valarie Williams, a partner at the law firm Alston & Bird. “But that’s clear now.”

I think [other technology companies] have to be watching it very, very closely,” said Roberti.  It may not be only big tech, but big conglomerates, such as Berkshire Hathaway, and their subsidiaries, such as Clayton and their related lenders.  There is a lot to unpack in this video, and we may return to it in the days ahead.

To see more concerns about market manipulation, which include potential antitrust or fraud aspects, see the related reports, linked below the by line, free ‘read hot’ x2 weekly email headline news, and other notices.  There are also reports that obliquely raise the question, is Clayton and Berkshire really concerned about the ‘democratization of housing?’ If so, why aren’t they and MHI pushing for enhanced preemption, or a full implementation of the Duty to Serve by the GSEs, to raise but two of several possible topics?

EnhancedPreemptionMHIWebsiteSearch

There is still no results on 5.14.2019 at 8:23 PM ET. Both sources with MHI, and MHI’s outside counsel, have stated that they monitor our website. They’ve been asked directly about this issue. No changes. Given the issues the industry faces on zoning and placement, why are they allowing one of the best arguments to go unused?

ManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReformMHARREnhancedPreemptionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

EnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews2019-03-05_1404

There are three primary places online that one learns about enhanced preemption in manufactured housing. MHARR, MHProNews, and MHLivingNews. The screen capture above makes that point, then and now. It has been so for some years.

 

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Clayton’s Denial, But Mainstream News Reports Ongoing Federal Investigation of Manufactured Housing Industry Giant

October 23rd, 2018 Comments off

ClaytonsDenialButMainstreamNewsReportsOngoingFederalInvestigationManufacturedHousingIndustryGiantDailyBsuinessNewsMHProNews

MHProNews was alone in Manufactured Housing independent professional’s trade media in reporting last year that four Democratic leaders – including Maxine Waters and current DNC Vice-Chairman Keith Ellison – had asked for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate discrimination charges against minorities.

 

Then in May 2018, the Seattle Times further reported that federal investigations were ongoing.  MHProNews had independent confirmation of other federal investigations of Clayton Homes and their affiliates.

More recently, Tennessee-based news media spotlighted the ongoing charges, which Clayton Homes formally denied.

In their statement to WATE 6 On Your Side, Clayton said in a written statement:

Over its 60 year history, Clayton Homes has built a culture of compliance and does not tolerate discrimination of any kind in its interactions with customers. We value working with federal and state agencies to improve processes and ensure all regulatory requirements are met and our customers are protected and treated fairly. Last year, our lenders were the subject of more than 40 routine agency examinations resulting in no fines.”

That last part may be true. But it logically begs the question, what about the cases that sparked the investigations against Clayton Homes and their affiliated lenders to begin with? Isn’t Clayton’s answer at least a partial dodge?

 

 

Warren’s and Charlie’s Statements on Clayton

Warren Buffett is the well-known Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns Clayton and their manufactured housing lending units. Buffet has defended Clayton’s lending practices, saying loan rates have more to do with credit scores, income, job history, and whether the customer owns land, not on their race.

Does that mean that every single transaction gets handled perfectly? No,” Buffett said in an interview with CNBC in 2016.  Nor did Buffett address internal documents from Clayton referenced by The Seattle Times report that pressured Clayton managers into pushing borrowers into higher cost loans than they may have otherwise qualified for, see the graphic below.

 

VanderbiltMortgageFinanceLogoClaytonHomesLogoVanderbiltClaytonChargesMinoritiesMostMoneyManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

 

As MHProNews has also previously reported, CNN in an interview with Vice Chairman Charlie Munger reported Munger making a similar admission. Munger said that someone, somewhere had no doubt likely done something wrong.

 

 

Put differently, while denying the notion, aren’t both Buffett and Munger admitting that certain practices were wrong?  Don’t Buffett and Munger thus belie Clayton’s denial?

A former Clayton sales employee has described certain “tactics” that he felt were inappropriate, high pressure, and deceptive. That should be part of a planned upcoming ‘Inside Clayton’ exclusive report on MHProNews.

Related to these reports is a new allegation that has surfaced from within the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) staff and members, which will also be explored in a planned upcoming report.

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Suffice it to say for now, that Jim Clayton’s support of a high-profile Democrat – in opposition to a historic supporter of MHI requested issues in Washington, D.C. – has troubled some in manufactured housing industry circles.

Jim is the founder of Clayton Homes and Clayton Bank. Where is that loyalty that the Clayton organization speaks about, with respect to Representative Marsha Blackburn (TN-R)? Why are they supporting a man when they could a loyal woman, in the #MeToo era?  See that under related reports, further below the byline.

Why is Clayton joining Buffett, George Soros, and other deep pocket Democratic billionaires in opposing the Trump Administration agenda of more jobs, higher incomes, lower taxes, and fewer job-and-business killing regulations?

ICYMI or need a refresher, see the related reports, further below.

Then ask yourself too, why is no one else in manufactured housing trade media covering these controversial topics, that arguably impact the public image of the industry, save MHProNews? Then look at who is sponsoring those others, and ask yourself if Clayton and MHI ad money is buying the silence of certain MH bloggers, SECO, and MH trade publishers?

Note that Clayton and MHI were previously given an opportunity to respond to these issues, and each declined comment. If they do so later, we can update readers. “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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NBC Video – Federal Authorities Investigating Clayton Homes, Maxine Waters Denounces Lending “Discrimination” Against Minorities

October 9th, 2018 Comments off


NBCWBIRNewsClaytonHomesLogoManufacturedHousingNotMObileHomesManufacturedhomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

If you thought it was over for Clayton Homes and their Berkshire Hathaway affiliated lending units with federal officials, mainstream media and other sources are telling the Daily Business News on MHProNews that it’s not.

 

 

WBIR, an NBC News affiliate, said Federal authorities are involved in an ongoing investigating of Clayton Homes for possibly discriminatory action against minority borrowers.

 

 

It’s not all a ‘new story’ to MHVille. But it is a continuation of the same or new issues that the Seattle Times, BuzzFeed News, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Guru Focus, the Nation, and other mainstream media outlets have spotlighted in 2018, or previously.

ClaytonHomesSubsidiariesDiscriminateLowModerateIncomeMinorityBuyersHighCostLoansLeaveMaxineWatersCA-DClaytonlogo21stMortgageLogoVanderbiltMortgageLogo

Still from the NBC WBIR 2018 video posted above.

This report posted above by a local Tennessee NBC news affiliate doesn’t include Clayton’s denial of the allegation.  But in fairness, other sources have told MHProNews that Clayton later denied the charges.  They said in part that numerous routine audits have turned up nothing.

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Still from NBC WBIR news affiliate 2018 video, posted above.

 

But their denial statement is arguably misleading, per other mainstream media, Washington D.C. regulators, and manufactured housing industry sources.

2018-10-09_1427SeattleTimesClaytonHOmesBrianSullivanHUSpokespersonDailyBusinessNewsMHPronews

Austin Frerick is a research fellow at Open Markets, a non-profit focused on problems related to monopolies.

MHProNews has heard directly from federal officials, as well as private attorneys, that are exploring these issues, as well as antitrust, or other concerns.

2018-10-09_1416AustinFrerickWSJCLaytonHomesLendingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Austin Frerick is a fellow with Open Markets, an anti-trust (anti-monopoly) nonprofit organization.

Some have told the Daily Business News that many who have been through such federal investigations or civil procedures already know. These investigations and procedures can take time.

HowClaytonHomesMakesMoneyAustinFrerickTwitterOpenMarketsDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Rephrased, there can be a quiet before the storm breaks.

AustinFrerickOpenMarketsAntiTrustAntiMonopolyClaytonHomesWarrenBuffettPredatoryLenderMinoritiesMoreDailyBusinessNewsManufacuredHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Two Sides of the Clayton Allegations Coin

As MHProNews has said, in America, allegations alone are not proof. Thankfully, in the U.S., one is deemed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, via a settlement, or plea agreement, etc.

At the same time, the other side of the coin is that Clayton has previously admitted to having paid fines in connection with this ongoing allegations and media scandal.

While denying intent, both Warren Buffett and his colleague at Berkshire Hathaway – Vice Chairman Charlie Munger – have said that they don’t doubt that ‘someone, somewhere has done something wrong.’

 

Berkshire’s Munger’s statement to CNN Money of denial, while admitting in his own words that ‘something indeed could have happened with someone somewhere,’ is posted above.

 

Why It Matters to MHVille

For those who recall the glory days of much higher levels of manufactured home sales, rationale people should ask questions like the following.

  • Why is manufactured housing underperforming?
  • Why is the public perception so poor, in spite of an overall record of quality and home owner satisfaction?
  • Isn’t the steady drum beat of such reports about Clayton or MHI part of the problem?

See some related reports, linked below. We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, and commentary.)

  1. Footnote: The home shown is a manufactured home, not a mobile home. Also, the community is not a ‘trailer park,’ it is more properly a land lease community for manufactured homes.

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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 Buffett, Charlie Munger, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Berkshire Hathaway Backstory

September 26th, 2018 Comments off

 

FanniMaeFreddieMacLogosGuruFocusBerkshireHathawayLogoCharlieMungerWarrenBuffettHollyLaFonPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Arguably at the heart of the affordable housing crisis is an access to lending for the most affordable homes built in America, manufactured homes.The Enterprises” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are mandated by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA 2008) to support manufactured home lending under the ‘Duty to Serve,’ or DTS for short.

 

The “Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (FMCC) (Freddie Mac), a government-sponsored home mortgage lender, was delivering 23% returns on equity and trading for less than eight times estimated earnings when Buffett touted the investment to Fortune Magazine in 1988,” writes Holly LaFon, an editor for GuruFocus.

You’ve got a low price/earnings ratio on a company with a terrific record,” Buffett told the magazine. “You’ve got growing earnings. And you have a stock that is bound to become much better known to equity investors.”

The Fortune article cited factors why Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Buffett and Charlie Munger, the Vice Chairman of Berkshire, were particularly attracted to Freddie Mac. ”I can’t think of a more tangible compliment to the stock than to buy every damn share we are allowed to,” Munger said.

By 2000, Berkshire was the largest shareholder of Freddie Mac, said LaFon, explaining that the “stock had soared to between $41 and $64 per share, for a sizable gain. His view on it changed, though, and he unloaded nearly all of his Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae shares that year, according to his testimony to the U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in May 2010.”

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Brad Bondi, deputy general counselor of the commission, asked if Buffett if he sold because the stocks were no longer good investments.  Per GuruFocus, Buffett responded that he “didn’t know they weren’t going to be good investments” but became “concerned” about their management.

The Motley Fool, another investment-focused operation, said that Buffett colorfully said: I figure if you see just one cockroach, there’s probably a lot.”

They were trying to -– and proclaiming that they could increase earnings per share in some low double-digit range or something of the sort,” Buffett reportedly said. “And any time a large financial institution starts promising regular earnings increases, you’re going to have trouble, you know?”

Now, they are dealing essentially with government-guaranteed credit, so we know about that and we had it ratified subsequently about what has happened,” Buffett said. “So, here was an institution that was trying to serve two masters: Wall Street and their investors, and Congress.”

And the truth was that they were arbitraging the government’s credit, and for something that the government really didn’t intend for them to do,” the Berkshire chairman told the commission. “And, you know, there is seldom just one cockroach in the kitchen. You know, you turn on the light and, all of sudden, they all start scurrying around. And I couldn’t find the light switch, but I had seen one.”

The Daily Business News reported recently on a related commentary by Forbes contributor, David Marotta, who said that in 2012, that the entire presidential race should come down to a single question. “Who caused the financial crisis of 2008?” By the sounds of Buffett’s testimony, he didn’t cause it, but he did apparently believe that there was a crisis coming.

That crash, combined with other maneuvers linked below, led to a historic drop in manufactured housing shipments.

Figure1MobileManufacturedHomeSalesSHipmentsVsExistingingNewHouseSalesManufacturedHousingiinudstryDataMHProNews

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s stock prices did not begin to crash until seven years later in 2007 when mounting home foreclosures led to unsustainable losses. In 2008, Buffett passed when Freddie Mac approached him about participating in a capital infusion. See that related report later, at the link below.

President Jimmy Carter Blasts Trump Administration on Affordable Housing, Carter’s Manufactured Home Ties

They’re [the GSEs, Fannie and Freddie] looking for help, obviously. And the scale of help is such that I don’t think it can come from the private sector,” Buffett told CNBC. Fannie and Freddie are still under the supervision of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

As regular Daily Business News readers know, there’s been a swirl of controversies around Mel Watt, FHFA, the GSEs, and the tepid way that the GSEs are meeting the decade old required Duty to Serve (DTS) manufactured housing. See related reports, further below.

Recall too that earlier this year, GuruFocus and Seattle Times, both did reports on Clayton Home and allegations of how Buffett’s manufactured housing brands engaged in monopolistic practices.

Seattle Times -Federal Investigations-Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes, GuruFocus Spotlights Buffett’s Clayton’s “Unethical,” Monopolistic Moat

There is no questioning the overall Buffett and Munger success at operating Berkshire’s investments. But does this once more spotlight some of the ways that success has occurred.  Upcoming related reports will be forthcoming in the days ahead. Stay tuned, and sign up for our emailed updates, further below at the right. That’s this evening’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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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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The Rich, Famous, PreFab Homes, Manufactured Housing, Hypocrisy, and You

 

Life Hack Success Tip-Any Pro Can Do This-Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

May 21st, 2018 Comments off

CharlieMungerWarrenBuffettDonaldTrumpLifeHackSuccessTipManufacturedHousingINdustryMondayMorningsalesMeetingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews520x310

Today is going to be DIFFERENT.

 

Open your minds for something simple, yet profoundly effective for those who dare embrace it.

It’s a Success Tip that Warren Buffett’s over half-a-century partner Charlie Munger believes in and practices.

It’s this.

Reading for understanding.

Reading, and being able to admit that you were mistaken about something.

Reading with an open mind, looking for the opportunity, the gem that the reading is bringing to you.

When MHProNews first launched, our URL – the base web address – was and remains MHMarketingSalesManagement.com. Marketing, Selling, and Management are at the core elements of any successful enterprise.

We encouraged readers almost a decade ago to devote 15 minutes a day to reading. That was back before we introduced the industry’s first and still only Daily Business News, which is this module or blog within our broader trade media website.

Today, the goal should not be for 15 minutes a day. That isn’t nearly enough to keep up with your industry and the world that impacts your industry. An hour a day is the minimum.

You can split that hour-a-day of reading and viewing into 10-to-15 minute segments. You can do it all at once. How, where and when you invest that hourly daily has a lot of flexibility.

Watch the video, and see what Munger does.

Charlie Munger is a billionaire. He is the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate that dominates much of manufactured housing. Munger takes reading with him, everywhere he goes. For example, he shows up early for meetings, and is reading before and after the meeting.

So Munger is wasting no time! He is reading during what for others might be down-time!

If you are reading and viewing at least an hour a day on MHProNews and MHLivingNews.com – and you do so for a deep understanding – that habit will transform your career, and your professional life.

That hour-daily habit would likely lead to improvements in every other area of you life too.

 

Foundational For Success

We don’t hide the fact that we believe in faith, flag, family, fellowship, and free enterprise. We celebrate what each of those words represent, because each are and should be cherished ideals.

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Third-party statistics prove that we are still the industry’s leader in trade media, by a country mile. MH “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © is more than a tag line.

That’s a mission we are committed to, in order to help industry pros and investors like you become all that you can be.

We practice what we preach.

We read and read, then we write what the evidence tells us we should know, which then suggests which way to go.

In our consulting, professional business development services, marketing and sales coaching, it is all based upon observations, evidence, feedback, real world experiences, and ongoing refinement.

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Learn more about the above, linked here.

For a time, we trusted the ‘industry leaders’ to a certain degree. But we admit that on some things, the industry’s leaders were mistaken in what they said and did. To the degree we listened, we were off.

The evidence of why the industry’s so-called ‘leaders’ have been wrong is in the chart below.

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There are reasons why manufactured housing slid from 372,000 plus shipments in 1998, to under 50,000 shipments in 2009. Understanding what caused that, and navigating the realities of what the MH slide while America’s affordable housing crisis grew are fundamental.  Understanding the opportunities and the obstacles can make anyone with the time, talent and treasure commitments a success in this amazing industry.

If what those leaders wanted us all to do was so dang smart, why did the manufactured housing rumble and tumble as fat as it did?

When the nation has an affordable housing crisis, why will there only be about 100,000 new manufactured homes built this year?

The answers for that and more are found in reading for understanding.

 

The Trumpian View

Donald J. Trump has a similar belief to Munger’s and Buffett’s in this respect. The billionaire builder and businessman turned populist President of the United States (POTUS) believes this.  It pays to know all that you can about something that impacts your profession.

That Trumpian view is more than reading.  But it includes reading, plus viewing, asking questions, and listening to the answers. It requires the search for understanding.

Reading and viewing here and on MHLivingNews.com an hour a day. Every day. Do that for a year. Then, a year from now, tell me in an email, call, or other message what that practice did to make your professional life more profitable and effective.

Take that challenge.

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Donald Trump, Warren Buffett, and Charlie Munger didn’t say it. But another successful business guru did. Want to understand something enough to benefit from it? There is no substitute to investing the time needed. Buffett says he reads 5 to 6 hours daily. Wow…but look were that got him.

Read for understanding, no less than one hour a day. Enough said for today. ## (Manufactured housing related marketing & sales news, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Related References:

Is it Better to Be Candid, or a Kiss-Up? Monday Morning Manufactured Housing Sales, Marketing Meeting

Style or Substance? Lesson from Most Hated in America – Monday Morning Manufactured Home Sales, Marketing Meeting

What are the FACTS about Manufactured Housing Industry Traffic vs. Real Estate? MHVillage, MHProNews, Manufactured Housing Institute Data

‘You Are Either Clayton Homes, or You’re Not’ – Monday Morning MH Sales Meeting

 

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Time, talent, treasure. Why not put your money, as we do, where your mouth is? 

FactoryBuiltCarsClothingAppliancesElectronicsCellsSmartPhonesHomesItJustFollowsLATonyKovachC2017MHproNewsBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

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

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

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

 

Berkshire Hathaway Acquires Balance of International Metalworking Companies

May 1st, 2013 Comments off

BusinessWire states Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. has acquired the 20 percent of International Metalworking Companies (IMC) B.V. of Tefen, Israel that it does not already own for $2.05 billion. IMC manufactures and distributes a wide range of metalworking tools for numerous applications through its facilities and subsidiaries in 61 major industrial countries spanning the globe. Says Warren Buffett, “Since the time IMC entered our lives, my partner, Charlie Munger, and I have enjoyed Berkshire’s association with the company, the Wertheimer family, and the company’s management team.” IMC President and CEO Jacob Harpaz says, “We are confident that being part of the Berkshire family will continue to help us strengthen our position worldwide and maintain the phenomenal growth that we have experienced over the past 60 years.” IMC was started by Miriam and Stef Wertheimer. As MHProNews knows, Clayton Homes, the largest producer of manufactured and modular homes in North America, is part of the Berkshire Hathaway group of companies.

(Photo credit: Clayton Homes)

CEOs Cautiously Optimistic for Growth in New Year

January 6th, 2012 Comments off

ChiefExecutive tells MHProNews.com 69 percent of chief executives in their CEO Confidence Index expect an increase in revenues in 2012, and 42 percent anticipate more capital expenses, although Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett is ahead of the pack. The owner of Clayton Homes through Berkshire, with $40 billion in cash at the beginning of 2011, and his “trigger finger itching to buy” (as he told shareholders), in Q3 2011 he spent more than he has in any single quarter in 15 years. With nine billion he bagged chemical manufacturer Lubrizol, bought IBM shares to the tune of $11 billion, and infused the Bank of America with five billion in cash. He also completed the buyout of Wesco Financial, now chaired by Charlie Munger, his right-hand man, and purchased his hometown newspaper, the Omaha World-Herald. While other CEOs may not have the resources of Buffett, they are cautiously optimistic for 2012, and intend to invest in their businesses and make acquisitions. One CEO said, “Because the demand for our products/services is down or flat, the only way we are getting growth in revenue is by increasing market share through organic and acquisition growth. We manage our expenses well, so in spite of slow revenue growth, we will see better profit growth.”

(Photo credit: Warren Buffett by Yoshikazu Tsuno/Getty Images)