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Kobayashi Maru, Crime, Kevin Clayton, Darren Krolewski, MHInsider – State of Manufactured Housing Industry

May 23rd, 2019 Comments off

 

KobayahsiMaruCrimeKevinClaytonPhotoMHVillageLogoDarrenKrolewskiPhotoMHinsiderStateOfManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Nearly a week has elapsed since the message further below was sent to the co-president of a well-known Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member firm that will be part of today’s fact-check and analysis.

 

 

To grasp the subject – for outsiders looking in, and for those in the industry who don’t yet ‘get it’ – a pair of analogies are useful, but one must begin with facts about law enforcement.

When local, state, or federal law enforcement undertakes a case, their goal in part is to obtain a conviction. That means at times that law enforcement professionals allow a criminal enterprise to continue while a case is being “built.” For those who’ve watch a legal drama in a TV series or a movie, that picture of monitoring or penetrating a criminal enterprise will start to come into focus.

 

BestInvestmentOneMadeinYourselfMoreYouLearnMoreYoullEarnWarrenBuffettQuoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

Using the principle of the wheat and chaff, this Warren Buffett quote is pure wheat. Give credit where it is due.

 

But that’s fictional. How real is it?

On various occasions during my manufactured home career, I’ve met and worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),” said industry publisher and consultant, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. “Convictions were obtained. There are a few industry pros who know, but I was also given a letter of thanks from the FBI, which proves it.”

Local law enforcement cases were worked on with Kovach’s assistance too.

Kovach explained he has friends who are and/or were in law enforcement. A case isn’t solved in an hour or two, he said. It can be weeks or months in many instances. If it is a major criminal enterprise, years could be involved.

What’s occurring in manufactured housing is not a onetime petty theft. It’s arguably a multiple billion-dollar ongoing scam that’s harmed taxpayers, as well as numerous specific companies in manufactured housing. Several multiple decade brands were put out of business that could well be thriving today if not for specific, illicit, market manipulation for which there is extensive credible evidence,” Kovach said. “That’s why the feds, attorneys, and others have opened up investigations.”

Kovach added, “I’ve personally been told [by federal investigators] that this will take time. Likely years. But to underscore that there are such investigations, we periodically share the video from Clayton Homes’ hometown news media. Don’t forget that the Seattle Times has also reported ongoing federal investigations too. The feds have their needs and timelines, but we as pro-industry publishers must think about warning those who are the purported targets of such scams.”

The news video he referenced is below.  The views reported on that video have roughly tripled since MHProNews began spotlighting it by posting it.

 

 

How do the powers that be in MHVille counter such claims?

In part, through threats from attorneys – that have not yet been acted upon – or by using surrogates George F. Allen purportedly to smear our publisher by sending out by email, or verbally tells his “intimates,” about Tony Kovach’s prior use of a pen name.  Allen acts as if that use of a pen name was a crime – to which, there are times our publisher/consultant laughs.

GeorgeAllenWithLATonyKovach

Concerns over Allen are not to be construed as calling into question potentially positive aspects of his career. But when someone has lost their pizazz, are they willing to cross lines to get – in their own minds – their magic back?

Look, I’ve not claimed to be a choir boy, and [George] Allen isn’t a dummy. He knows that thousands of people use a pen or stage name quite legally. I have too. So what? Most adults over a certain age know that Mark Twain real name was actually Samuel Clemens. Does George want Clemens charged post-mortem with the use of a pen name? Absurd. Performer Kid Rock’s real name is Robert James Ritchie. It’s legal and done for specific professional reasons. Ironically, Allen has told the story about walking into other people’s businesses in our industry and saying he was paid to claim that he was someone other than who he was. He calls that ‘mystery shopping.’  George has told dozens of industry professionals that he’s claimed – for instance – being in drag, or poised as a biker – in doing what he calls ‘mystery shopping.’ So, it’s smoke Allen and his buddies blow, and arguably hypocritical.”

 

Warning the MH Industry, Consumers – A War Without Guns

Among the sources for MHProNews are those inside what Allen us to call the 3Cs – Clayton, Cavco, and now Skyline-Champion. The in-depth ‘read hot’ report yesterday unpacks Allen himself pointing the finger and named Clayton, 21st and others as being part of an effort to monopolize the manufactured housing industry.

Every con job is a crime taking place in plain sight. Exposing the con is the start of ending the con.  There must also be legal efforts, which MHProNews sources confirmed are underway.

While those investigators must do what they feel that they ought to do, there is also a need for parallel efforts, that exposes the tentacles of those who by default or by design are pawns in the long-game being played by the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.

 

SuccessfulInvestingTakesTimeDiscplinePatienceSomeThingsTakeTimeWarrenBuffettQuoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

 

It’s Warren Buffett who talks about the long game and patience,” Kovach said, adding, “while Kevin Clayton said last week that it was a 100-year strategy.  Was that an understatement?  From 2003 to 2017, Clayton went from 13 percent market share to some 48 to 50 percent, depending on what source is cited. At that pace, it isn’t 100 years to conquer what’s left of manufactured housing, is it?”

 

ItsWaitingHelpsInvestorLotPeopleJustCantStandWaitCharlieMungerQuoteWarrenBuffettPartnerBerkshireHathwayManufacturedHomesMHProNews

Using the principle of the wheat and chaff, this Charlie Munger quote is pure wheat. Give credit where it is due. Munger is Buffett’s longtime partner in Berkshire Hathaway.

 

The point Tony makes in part is to know when Buffett or Clayton are to be taken at their word, and when their words must be considered in the light of their behavior and trends.

 

StockMarketDeviceTransferringMoneyFromImpatienttothePatientWarrenBuffettquoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

This is a quote that bears scrutiny. It’s insightful, but it also has undertones that merits investor and public officials deeper understanding.

 

He then points to statements by MHI award winner, Marty Lavin, which makes those points quite well.

 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

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

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. MHI earlier last year, and for years before, MHI routinely replied promptly to all inquiries. But since we’ve spotlighted the problems and concerns, they’ve gone silent. Why? If the facts are on their side, why not make offer a cogent explanation?

 

MHI claims to be working to grow the industry.  But where is the evidence?

If asked, they can point to articles and videos they’ve produced, including the video from which the still below is taken.

 

LeveragingMomentumCreationNewClassofManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Clayton Homes is the purported source of this push. Kevin Clayton spoke about this very notion in the video interview with CNBC. Is there a conflict of interest at play at MHI, when the largest member is so deeply involved in conventional housing? What do the MHI bylaws have on that? They are mute, and won’t turn those documents over for examination. Perhaps there is nothing there. But if there is nothing to hide, why hide it?

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIVideoStillMHIPromotionalClaims

 

But even if every claim in that graphic were 100 percent true, that doesn’t mean that they have been ineffective at doing what they claim to do?  Are they implying that they are incompetent?

Or are they shrewd?

Is Omaha-Knoxville dominated MHI – which is based in Arlington, VA – working to grow the industry?  Or are they working to suppress the industry in a fashion that escapes the scrutiny of the unwary?

 

KevinClaytonPhotoMHIRichardDIckJennisonPhotoCharlieMungerHugeBuilder100PlusYearVisionClaytonHomesQuotesManufacturedHousingBlurLinesMHProNews

 

Then, is MHI embracing publishers like MHInsider, or bloggers like George Allen, as surrogates to counter the analysis and reports published by MHProNews, or the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)?

Having set the table, let’s present the link to an in-depth report on that above, but also share an email between Kovach and MHInsider’s Darren Krolewski.

 

The Inside Look at MHInsider?!

If we are to save the maximum number of independents and rally the maximum number of industry professionals to resist the increasingly self-evident trends, doing what some think is unconventional – but is legal and moral – is useful,” said Tony Kovach.

 

He pointed to the email that followed.  The screen capture that documents the message is immediately below, and is followed by the complete, unedited text of his message. The typos are in the original.

EMailtoDarrenKrolewskiDanRinzemaMHVillageDataCompMHInsiderEmail5.16.2019ManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

Darren,

As you know, we’ve fact-checked MHInsider previously.  Have you corrected any of the factual errors that we brought to industry readers’ attention?  If so, where, when, and how?   A link or example are welcome for our planned report.

Next:

 

First Annual MHInsider™
State of the Industry Issue.

How many real issues will you deal with? Will you examine – for example – the problem of consolidation and monopolization? Will you examine the fact that every item spotlighted by John Oliver’s video was an MHI member company?  Or that Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett’s directly or indirectly funded nonprofits that have sparked negative news for the industry?

In fairness, are there any reactions, corrections, or analysis you’d like to provide on any article linked further below on MHProNews?

 

MHInsiderReaches31500CirculationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHProNews

This claim will be unpacked, further below.

 

We’ve visually spotlighted that your ‘print circulation’ is in fact not all picked up at events.  The evidence reflects that most are not picked up, and are therefor logically not being read.  A company that advertised with us and your firm said your marketing produced zero results, while by contrast, MHProNews produced all of their external results – both by electronic measures and actual follow ups with respondents.

That said, what is the actual, effective engagement of MHInsider?  How many page views online?  How many daily visits?

Finally:

Given the problems with other facts your publication has previously reported – and to our knowledge, has not yet issued corrections – are there also problems with MHVillage claims of some 25 million unique visits a year?

It seems hard to imagine that the claim of some 25 million unique – non-duplicated – visits occur annually, and yet less than 97,000 new HUD Code homes were sold in 2018.  I’m asking you man-to-man, but on the record, is your firm exagerating those claims in some form or fasion?  For example, is it actually X number of unique daily visits, and you are extrapolating from that? Meaning, are there duplicate visits being counted as ‘unique?’

Please advise on each in writing, so we are both clear on each element of the above.  A confirmation and timeline on your reply are appreciated. Thank you.

Tony

##

 

Such claims matters to manufactured housing industry professionals for these reasons. First, because they think it is important enough to make the claim. Why? Because for years, these same people praised our platform as the tops, including Krolewski.

DarrenKrolewskiPraisingMHProNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

–      There is clear evidence in the report linked here that MHInsider, along with George Allen and others, are singing from the same song book that MHI does. It’s their right to do so.  But if MHI is misleading the industry – and there are arguably numerous examples herein or another linked here how that’s occurred – then aren’t their surrogates likewise misleading their readers?

–      If Berkshire Clayton, MHI and others are part of a scheme to consolidate manufactured housing, or are using methods that violate RICO, postal, IRS, and other statutes, then are their surrogates who continue to spew their drivel co-conspirators?

–      Is MHInsider exaggerating or lying about their actual traffic and readership, which could be a deceptive trade practice, or worse?

2018-06-22_0521ConversionRatiosPerMHVillageLogoManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Data per MHVillage, collage by MHProNews. It is a legal violation if claims are made that are not true. If MHVillage can document their claim, why have they demured responding with the evidence?

 

Recently, an MHInsider advertiser told MHProNews that our platform – which provides third-party data about audience engagement – produced the ONLY results for their marketing effort.  MHInsider and others produced zero results, per that party which monitored their results.

CaseyMackTonySoheylaMHProNewsTeamFirstCallDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

A realtor who used to use MHVillage told MHProNews this week that based on their experience, MHVillage has lost its “umph.”  An MHI-member industry producer has used them for years. While they claim huge traffic numbers, using their own data, they have poor conversion ratios.  That firm talks about their untapped upside, and the industry itself is underperforming.  These are examples that underscore concerns previously raised by MHProNews graphically illustrated in the photos below.

MHInsiderDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsTunicaShow2019Day2

A photo of another rack at Tunica appears almost untouched. The industry’s pros, given a choice between fluff and reality often chose the real deal. But this raises concerns about their claims of 31,500 ‘circulation.’ Circulation to whom?  If it is to industry professionals, and if they are in fact being read, why are their results reportedly poor?

 

It all begins to look like smoke and mirrors. Big claims, by MHI, MHVillage, MHInsider, Clayton Homes, et al, but poor outcomes.  Why?

Because of the millions who are not being served who need affordable housing, these are issues that merit congressional and other investigations, that are public – not quietly taking place behind the scenes.

 

 

Trekkies and Chess Players, Unite…The Kobayashi Maru

In chess, if someone finds themselves in a losing posing against a superior force, one can quit – resign – or put strategies to work that change the games dynamics.  That’s how winning is done from a normally losing position.

The Kobayashi Maru is a training exercise in the fictional Star Trek universe designed to test the character of Starfleet Academy cadets in a no-win scenario. The Kobayashi Maru test was first depicted in the opening scene of the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and also appears in the 2009 film Star Trek.” – Wikipedia.

There are several factors at play that could go either way for manufactured housing independents.  They underscore the need for a classic “SWOT” analysis.

SWOTAnalysisDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The four quads of a good SWOT analysis. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

 

Without going into but a few points, it is obvious that:

 

–      there is an affordable housing crisis.

–      That manufactured homes are the most proven solution in American history for affordable housing.

–      HUD Secretary Ben Carson recently praised the industry, while saying it is time to end the secret, and bring manufactured housing out of the darkness of limestone into the brightness of the limelight.

–      That Secretary Carson statement may not comport with the timeline – and thus the desired plan – of Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington to slowly consolidate manufactured housing into ever fewer hands and brands.

–      Which may explain why once more today, as of 10:33 AM ET on the MHI website and the Clayton Homes websites have no results in searching for HUD Secretary Carson’s fine speech to manufactured housing professionals in New Orleans.

–      There are documented examples of Warren Buffett donations flowing through ‘dark money’ channels to groups that have attacked various manufactured housing industry initiatives, and brands in a fashion that arguably harms smaller firms than larger ones.

–      Buffett has worked to elect and support politicians who promote heavier regulations and higher taxes that experts say can harm smaller firms more than larger ones.

The disconnects between claims made, behavior, and actual results are numerous.

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

MHProNews has offered several times to discuss these issues in public with those being named herein.  They’ve routinely declined.  That’s not proof, but it is indicative that they are unwilling or unable to debunk the concerns, allegations, and the evidence presented.

These merit public investigations. We will be pressing public officials, not just law enforcement, and others in the legal and investment communities to investigate what is occurring in manufactured housing.

BloombergShipmentProductionDataManufacturedHousingMHProNews2019-05-16_1057

Because the logic of the facts in the report linked above indicates it is costing the economy huge sums of money, and that means that individuals citizens, along with taxpayers are being harmed.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

If MHI, Clayton and others in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington triangle are serious about growth, why is it that MHARR is the association pushing for the solutions that will actually return the industry to health and growth?

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

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

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

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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.

Related Reports:

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

May 15th, 2019 Comments off

 

AntiTrustHeatsUpWithNewSupremeCourtRulingMonopolizatioLegalExertsWeighInClaytonRelatedCommentsConnection

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.

 

That’s this Hump Day morning’s episode of “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

May 10th, 2019 Comments off
NathanSmithSSKCommunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteParadoyLogosLeaderProfitablyCorrectingRecordMHProNews

MHI parody logos are designed by MHProNews, a subsidiary of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, and are gladly provided under fair use guidelines for media.

Mama used to say, you are known by the company you keep.

 

That’s a fairly common maxim, phrased in a variety of ways. Before applying it to Nathan Smith, let’s step back and look at a different Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) industry leader first.

The largest and best known manufactured housing builder active today is Clayton Homes, with President and CEO Kevin Clayton at the helm. For those of us who have been exposed to Clayton, there are phrases like “servant leadership” and other aspirational sounding models that have been raised by the Knoxville, TN metro based firm.

At an MHI meeting during the Patti Boerger era for their organization’s communications, Kevin Clayton addressed a break out session this writer attended. Kevin told dozens listening about the wonders of the impact of MHI’s Facebook page. He encouraged others to get involved, because they could measurably get hundreds of leads and click throughs shortly after each post.

Really?

Let’s say for a moment that’s literally true. Who were those click throughs? How many  of them where from India, vs. how many from the United States? How many were MHI fans, including past or present Clayton Homes team members?

How many actually bought a Clayton Home?

Beyond his father Jim Clayton, Kevin has indicated how Warren Buffett has mentored him. Buffett has said that the rear view mirror is always clearer than the windshield. It is a point that this writer, a Buffett critic, would agree with using our separate the ‘wheat and chaff’ discernment model.

 

InBusinessWorldRearViewMirrorClearerThanWindshieldWarrenBuffettLifehackquotes-postedManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The rear view mirror is another phrase for history. Likely few people in manufactured housing have won more awards in history, at the high school and college levels than this writer has. That’s not bragging, it is what it is. History is what one looks at when we read a resume. History is what one looks at when one reads a corporate report. Every news report is actually a history report, unless it is a live feed. Somehow along the way, history has gotten a bad wrap, but we are fixing that day by day here on MHProNews and MHLivingNews.  Want to profit? Buffett himself has a keen interest in history. By the way, not every history award came with a medal. But the ones below did.

 

HistoryAwardMedalsEarnedByLATonyKovachMHProNews

Cartoon caricature of L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach at the bottom right, who earned these history awards in statewide scholastic competitions, plus other awards in history that didn’t come with a medal.

Back to Kevin and his Facebook claim, before pivoting to Nathan Smith. We don’t claim to know the exact details that answer the questions in the paragraph above those medals. What we do know is shipment data. If there was some appreciable impact on sales, why are Clayton Homes and the industry at large’s production and shipment levels so low?

 

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

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

 

Let me now pivot to Nathan Smith.

When this writer interviewed Smith, it was while he was Chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). It was before the embarrassing mainstream news reports were made public. The rear view mirror is clearer than the windshield. But viewed through the lens of history, these video clips may be worth more now today then they were then.

 

 

Smith is high energy. He is rather entertaining and fun to be around. He is politically connected.  Not as a slam to Democrats, but he is one. Let me emphasize that I’ve been an independent for years. We believe that manufactured housing is the most proven form of affordable housing in modern American history. Affordable housing and manufactured homes are ideally a non-partisan or bipartisan issue. To stress that point, we have published the article linked below.

 

LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquote

 

Now, to be clear, hindsight isn’t actually 20/20. History, as any other subject, can be spun or weaponized. So facts must be discerned from fiction. Mama was right about the company you keep, but we don’t always know what company we are keeping until later on.  That’s no disrespect to your mama or mine.

We will be doIng a report that will have the theme, MHI, which is it? It will feature a collage similar to the one at the top, with our satirical logos, created under fair use guidelines, juxtaposed with their own actual logo.

It begs the question. What really is the image of MHI? Not what the industry has been ‘trained’ to see, but what is the image of manufactured housing – and that MHI specifically – projects to the public at large?

Not only here on MHProNews or on MHLivingNews, but also in the mainstream media linked letters, our team or I’ve personally made the point that each of the problematic firms that John Oliver’s viral “Mobile Homes” video identified has ties to MHI. Is that the company you want to keep for your firm?

 

 

We are inserting in this report videos from the mainstream media of the affable Nathan Smith and his SSK Communities. Look at the reports. This first video has had more views than all of the MHI ‘story telling videos’ combined. Think about that as you watch this report.

 

 

Are those allegations and litigations the image that you want your company associated with? Bear in mind what Oliver’s video depicted. Smith isn’t alone.

 

JohnOliverHBOLastWeekTonightMobileHomesSSKCommunitiesNathanSmithClassActionLawSuitMobileManufacturedHomeMHProNews

This is a still from the John Oliver viral video that mocks Clayton Homes, and several large MHI member community operators. One of those mocked is SSK Communities.

 

 

Hey, anyone who has ever managed an older property knows that stuff happens. SSK isn’t a poor boy operation, is it?  If they can make campaign contributions, and attend the Kentucky Derby, can they fix their water lines in a timely fashion too?

So, Nathan and others at MHI arguably help make the case that there is a need for a new, “white hat” alliance that distinguishes itself from the apparent “black hats” in the industry.

 

 

Here we use the term ‘white hat and black hat’ not as a cool color for headwear, because we all know someone who is a good guy or gal that sports head wear that might be black. Here we mean a bad actor, which is identified by behavior, not a literal hat color.

TamasKovachBlackHatSunshineLATonyKovachBlackWhiteStrawHat

Don’t kid yourself. We take our work seriously, but we have some fun along the way too. Work hard, play hard. Tamas Kovach, left, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, right.

 

The Hustle has called Warren Buffett the shillionare of the people. It’s their way of saying he is a shill, a con, a phony in terms of this folksy role he plays.

 

TheHustleMObileHomeInvestingHotWarreNBuffettHomeownersGetBurnedMHProNews

 

History and news meet right here on MHProNews. Because George Orwell, the author of Animal Farm and 1984, had a point.

 

GeorgeOrwellQuoteMostEffectiveWayDestroyPeopleDenyObliterateUnderstandingofTheirHistoryGeorgeOrwell1984QuoteMHProNews

 

Post-production or umbrella trade associations in manufactured housing that fail to establish and then enforce standards of ethics and professional behavior that comport with the law, and also clearly hold businesses to a higher standard are missing something huge.

 

 

GeorgeOrwellQuotesOurAGeNoSuchThingKeepingOutOfPoliticsAllIssuesPoliticalPOliticsMassLiesEvasionFollyHatredSchizophreniaManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Some ideas come too early, but in time, their value becomes clearer.  We floated the idea of an MHAlliance years ago. Done properly, its arguably a more valuable concept now than at the time we first presented it. Part of that alliance needs to be good standards of professional conduct. Taking good care of customers, residents, and clients.

 

FurtherSocietyDriftsFromTruthMoreItWillHateThoseWhoSpeakItGeorgeOrwellQuoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

 

Because we are known by the company that we keep.

 

HeWhoControlsThePastControlsTheFutureHeWhoControlsthePresentControlsthePastGeorgeOrwellQuoteManufacturedHousingMHProNews

 

The number of emails, LinkedIn connections, email sign ups, and calls are rising. The merits of our taking on the industry’s black hats is becoming more apparent to more followers.

 

HowardZinnQuoteGeorgeOrwellSaidWhoeverControlsthePastControlsTheFutureHeMeantHistoryImportantShapingViewNextGenerationMHProNews

 

By the way, on LinkedIn, I don’t claim to know every soul among the thousands there that have connected. There are some invitations I don’t take, like someone who appears to be in an XXX industry type of role. But generally, I do accept professional invites. On Facebook, I stopped blindly liking someone’s FB page some time ago. Those disclaimers made, back to the topic of white and black hats companies.

If you are a black hat firm, we are happy to have you as a reader, but I would borrow a phrase from a letter we published earlier this week out of Bryan, TX. That phrase? Check out his letter, linked here. It ends with the word, “Repent.”

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

Thoughtful words, worth pondering. 

If you are a white hat firm, and want to distinguish yourself from those that create negative headlines like the ones about Nathan Smith posted here, please send me a message that has the subject line “White Hat Contact.”

 

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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, or Comments or ‘White Hat Contact‘ in the subject line.

 

Because HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s comments to the industry this week can be read in a very subtle fashion. Did Secretary Carson praise or chide MHI? Did he praise or chide their behavior? Did he challenge them to live up to their potential? Read it for yourself.

 

 

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) says that a journalist should hold the powerful to account. When an error is committed, one should correct the record. I’m hereby correcting the record. That’s not to be supercilious. There are embarrassing moments in my life too. But a brief embarrassment and a pattern of problematic behavior are two entirely different things.

SPJSocietyProfessionalJournalistsCodeofConductMHProNews

Besides, one always has the option of making amends. Of repentance.

You are known by the company you keep. If you wake up and have discovered that you have not been in an association that cares about keeping good company, don’t just sit there. Take action.

We aren’t looking for an association or alliance made up of perfect people, because there are none.  What we are looking for is an association that strives for perfection, because as coach Vince Lombardi said, when you strive for perfection, you can catch excellence.

 

ItsUnbelievableHowMuchYouDontKnowAboutGameYouveBeenPlayingAllYourLifeMickeyMantleBaseballHallFameMastheadManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMHProNews

What hall of famer Mickey Mantle said about baseball applies to manufactured housing too.

 

Imagine a trade group whose members attract good customers, because the alliance would be made up of honest business people.  If there is a mistake, the members will pledge to correct it. 

The manufactured home industry needs a white hat trade association that deals with post-production issues. One that lives up to the Secretary Carson challenge. One that has a standards of professional conduct that have teeth, within the limits of the law. That would be a profitable boost to those who are honorably in it.

HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

The words of the late Howard Walker, ELS Vice Chairman, shared for publication with MHProNews.

The industry is underperforming. But an industry is made up of local level results. Yes, national issues and results impact you. But you won’t achieve your locations’ true potential until you’ve separated yourself from the black hat operations out there that spark the negative headlines that keeps manufactured housing collectively underperforming.

The housing industry is over a trillion dollar a year in the U.S.  The powers that be have thousands of pros thinking scarcity, instead of abundance.  Our potential at the local level is stunning.

1TrillionDollarInfographic$100BillsMillionsBillions

 

So there is a method to what some think is the madness here on MHProNews after all? You decide by your actions and behavior what company you want to keep.

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

Time is money. Knowledge is potential power. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, analysis.)

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

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

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Related References:

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

May 6th, 2019 Comments off

 

WarrenBuffettCharlieMungerVideoInterviewBerkshireHathawayAnnualMeetingGSELendingAffordableHousingClaytonHomes

For those that are new or want a refresher, the exclusive report by the Daily Business News on MHProNews of the Clayton Homes related 2018 data from Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway is found at the report linked from the text-image box below.

 

 

2018 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report, Clayton Homes, Shaw Data Revealed, Facts Others Lack

 

This weekend has witnessed the so-called “Woodstock of Capitalism,” the 2019 edition of the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, NE. An estimated 40,000 plus were expected to attend.

Yahoo provided coverage of the event, and the video below is from that source.  Per Yahoo, “Buffett said it would be “very good for America” if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did more to help finance manufactured homes, such as those made by Berkshire-owned Clayton Homes.”

 

 

There is a lot to unpack from this 4 minutes, 2 second long video.

As close, thoughtful, and longtime readers of our pro-industry trade media platforms already know, there have been allegations for years of market manipulation by Clayton Homes within the manufactured housing industry and finance space.  One such report, based upon a letter from Tim Williams at 21st Mortgage Corp, the words of Buffett himself from that same year, and a nearly 1-hour long video with Kevin Clayton, are all found at the link above.

What is discerned from this weekend’s statement by Buffett and Munger ought to be viewed through that lens, and what follows.

Furthermore, there are sources inside the GSEs, and from a Berkshire brand led by CEO Tim Williams at 21st that indicated that for some time, the powers-that-be from Omaha-Knoxville metros worked first to foil, and more recently, to redirect lending from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac away from the bulk of manufactured housing.

 

For such reasons, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has been engaged in a tough, protracted battle to encourage the full implementation of the law, not just a partial one.

 

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

MHARR Calls on New Fannie Mae CEO Hugh Frater to Fully and Properly Implement Federal Law

With all due respect to Buffet, as the next link reveals, there have been times that what he said did not line up.

More recently, HBO’s Last Night Tonight with John Oliver viral video errantly dubbed “Mobile Homes” reflected the revelation that it was Buffett’s brands and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) connected companies that were causing the industry blowback in mainstream media reports.  Our publisher in a letter published in 5 markets in Florida, including Jacksonville called on the public to hold those responsible for purported misdeeds, not the industry at large.

Warren Buffett must be construed in the light of not only his words, but also of the deed of the brands they own.  Furthermore, as Buffett and Berkshire has been wont to fund both sides of certain battles, that raises fresh concerns, as the report linked here documents.

Those points and the linked evidence and logic from those articles should be kept in mind by investors, advocates, researchers, policy wonks, politicos  — plus, of course, the industry’s home owners and professionals.

That said, will Buffett’s comments this past weekend could potentially be used to encourage Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lend on all manufactured homes, or just on select ones, as the Clayton-MHI backed ‘new class of homes’ effort promotes? Time will tell.  But as with all things connected to Buffett, it bears a nuanced consideration. See the related reports, further below.

That’s this post-dawn Monday morning episode of professional life in MHVille, exclusively from 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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Warren Buffett’s Profitable Lessons for Manufactured Housing

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News Tip, Document – Is Clayton Homes Engaged in False Down Payments? Deceptive Trade Practices?

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Tim Williams, PBS News’ Bad Bargain, Manufactured Housing Institute, Buffett’s Mirror, and Clayton’s Costume

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White Collar Shakedown, Fear, Hobbs Act, and Manufactured Housing Independents Struggles

 

 

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

 

MHARR Calls on New Fannie Mae CEO Hugh Frater to Fully and Properly Implement Federal Law

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

May 4th, 2019 Comments off

 

GeorgeFAllenCowardlyLionUnityCallMHIlogoMHARRlogoNAMHCOLogoManufacturedHousingMHProNews

What’s the largest national trade association in manufactured housing? As longtime former-member George F. Allen should know, it is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), based in Arlington, VA. They have for years claimed that “MHI is the only national trade organization representing all segments of the factory-built housing industry.” – as prior, repeated MHI critic Allen should know.

 

But what is Allen’s stance about MHI or other industry trade groups now?

When it comes to which trade association should carry the burden of responsibility for the currently troubled state of the manufactured home industry, which trade group should that be?

Based on MHI’s own claim, it should be obvious. Based on periodic attacks on MHI from Allen for years, it ought to be clear to him too.  As the large, umbrella trade group, it is logically MHI.

Thus, for George Allen to point his barbs at anyone other than the source of the problems, begs the question.  What is Allen’s motivation?

Before diving into the details, let’s note as an executive summary that Allen has recently:

  • directed attention away from the obviously responsible source, i.e.: MHI and their masters.
  • Why is Allen merely posturing or talking about stuff like John Oliver’s harmful impact on MHVille via the problematic “Mobile Homes” video?
  • What is Allen doing to correct sliding industry trends, besides holding meetings, shilling for others, or selling literature that lines his own pockets?
  • Why would Allen try to undermine someone and their organization that is laying the foundation for DOING something positive, that aims to return the industry to growth?
  • Why has Allen attacked a pro-industry party that is not paid for their effort to try to help independent communities, retailers, and others to grow the industry, instead of shrinking the industry. Shouldn’t that spark concern from Allen’s still significant, but nevertheless dwindling fan-base among independently owned communities?

That’s what this report, fact-check, and analysis will unpack. As part of this executive summary, let’s note there will be new quotes for thousands of readers from:

  • Kevin Clayton
  • Joe Stegmayer

Plus an in-context review of others from industry leaders that include:

  • Nathan Smith, SSK Communities
  • Tim Williams/21st

These are among those that will be quoted and cited from this report.  Several new quotes, plus a review of past ones that are relevant, will be included in this exclusive in-depth professional’s-focused dive into the murky world of manufactured housing.

While Allen’s role is arguably that of a pawn, it is nevertheless useful in understanding the broader landscape of how the game is played in manufactured housing today.

We’ll begin this fact-check and analysis of Allen’s recent barbs with some background that may be new to some, but useful to all.  Then, we will proceed to spotlight fresh insights into the drop in manufactured housing shipments, and other efforts that seemingly aim to consolidating more of the industry into ever fewer hands.

 

George F. Allen Ought to Know…

This and other third party images are provided under fair use guidelines for media. It should be noted that AFA, the source of this photo, is arguably another MHI surrogate.

Given that Allen once understood that it was MHI’s bailiwick to focus on retail, community, and other post-production issues, who is it that Allen took aim at in a new critique on his “Community-Investor” “EducateMHC” page? Logically, it should have been MHI. But no, please don’t expect such logic from the retired Colonel Allen.

Let’s help Allen discern – but more important, give evidence-based and logical guidance to any of his readers – that the Indianapolis-based retiree has sadly apparently misinformed his readers about or any other industry professionals who trip across him.

Let’s likewise see what Allen, his buddies, and masters reveal in what follows, in their own words.

 

 

What MHI Leaders Have Previously Admitted

MHProNews begins by taking a step back from Allen and looking at what MHI’s own leaders have publicly admitted, often on camera.

Nathan Smith, MHI’s prior chairman and SSK Communities partner admits that the industry – i.e., MHI – had often ‘failed to be proactive.’ Smith also said that he wants all the (independent) communities for himself, with a great laugh. Is that funny to any independent community owners who were underpaid for the true intrinsic value of their properties?

 

 

Given Smith’s own comments and the public reputation of his firm, does Allen take aim at the SSK partner’s operation and its impact on the industry’s image?

Not that we’ve seen lately. Yet the Better Business Bureau (BBB) rated SSK Communities an ‘F’ – and SSK was part of video clip shown by John Oliver video “Mobile Homes.”  Allen postured in an email to his followers that he is concerned about this issue. ICYMI, re: former MHI chairman Nathan Smith led SKK Communities “F” rating, the screen capture was taken previously, but it was double checked on 5.3.2019 and remains the same as of 10:05 EM ET.

 

JohnOliverHBOLastWeekTonightMobileHomesSSKCommunitiesNathanSmithClassActionLawSuitMobileManufacturedHomeMHProNews

 

Smith and SSK Communities gets a silent pass from Allen on his blog since March 3, 2013, when under the headline, “Circling the Drain,” Allen talked about the tepid turnout for an MHI meeting, lamented Don Glisson, Jr.’s surprise departure at that time as MHI chairman, and flatly noted Nathan Smith at SSK was the new chairman.  But where was – or is – the public accountability-check by Allen of Smith? Per sources in the Allen camp, he does comment about Smith and SSK in dark terms, but only to what ‘George’ refers to as his ‘intimates.’

Ouch, that’s not a pretty picture, by let’s move on from that George F (F?) Allen terminology. We’ll note in passing this mainstream media account of one of several such reports about Smith led-SSK.  Note that this video was during Smith’s tenure as MHI chairman.  What image of the Arlington, VA based trade group does this mainstream news video present? Where was Allen’s courage on this issue? Hmmm?

 

 

Tim Williams – another former MHI chairman, and still president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st Mortgage Corporation – admitted at an MHI session that ‘the horse has left the barn’ on MHI’s miss of the SAFE Act. Longer-time industry pros recall that the SAFE Act was later rolled into Dodd-Frank. None of those problematic steps were stopped by MHI, nor their ultimate power source in Omaha, NE.

How often must the industry allow MHI watch the ‘horse to leave the barn,’ or to have the scores of industry firms and efforts fail, before more bloggers and publishers join in and hold those responsible, accountable?

MHI President Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison admitted on stage and on camera the failures by MHI ‘at times’ too, while giving praise for his good, dear friend L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach and MHProNews, which he called a “great publication.”

 

 

Where is Allen’s equivalent to these on-point facts and quoted comments? To use military phrasing Allen should know, it was entirely MIA. Missing in action.

Given that Allen was at some of those same meetings, he has or should have seen those same videos, heard the same comments, and witnessed many of those points that MHProNews has.  So who does Allen go after on April 30th, 2019? MHI? Nathan Smith? Berkshire Hathaway brands, including the one led by Tim Williams?

No.

Instead, Allen takes aim at the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

  • Yet MHARR had no role at all in the Oliver video.
  • Nor is MHARR responsible for post-production issues, that’s supposed to be part of MHI’s claim to fame.

 

MHARR has stated clearly for years about their role: MHARR is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.” That’s also near the end of the same column from MHARR President and CEO, Mark Weiss, JD, that Allen oddly took issue with. Allen knows it, but ignores that point.  It is but one of many examples of purported intellectual dishonesty – or gross negligence – by Allen, if he claims to be a seriously dispassionate reporter of facts.

Rephrased, MHARR isn’t the post-production or umbrella association.  Rather, that is MHI – by MHI’s own claims.

So who is responsible for what Allen called in his recent post the “HUD-Code manufactured housing industry for its’ perennial lethargy, and leaderlessness…” – logically, it is MHI, not MHARR.

One could stop there, because what follows are details.  But those details reveal much about Allen and his purported string-pullers.  That in turn matters to hundreds of independent manufactured home communities who still follow him, and thousands of others who may not even know Allen is in the industry too.

Allen has gone from an MHI outsider, to more recently being embraced by the very people who previously rejected him.  That makes the intellectually curious ask, why?  What changed? Who gets what? Who benefits?

 

MHI’s Leaders, and What Allen’s Missing and/or Hiding?

Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison ‘led’ MHI, or former chairmen Tim Williams and Nathan Smith have at times themselves admitted that MHI has failed. So, what’s up with Allen’s arguably flawed premise and thinking in going after MHARR on his blog?  Where was his logic?

Let’s be clear.  Allen has the 1st Amendment right to go after whomever he will, within legal and moral norms.  If he wants to dispute MHARR’s reasoning, or MHProNews, or anyone else – and does so honorably, have at it.  Let’s also note the obvious.  MHARR is a banner advertiser here. That’s obvious.  But what is not obvious to some is what Allen is getting from MHI and what MHI award-winner Marty Lavin has called ‘big boy’ companies. This fisking of Allen’s fisk is our idea, no one else’s. That said, let’s press on.

 

FiskFiskingDefinitionManufacturedHssuingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

So there are several obvious inquiries that a keen mind should ponder. Why is Allen diverting attention from the obviously more responsible party(ies), while focusing on the trade association that is trying to fix what is going wrong in MHVille?

  • What is driving Allen’s attack on MHARR?
  • Are his barbs accurate or not?
  • Let’s examine those topics.  Because they are relevant to virtually all in the industry.

Some of Allen’s comments and logic will be reviewed further below, but first, this necessary and useful segue.  As retail and community shipments have been dropping for months, Allen has demonstrably diverted attention away from the evidence that follows.  BTW, and ICYMI, one of our recent reports on dropping sales in #1 Texas, or other regional states linked here, can be accessed later from the text-image box below. We’ll do a report early next week on the full national data on the troubling decline in new manufactured home shipment and production trends.

 

Warning – Number 1 Manufactured Housing State, Texas – Reports Month Over Month Rise, Year over Year Shipment Decline Continues

 

“That G-d D-mned George Allen”

Among the tips from Allen’s circle to MHProNews came one yesterday while this article was being prepared for publication.  Several comments were made by that source from Allen’s circle.  That source has reportedly made nice with Allen, but he literally cursed Allen for what he is doing to communities.  Per that longtime Allen-follower and prior fan, the blogger and now former community owner Allen is giving “MHI cover” – while “slurring MHARR.”

In order to double-check various claims made by that source, prior tips and research had to be reviewed by MHProNews.  That caused a delay from yesterday to today for publishing this report, while additional research was conducted.  It has led to several valuable, compelling insights.

 

SubmitNewsTipsCommentsLettersToEditorMHProNews

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

 

Among the prior tips on Allen from other members of his circle were claims that he derailed an attempt to organize certain midwestern manufactured home community owners and independents from forming a new trade group.  The plan was to form a new post-production association that would do what MHI claims to do.

Why would Allen – who claims to care about the interests of independent communities – sideline efforts to help independently owned community operators?  Who benefits from that derailment?

Last year, MHProNews ran an article at the link below.

 

Cavco’s Joe Stegmayer, MHI Chairman, George Allen-COBA7, Collusion, Coverup, and Allegations of Selling Out

Our publisher – L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach – at that time provided Allen and his ally, Spencer Roane, with an opportunity to respond.  That’s a norm for this trade platform, unlike Allen’s arguably one-sided blog.  Here on MHProNews a chance to reply in public exists. This screen capture documents the quote text that follows.

 

EmailGeorgeFAllenSpencerRoane2019-05-04_0334Sept52018ManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuote

Many of these quotes are from MHI insiders.

What follows is the text of that message.  For new readers here, note that MHProNews often uses bold and brown text to highlight a direct quote, which is the case herein below. Typos are in the original.  The quote at the left in blue, from an MHI member and periodic source, is a wink and a nod to that member’s point.

George and Spencer,

First, unlike some others n MHVille, we offer the opportunity to respond. In this case, it’s to the first yellow highlighted article, linked further below, which mentions you, Spencer, MHI and JoeS. You can clarify, confirm, or whatever you deem fitting on that topic. Joe isn’t among the BCCs, but a few of your followers, no one from MHARR, and five MHI members are.

The NDA questions. We have sources that tell us that MHI has made a “liberal” (common) use of NDAs. Please type your replies beneath each question. They can be as short or long as you wish. Supporting documentation is welcome and encouraged.


1) Have you at any time been asked to sign an NDA with MHI? 

 

2) Have you at any time been asked to sign an NDA with MHI members in the past 4 years? 

 

3) How do you explain or justify your apparent in writing flip-flops on what Marty Lavin has called “the Big Boys” – the powers that be behind MHI?

 

4) By working for those MHI/big boys each of you two with various apparent rewards, cross promotions, and compensation, haven’t you in fact sold out the independents who make up the bulk of your followers?

 

Your normal prompt reply is valued.  Thank you.  Reminder, see the first yellow highlighted article, linked further below.

 

Tony

 

As a disclosure, this writer has access to our publisher’s email, and he does this writer’s email too.

There was no response from this message by Kovach to Allen, although Allen is known to engage in several back-and-forth message exchanges with our publisher.  While it is not proof that Allen has sold out to MHI, his lack of reply is interesting.  It certainly opens the door to reasonably wonder, is Allen acting as a compensated surrogate for MHI and/or some larger firms that are MHI members?

A separate message was also sent by Tony Kovach to MHI’s outside attorney as well as MHI’s senior leadership. See the screen capture below.  It pointedly asked if George F. Allen was working on MHI’s behalf as a surrogate.

 

EmailJohnGreinerGraydonLawMHIElectedAppointedLeadershipJan2019KevinClaytonJoeStegmayerTimWilliamsNathanSmith

 

No denials or confirmations came from those leaders, but several other interesting replies came back from those in the BCCs, which included Allen followers.

That message included the following, as part of a longer message thread. As is common on MHProNews, we’ve turned the quoted text brown and bold, to highlight it for publication.

 

-ITS_followerPersonDoctrineMovementIdeaWikiDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Allen-ite.

But otherwise this section of that message is quoted as sent to George Allen, with senior MHI leaders openly copied, and several state association executives, plus Allen-ites among those BCC’d.  The typos are in the original.

Do you not understand how you praised MHI, after you had publicly blasted or questioned them? Then you kissed up when you CC’d Joe Stegmayer? Then flip-flopped again, from your own blog?  See link above to refresh your memory. As a reminder, see the mainstream story below, to refresh your thinking and recall more.

https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2018/may/26/industry-members-decline-take-sides-rossville/471775/

People are busy, but hindsight brings amazing clarity at times.

Frank Rolfe got MHAction-ed. MHI got their treatment too. In hindsight, perhaps it was a mistake that we tipped off MHI that protests were coming. MHAction was coy, because they just switched locations, and dates, but they still did protest – didn’t they?

How do you think NMHOA, or MHAction would view your, Spencer Roxane’s, or SECO’s view of defending Tom Lackey, after all those media reports?”

At that time of that emailed comment, it was already known that MHAction was getting funding from the Tides Foundation, which in turn was funded by the NoVo Foundation, who’s main donor was Warren Buffett.  The article linked below was published on 2018/10/19.

 

 

As a relevant side note, a Rolfe confident told MHProNews that he believes that some of the MHAction rank-and-file protest members are mentally unbalanced. Rolfe would not formally confirm or deny that he was fearful during some encounters with MHAction members. That said, Rolfe has previously stated that he’s not easily scared. Those are legally significant matters, as MHI’s attorney’s and the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis ‘big boys’ likely understand.

While specific levels of coordination between some of those MHAction types and the axis are not entirely clear. But what is clear is that Buffett’s money can be traced to both sides of several issues that impact manufactured housing.  At a minimum that raises concerns and the possibility of collusion, which could involve antitrust, RICO, or possibly other federal laws.

In a message thread from George Allen’s email to several HUD Code manufactured home producers dated January 17, 2019 at 7:49 AM, was sent to Allen’s email list.

Cc: gfa7156 <gfa7156@aol.com>
Sent: Thu, Jan 17, 2019 7:49 am

Bob Bender at Commodore Homes sent this reply to an email from Allen that asked this question:

Reason(s) for Slippage in Volume of New HUD-Code Homes being shipped this past Fall?” Let’s note, as a ‘wheat and chaff’ point that the question by Allen is a valid one, especially now, when the industry is into its 7 month of declining new home shipments, a matter of concern to most independents  and investors. Here’s what Commodore’s Bender said in reply.

Bob Bender, Commodore Homes.

George – we have not seen any retraction in our HUD business. I haven’t seen any inventory changes and the overall retail space looks solid.

Certainly there could be some FEMA differences comparing industry year-to-year volume which I know you follow. 

Bob Bender

Sent from Phone

 

Note that Joe Stegmayer, then and now MHI’s chairman, replied to this inquiry by Allen too.

It will be recalled that this occurred weeks after Stegmayer stepped down from his role as president, CEO and chairman at Cavco Industries, following the SEC subpoena.  The most recent update on that Cavco drama, is linked here.  Given that, doesn’t Stegmayer’s tone sound as if he still carried a lot of weight at Cavco?  And doesn’t Stegmayer sound chummy with Allen – for whom MHI’s chairman addressed Allen’s ‘roundtable’ meeting – which gives Allen financial compensation?  Hold those thoughts, because it is relevant for Allen’s purported role as a compensated/rewarded MHI surrogate.

Here was the ‘meat’ of Stegmayer’s reply to Allen, which was CC’d to others, some of whom provided this as a news tip to MHProNews. The typos are in the original.

 

Joe_Stegmayer_Cavco_credit_MHProNews

Joe Stegmayer, MHI Chairman, former Cavco Chairman, president and CEO.

George 

Believe inventories of retailers climbed rather suddenly to above comfort levels. Now being adjusted. 

Our view is consistent with Clayton’s that consumer traffic is solid. would add that it appears that credit availability has improved somewhat. 

Another plus: The inventory of all existing homes for sale is near historically low levels.

Absent national economic calamities we are optimistic.”

 

The “we” from Stegmayer clearly implies Cavco.  But notice that Stegmayer, a former Clayton Homes division president, referenced a reply from Kevin Clayton.  The meat of that statement by Clayton, which was also forwarded to MHProNews as a tip, read as follows.

Kevin Clayton told Allen the following, in a message sent:  Wed, Jan 16, 2019 8:19 am. The typo by Kevin is in the original.

 

sitting-with-si-robertson-duck-dynasty-kevin-clayton-homes-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-

Hindsight can be 20/20. Why wasn’t the Clayton TV and video campaign with Duck Dynasty more successful? Kevin Clayton at right.

Retail inventory correction

Look at RV industry….it is even more severe for them. 

Good news is retail activity remains healthy to work through it.  That’s just one opinion \ view.   

Kevin Clayton

 

In fairness and to be objective, there are non-MHI sources that have said similarly as Clayton did above.  Namely, that retailers over-ordered during periods of long factory backlogs last year.

But doesn’t that dodge several questions? Why isn’t retail as hot now as it was a year ago? FEMA can only account for a small part of that lighter level of factory orders. During an affordable housing crisis, why aren’t sales surging with or without FEMA orders? Consider again Cavco’s Stegmayer’s statement, which makes an apt point.

Another plus: The inventory of all existing homes for sale is near historically low levels.

Absent national economic calamities we are optimistic.”

 

As another segue, that from Stegmayer ought to be a key for the manufactured home industry, its investors, and public/private/media investigators.  If you read what he said carefully, note that logically Stegmayer was on both sides of the fence?  But given the affordable housing crisis, and how high the demand is for conventional/existing housing, he is debatably correct in making a point MHProNews has made for years.  I.e.: why aren’t HUD Code manufactured home sales soaring?

 

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

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

 

But Allen did not follow that logic, at least not with his audience.

That once more begs several questions.  Wasn’t Allen persona non grata at MHI, just a few years ago?  Was Allen brought back into the ‘MHInsider circle’ – to borrow Darren Krolewski’s publication phrase – to act as a periodic attack dog?  A compensated and rewarded surrogate for MHI and the ‘big boys?’

Doesn’t that then imply that Allen is selling out his core followers, who are the independents ‘mom and pop’ and somewhat larger community owners? Indeed, people like Nathan Smith, Paul Bradley with ROC USA, and others find Allen and his meetings useful as funnels for acquisitions.

Here’s another one of Allen’s reader’s comments, which was likewise forwarded to MHProNews. It was sent in connection with the Bender-Stegmayer-Clayton quotes just noted.  Note these comments from Allen’s reader’s list reportedly includes attorneys and some more sophisticated individuals, even if they don’t trust him. The typo is in the original, and this is part of a longer message.  The ‘they’ in the message below means the industry’s ‘powers that be,’ including Clayton and Cavco. The meat of that news tip sent to MHProNews read as follows:

 

Allen is too busy posturing to understand it. 

It all begs the key questions:

Why are sales low during an affordable housing crisis?

If retail traffic is good, why are sales low? 

The RV industry is an excuse I heard weeks ago, ditto automotive. The reasons? Because there isn’t an affordable RV Crisis. 

They’ve spent dollars promoting, which imho are head fakes. But objectively, There are three broad options.

1) They really don’t know how to convince and connect with the shoppers/buyers.

2) They do know, but aren’t using the best methods. 

3) Some combo of the above. 

Do you see an alternative to those three?

Recall the video. Clayton said Buffet ok with them losing money for 5 years, if the moat grows.

Head fakes are enough to soothe the GFAs, who are peddling snake oil anyway.”

 

Notice that the writer put GFA (George F Allen) in the plural.  Meaning, not only Allen, but other surrogate publishers for MHI, which arguably includes the MHVillage sister publication, the lightly read MHInsider, plus others.

Allen – along with his sidekick and ally, Spencer Roane – were given opportunities to comment on several such in January, and more recently.

In a message last week to MHProNews, Allen-ite Roane uncharacteristically distanced himself from Allen, while both dissing and praising Tony Kovach.  Allen dodged these questions, but Roane’s message to MHProNews included the following. The hot link below to the Jacksonville newspaper is edited in, so that readers who have not yet read that Jacksonville reference can get the full meaning of Roane’s comments.

 

SpencerRoanePentagonPropertiesCreditsPostedDailyBusinessNewsResearchDataReportsMHProNews“…The Jacksonville newspaper post is about the need for affordable housing.  Hard to argue w/ that.  The only fact-checking appears to be Kovach’s, and that involves MHI membership and Buffet affiliations.  So what?  Other than sharing the interest of many in the industry about overly aggressive community owners/managers, none of this has anything to do w/ me.

Regards, Spencer Roane

 

Unpacking Allen, Roane, Kevin Clayton, and Joe Stegmayer Comments

We’ll begin by noting anew that de facto, Roane both praised and dissed Tony Kovach in the same message, quoted above.  Roane is no public fan of Tony’s. But Roane made several interesting points. Among them are concerns about “overly aggressive community owners/managers” and the links between “MHI membership and Buffet affiliations.” Indeed, MHProNews has heard from such concerns from the community sector’s ‘white hats’ too.

But what Roane didn’t mention was the MHAction activist tie-in to Buffett’s dark money channel funding.

That revelation from the final quarter of last year began to cast a new light on several developments in manufactured housing in recent years. ‘Buffett bucks’ are apparently funding both pro-and-con forces on various issues that face manufactured housing independents.  To the degree that MHI is aware of this, that could place them in a severe conflict-of-interest and other legal problems. Given that their outside attorney has told MHProNews that they monitor what we publish, it could lead to serious issues for MHI, and possibly member companies. ICYMI, see the linked text-image box below.

 

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

 

The emailed analysis from an Allen-reader (not a devotee, but one who is in his circle) – references the video interview with Kevin Clayton, posted on the link here.

 

To Understand MHVille Today, One Must Understand the Kevin Clayton Video Interview

KevinClaytonVideoInterviewHowDidWarrenLearnTheseMoatBuildingstrategiesMHIBehavioralExperts

While the above is satirical, it does reflect what Clayton purportedly communicated, see the nearly one hour long video at this link here.

Any investor, investigator or longer-term industry professional who has not carefully digested that video interview with Kevin Clayton and related analysis linked from this column, just can’t possibly grasp manufactured housing’s actual dynamics.

For example, Clayton mentions in that video their use of nonprofits – here think MHI, MHAction, Prosperity Now, Center for Public Integrity (CPI), and others – as part of his discussion of the broader Buffett/Berkshire Moat and related business philosophy and practices.

With the revelations that MHAction, the Urban Institute, CPI or others were given Buffett-Berkshire bucks, it sheds a new clarity on how the game is played, and how the system is arguably rigged.

Rephrased, it can’t be stressed enough that manufactured housing professionals have arguably been duped numerous times by the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.

Consider as an obvious and public example this point. Buffett supported former president Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton, who pledged no changes to Dodd-Frank. Meanwhile MHI under Nathan Smith and Tim Williams’ leadership was promoting a bill – the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act – for years. Yet that bill never had a chance of passage with an Obama or Clinton in office.

 

Arguably, that kind of tangled web is what Allen has been on both sides of: at times in the past, opposing MHI and the manipulations of what he used to call the Big Three C’s, or the ‘aggressive’ community operators.

Note that none of the pawns – including Allen – in this Omaha-Knoxville ploy have to be aware of the role of the other.  Only a few puppet masters need to know.

That said, let’s swerve back to an example of GF Allen’s 180.

OligarchyDefinedGeorgeFAllenGFACommunityInvestorBlogCOBA7DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Another example of Allen’s flip-flop on MHI and their big boy backers is below. But more recently – with apparent benefits from MHI leaders that he has not denied – Allen has ‘sold out’ to those very same interests.

ManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopoly-Oligarchy-GeorgeAllen-PostedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews-

George Allen, has a modest following today, which once used to be a large following. As a former client of his told MHProNews, with George “It’s AAA, All About Allen.” 

 

He Can’t Have it Both Ways!

This analysis logically implies that Allen is selling out his followers.  Allen has not disputed it. When given a documented chance for him to publicly respond, he said nothing.  Roane, distanced himself from it.

It also can’t be stressed enough that vacant home sites harms the value of an independently owned community. Lower sales volumes of new homes harms the value of essentially most every business in the industry.

Buffett can afford that, and so can a few big boys.  As the industry consolidates, they are acquiring businesses at a discounted value, part of the Buffett ‘value investing’ mantra.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

But that spotlight casts a different perspective on Buffett and value investing. Because if he is manipulating the market in order to achieve that reduced value, that could be illegal and/or actionable.  Those actions, per attorneys and legal sources MHProNews has spoken to, could lead to liability from potential suits from potentially millions of manufactured home (MH) owners arguably harmed, as well as businesses who are not earning money they could or should absent such market manipulations.

In fact, a pair of antitrust experts told MHProNews that to them the sexier case to pursue in court would be that of resident/MH homeowners.

Such ploys may also lead to legal woes for MHI, and ‘insider’ members too.

It’s a tangled web.  There are many moving parts.  Allen and others like him are just purported pawns on a board.  They or Allen could be dispensed with or replaced at will.

There is also no need for Allen to grasp how he is being used.  So long as Allen plays his part, he’s useful to the axis and what Marty Lavin has termed ‘the big boys.’

It is in that context that Allen’s attack on MHARR begins to make sense.  Allen has in the past thanked Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO for what Allen learned about the industry from him. Is this how Allen repays favors?

 

Cowardly Lion Claims to Fisk MHARR, But Now Won’t Criticize MHI?

What Allen wrote to oppose Weiss and MAHRR is so convoluted, that we will only look at his first so-called point to show how false much of his narrative is. Here’s a direct quote from Allen’s blog, that claims to analyze Weiss comments, linked here.

LATonyKovachDonWestphalKenRishelGeorgeAllenDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLATonyKovachDonWestphalKenRishelGeorgeAllenDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Left to right, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, Don Westphal, Ken Rishel, and George Allen. Louisville 2011. Kovach has since made repeated amends, per SPJ guidance, see this link here. Will Allen do the same?

Here Mark introduces MHARR’s Board of Directors as leaders to ‘take the bull by the horns’ in the interest of improved industry representation – and national advocacy. Yet, not a single individual is named! Why? Ask MHARR; but they simply don’t make their membership rolls public, whereas MHI does. Point? Don’t know ‘bout you, but as a post-production sector businessman, there’s a far better chance of me following the leader I know than the one I don’t! How ‘bout you? This, in my opinion, is major flaw # 1 of this argument.”

 

There are several issues of factual errors by Allen, but let’s oversimply to show how misleading or mistaken Allen is.  First, Weiss is named, and he is MHARR’s senior staff leader. Second, no article – nor any book – has everything in it. Third, MHARR’s current chairman is named on the MHARR website, at this link here. It is John Bostick, of Sunshine Homes.  So Allen is factually and logically — wrong, wrong, wrong.

Our publisher has repeatedly invited Allen, Roane, or MHI connected leaders to debate or discuss such issues in public, in front of an audience of manufactured home professionals, with a moderator and video recorded so that all not in attendance can watch it later.  Allen, Roane, and the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis have always passed on that opportunity. Why?

Tony Kovach has said in a semi-private message to Allen that he’s a coward. Thus, the cowardly lion image at the top of this post.

Like a sniper, Allen takes shots, perhaps thinking the noise of his shooting will make his readers think him brave? But what good are shots that miss often unnamed targets? What good are shots at the wrong target?

The reality is quite different from what Allen has portrayed.

There is good evidence that Allen has sold out to MHI and their puppet masters.  Allen may be under one or more NDAs.  But most important to his independently owned community readers, Allen is ignoring the harm done to them, while he is now praising the very people and organization – MHI – he used to criticize.

LATonyKovachMHanufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingProNewsConsultantIndustryExpertOur publisher referred to Allen for a quote to close on this analysis as follows.  “Sad and pathetic. Let George Allen man up, and face me on stage, in public, on camera in front of a live audience of industry pros, that includes his community followers.  Or let George wear the arguably apt moniker, ‘cowardly lion’ from this point forward.” – Tony Kovach.

How can Allen call for unity, when NAMHCO and MHARR exist precisely because they don’t trust MHI?

NealTHaneyNAMHCOWhyBreakawayfromManfuacturedHousingInstituteMHI

Once the rules of engagement and methods used are better understood, then one can often predict what will follow. 

DannyGhorbaniFormerMHIVpQuoteFoundingMHARRPresidentQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Allen’s repeatedly flawed analysis of Weiss’ column on MHARR’s website draws to a close like this: “So, the challenge to ‘LEAD, FOLLOW…OR GET OUT OF THE WAY’ will, once again, fall as they say, on deaf ears!

That is, unless action is taken at the MHCongress, calling for unified action by MHI, MHARR, & now, NAMHCO, during former’s fly-in meeting in Washington, DC. on 10 June 2019!” What? Allen won’t even acknowledge that he’s going to those events, but he’s shilling for MHI for others to go to their fundraising events?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Or as honest Abe Lincoln observed:

 

you-can-fool-all-the-people-some-of-the-time-and-some-of-the-people-all-the-time-but-you-cannot-abraham-lincoln-quoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

You can read Lead, Follow, or Get out of the Way from the link below the byline and notices.  You can read a more detailed analysis of Allen at this link here.

That’s this Saturday’s in depth edition of “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Related Reports:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watchdogs? Attack-Dogs? The Smear, and Manufactured Housing

April 12th, 2019 Comments off

SharylAttkissonTwitterWatchdogsAttackDogsTheSmearManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600 

The historic vision in America for the news media is to hold the powerful to account. To be a voice for the voiceless.  Investigating concerns about governmental, criminal, or corporate malfeasance are what made for riveting reports that sold newspapers or caused channels to be turned to for some breaking, relevant news report.

 

Unlike numbers today, we believe that mainstream news reporting absolutely still occurs. That reporting – to varying degrees – occurs on both sides of the left-right divide.  But the reason that media has lost so much credibility, per surveys, is because the independence and objectivity of news reports have been called into question.  The fact that Sharyl Attkisson – among others – has devised a list of left-right media bias is itself revealing, and saddening.

 

 

The Smear, Media, and Manufactured Housing

Speaking of the media, today Sharyl Attkisson’s team provided the Daily Business News on MHProNews her expert insights on Smear Tactics as they are used in the media.

Here are the top-lines and neatly notes Attkisson provided here, as published last month in the Hill.

 

 

SharylAttkissonTwitterPhotoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews“I Dream of a World Without Smears”

Smear /smeer/: noun

  1. Carefully timed and publicized release of negative material, true or not, about a target.
  2. Character assassination.

Bork, Thomas, Hill, Clinton, Clinton, Beck, Imus, Palin, Biden, Obama, O’Reilly, Sanders, Trump, Hannity, Kavanaugh, Northam, Klobuchar, Carlson …

Smears have become a distasteful staple in our media diet. The nonprofits, LLCs, super PACs, PR firms, crisis management companies and global law firms that organize and promote smears have formed a multibillion-dollar industry. They’re profiting beyond imagination.

Are we?

After interviewing many players who work in the smear industry, I came up with three characteristics that qualify an accusation as a smear. The determination of whether a particular attack is, in fact, a smear lies not so much in the truth of the accusation, but in execution and motivation.

In a smear:

▪           The media are used as a tool in an organized effort to amplify accusations, true or not, in a fashion disproportionate to the alleged offense.

▪           Though moral outrage is voiced, the accused actually is targeted for entirely different reasons, usually in a campaign by political or financial competitors.

▪           The goal of a smear is the target’s destruction.

When a smear is launched against someone we don’t like, we may be happy to enjoy the ride. If it’s against someone we like, we fret about how unjust it is. But we seldom step back and see the big truth: We are little more than an unwitting audience watching a scripted play. There are behind-the-scenes producers, writers and actors. They are experts at working the media, plucking our emotions and prompting their desired results. They carefully time each allegation, roll out demands for apologies or resignations, and organize “grassroots” boycotts.

 

##

SharylAttkissonAuthorJournalistStonewalledWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

 

With that backdrop from award-winning journalist and best selling author Attkisson, it seemed prudent to see what bias, if any, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver portrayed, per third party sources.  So MHProNews looked.

 

HBOThisWeekLastNightMediaBiasInfluentialShowDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MediaLandscapeApril2019HBO-ATTTimeWarnerDirectTVDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

More than one left-of-center outlets described it and HBO as ‘liberal’ leaning programing.  Fair enough.

That’s interesting, because a reportedly liberal program has taken dead aim at a progressive billionaire icon.  That would be Warren Buffett, who drew a healthy dose of Oliver’s satirical wrath.  If you’ve not yet seen the video and report, check it out at the linked text-image box below, along with an analysis, and fact-check.  BTW, what follows is the number 1 fact check on this viral video on this date.

 

HBO’s John Oliver on Last Week Tonight Mobile Homes Video, Manufactured Home Communities Fact Check

 

Back to Mr. Buffett, the person who supported Secretary Hillary Clinton, or Senator-turned President Barack Obama.

That would also be the same Buffett who is Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, that includes brands like Clayton Homes and their related lending units.  Those firms reportedly dominate the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

Now what’s odd about that is the fact that Tim Williams, when he was chairman of MHI, said that one of the risks to the industry was from the progressive agenda.  Would that be the same agenda that Chairman Buffett supports politically?

 

VicePresidentMikePenceWifeKarenHandOverHeartPledgeColts49ersGameWashingtonTimesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Notice. One can agree or disagree with 21st Mortgage CEO and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams’ presentation, from which the slide above was taken with permission, while still questioning how it came to be that Williams was being intellectually at odds with Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, Warren Buffett. To see all of William’s informative slides, click the graphic above. http://www.MHProNews.com/industry-news/industry-in-focus/is-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-ceo-mhi-chair-at-odds-with-berkshire-hathaway-chairman-warren-buffett

WarrenBuffettBillClintonHillaryClintonBarackObamaKevinClaytonNathanSmithPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

The Hustle, in their review of the John Oliver video essentially called Buffett a fake liberal fraud, posturing being a do-gooder, while actually taking advantage of the poor. Here is how they said it: “Buffett has long been viewed as a corporate hero. The more he complains about his secretary having to pay higher income tax than he does, the more people view Big B as some rich do-gooder. But Clayton homes’ manipulative business model, which Buffett immediately saw dollar signs in, contradicts many of the ideas of fairness for which Buffett is known.”

 

What those sources didn’t say is how the Buffett empire came to dominate the manufactured home market, and how that impacted customers or independent businesses.  ICYMI, or need that refresher, see that at the linked text-image box below.

 

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

By the way, no Clayton, 21st, or MHI senior leader has publicly challenged the accuracy of any of these points. MHProNews has asked them, and their attorneys, to do so. They’ve ducked out every time for some 2 years.  Given the report linked above uses their own words and documents, how could they deny it, with a straight face?

Now, there are several possible ways to consider these facts on top of other facts.  Manufactured home industry professionals who want to believe and support Clayton and MHI are left with a dilemma. Either Williams and Buffett don’t see eye-to-eye on politics, or there is some kind of head-fake going on, right?

Let’s not forget that Secretary Clinton, as the Democratic candidate for the White House pledged to keep Dodd-Frank intact.  Hmm, so the MHI sponsored Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act was backed by Tim Williams, 21st, Clayton Homes, and their allies – but Warren Buffett was backing a candidate that opposed that same legislative bill?

These apparent contradictions lead to another question.  If Buffett, Williams, and Clayton are willing to give a head-fake on one thing, and another, is it unrealistic to think that they might do so on something else of consequence?

 

Holding the Powerful to Account

The media is supposed to hold the powerful to account when the crossed a line.  Are they going to play the role of watchdog?  Attack dog?  Will they take part in a smear?

What shouldn’t happen is that reports that hold the powerful to account, is that others get swept up who are bystanders, making the innocent and the alleged wrongdoers – or their victims – all look badly.

Buffett and a few of his uber-rich, MHI supporting buddies are exposed in this video by John Oliver.  Okay.  But do the independents and honorable people in the industry wanted to be tarred and feathered along with them?

 

InBusinessWorldRearViewMirrorClearerThanWindshieldWarrenBuffettLifehackquotes-postedManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Keep in mind that Warren Buffett has said that the lesson of history is that people don’t learn the lessons of history. He and his allies count on busy professional people not looking in the rearview mirror of history. When we look back at just the last few years, isn’t it apparent that Buffett supports one thing, his minions claim to support the opposite, and the industry is being lead down blind allies? Meanwhile, the data suggests that industry has not yet recovered to the level that it was when Buffett bought Clayton in 2003. Does keeping the industry at a low level of production allow for more industry consolidation, and also keep more new competitors out?

 

That’s enough food for thought on a Friday night.

But for those who want to dig deeper into these mysterious issues, see the linked related reports, below the byline, offers, and notices that follow. That’s tonight’s 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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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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News Tip, Document – Is Clayton Homes Engaged in False Down Payments? Deceptive Trade Practices?

February 11th, 2019 Comments off

 

NewsTipDocumentClaytonHomesLogoClaytonHomesEngagedInFalseDownPaymentsDeceptiveTradePracticesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Prior to publishing this article, MHProNews asked officials at Clayton Homes for comment on this topic.  The Daily Business News on MHProNews waited several days before publishing this report, giving the industry giant plenty of time to respond.

 

They have to date exercised their right to remain silent.

Now that this document – provided as a news tip – is being published below, MHProNews once more invites Clayton, Vanderbilt Mortgage, other industry lenders, or the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) the opportunity to respond, refute, confirm, or clarify the concerns noted below.

There are several possibilities,” said an informed source to MHProNews with ties to the ‘powers that be.’ “For example, Clayton could claim that they are not taking the $1,000 off the actual down payment, but rather off the total price of the home.”

But if so,” per that same source “that raised other questions and possible issues.  For example, does that make this $1,000 credit a deceptive trade practice?  Could they [Clayton] be raising the price, only to lower it? If it is a down payment, are outside lenders or federally backed lenders aware of this Clayton Homes trade practice?”

The certificate from “CMH” bears Kevin Clayton’s signature.

 

$1000DownAdditionalPaymentClaytonHomesCMHKevinClaytonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The document shows several Clayton retail brands on the bottom of the certificate.

 

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MHProNews will update readers on this, and other developing reports.  To provide a news tip to MHProNews use the link above or to the bottom left, below. See related reports, further below. “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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Former Manufactured Housing Institute President, Manufactured Home Owners, Urban Institute, and You

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wishful Thinking vs Facts, Evidence, Reason, and Manufactured Housing

January 20th, 2019 Comments off

 

WishfulThinkingVsFactsEvidenceReasonManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Two nights ago, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Office took the unusual step of publishing a denial of a mainstream media report by BuzzFeed News that had the talking heads on TV, radio, and in print astir for 24 hours.

 

Harvard law professor emeritus, Alan Dershowitz – a Democrat and civil libertarian – once more explained Friday night on Sean Hannity’s show why these fake news accounts are grounded in nothing of substance.  It goes back to the need for discernment.  That’s a point which independent, award-winning journalist Sharyl Attkisson has preached and is reported on at the link here.

 

MediaBiasChartSharylAttkissonLeftRightPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources.  See a recent report and Ted Talk video, linked here.

 

That Fox video embed code with Democratic-supporter Dershowitz is not yet available.  But another one from attorney Mark Levin – who was anti-Trump for quite some time – also discusses the same issues, references Dershowitz’s comments, and is posted below. This latest episode started by BuzzFeed raise issues that have and will continue to impact the manufactured home industry, all other professions, and society at large.

 

As important as that is, it is not the focus of this commentary that tees up our Sunday Morning weekly headline news report recaps.  Manufactured housing specific reporting is our emphasis again today.

As If…Wishful Thinking and Fake News vs,

Fact, Evidence, and Reason

 

As If?

As if George F. (F?) Allen would be the best tool in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) shed to defend the Arlington, VA based trade group – as well as some of their largest members – was laughable.  But give “F” Allen credit.  At least he tried, and did so publicly.  As weak as “F” Allen’s effort may be, it is provided in full among the reports linked below, so you can decide for yourself how effective it is at defending Clayton, Cavco, MHI, et al from the mounting evidence of scandals.

Both Allen and the BuzzFeed stoked dramas have a few thinks in common. An arguable lack of objectivity, standards, or even common sense. Both rely upon an audience that may wish or hope that what the source says is true. Both cases involve the vast difference between evidence and reason, and everything else a matter of wishful thinking or a denial of reality.

Neither Kevin Clayton, nor Tim Williams, or Warren Buffett have disputed their own words or documents that have recently been reported at this link here. No conspiracy theories, evidence, documents, and direct quotes taken in context.  The sources have been given repeated opportunities to debunk or explain away the evidence.  Silence. That’s their 5th Amendment right.

So, having “F” Allen, MHI, or certain state association surrogates attempt any red herrings or head-fakes just reveals that they have no valid explanation, which implies that the linked evidence above is compelling.

Evidence, concerns, and allegations of market manipulation aren’t just in the past. They are in the here and now, and more are planned and underway for the days ahead. MHI – and some state associations – are part of that purported collusion. They are doing so despite MHI’s own published antitrust guidelines, linked here.

It’s been about a year since Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, MHI President and CEO, cancelled at the Louisville Show “at the last minute” his presentation on the Trojan Horse of the so-called “new class of homes” and related. Jennison apparently didn’t want to be publicly questioned by MHProNews, or by anyone else in the audience that read MHProNews, and were provided a list of questions to ask during the Q&A.

They can hide, but only for so long. Because the trend lines, truth, and evidence keep drip, drip, dripping out.

You can trust George F. (F?) Allen, or not, when he says there are no conspiracies to find. But who beside aptly named “F” Allen spoke about conspiracy? We re-published evidence from the sources in question. Let people like Allen – who continues to ducks from his own controversial practices that created negative news in the mainstream media for the industry, see the linked report on the Masthead below – use head fakes. If Allen, MHI or their surrogates had a real, logical argument, why don’t they make it? Why don’t they do so in public, at Louisville?

What are they afraid of? What are they hiding from?  Do they fear the reaction of the crowd, if they realize that they’ve been duped by people they count on to represent their interests?

 

The Evolution of these Issues

In fairness to the current power structure behind MHI, this is not a new phenomenon.  Rather, sources suggest it has arguably taken on new twists and turns.

danny-ghorbani1st-president-manufactured-housing-association-regulatory-reform-mharr-credit=journalmfdmodularhousing-posted-dailybusiness-mhpronews-

Danny Ghorbani, photo credit, the Journal.

Danny Ghorbani, a structural and civil engineer, is a former Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Vice President and the Founding President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).  He is a 51-year veteran of the manufactured housing industry, who has represented all aspects of the industry in Washington, D.C., including, but not limited to, manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, communities and developers, and has managed two national manufactured housing industry trade shows.  He is currently the Senior Advisor to MHARR.

Reached by MHProNews, Mr. Ghorbani stated on the record that:

From my personal experience, at any given time, the largest manufacturers tend to dominate that Association — i.e., the Manufactured Housing Institute. The same principal may well apply at the state association level.”

 

The Most Fireworks?

This upcoming event might be the most controversial Louisville Show in years.

Watch for upcoming reports and developments. Sign up for our industry leading headline news below, to make sure you don’t miss what thousands of others are keeping up with, day by day, only on MHProNews.

 

 

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

 

Why is the industry’s already meager recovery stalling? See that too discussed and analyzed in the various linked reports, accessed via the text/image boxes or hot links below. Remember as you scan the headlines, we don’t turn every link into a text/box.  So, check the titles all out.

Literally from the biggest to the mid-sized or ‘mom and pop’ operations flock here to get the news and analysis no one else in MHTrade media has the guts to cover. That’s why friends, foes, and all others are on our site by the thousands, daily.  Meanwhile the manifestly pro-MHI, pro-Berkshire propaganda and related fluff go unread.

 

MHInsiderManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

George F (F?) Allen is one of the contributors to the MHInsider. Really? The photo above is from the last day of the Tunica Show, and the other racks looked the same.  Competition is healthy, because it allows people to compare. We might expect the MHVillage sponsored MHInsider – after the above and similar embarrassments at the Louisville Show last year – might learn their lesson, and pick up some of their own magazines, or perhaps pay some people to pick them up for them.

 

See why we are #1.  Share what you read here with others, because that is among the ways that this pro-growth platform – which is fighting for honest independents and professionals like you – is growing.

 

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With no further adieu, here are the recent reports, plus the headlines for the week that was, January 13-20th, 2019.

 

New January 2019 Featured Reports and Commentary

New January 2019 Featured Articles, including a report from Sharyl Attkisson, is linked here.

 

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

mhlivingnews-improvedlivingforle-logo

Ed Speraw, Manufactured Home Owner “Hero”, dies at 81

 

Ed Speraw, Manufactured Home Owner “Hero”, dies at 81

 

 

 

What’s New on the Masthead

TheMastheadCommentaryLATonyKovachMHProNews

 

 

The Latest from Washington, D.C. from MHARR

 

Independent National Manufactured Housing Post-Production Association Takes Major Step

 

 

 

What’s New on the Daily Business News On MHProNews

11DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsLogos

 

Saturday 1.18.2018

Pink Flamingoes, The Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, and Manufactured Home Community’s Mainstream Media Controversy

 

Friday 1.17.2019

 

Manufactured Home Industry Groups Fighting Hard, Meanwhile, a Man Died

Insider Trades, New Cavco Industries Investigation, Selling – Plus More Manufactured Housing Stock Updates

 

Current & Forecast Investing Habits of Millennials, $30 Trillion Dollar Transfer of Wealth Looms

 

Thursday 1.16.2019

 

 

Global War On Cash? Plus, Manufactured Housing Equities Updates

Sobering Federal Report on Manufactured Housing Lending – Retailers, Communities, Producers, and Finance Companies – Take Note

An “Ideological Echo Chamber” – and Manufactured Housing Progress

 

Wednesday 1.15.2019

 

White House Thanks CNN’s Acosta, Plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

 

New NAMHCO Association Challenges Manufactured Housing Institute on DTS, Financing, and More

No Kings in America? – John Sherman ‘Speaks’ to Manufactured Housing

 

Tuesday 1.14.2019

 

 

Clayton Homes’ Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance Customer Experience Video, What It Says, What Does It Mean for Manufactured Housing Pros?

 

The Lighter Side of Manufactured Home Marketing?

Teen “Sex Slave” in “Mobile Home Park” – Kid Lured by Gaming App, per ABC, State Officials

 

Monday 1.13.2019

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp and their “Strategic Moat,” Plus Manufactured Housing Equities Updates

The Future of Retail, Disney, ‘Trailer Trauma,’ and Manufactured Housing

Why Is Manufactured Housing Struggling During an Affordable Housing Crisis? Former MHI President, VP, Other’s Quotable Insights

State AG Files Suit Against, Manufactured Home Community, Rent to Own, Lease Purchase Option Warning

 

Sunday 1.12.2019

 

Exploring Corporate, Association, Individual, Investor, and Governmental Corruption Involving Manufactured Housing

 

Our publisher recently stated the obvious, which brings clarity. We are not mainstream media.  We do things differently.  We do what we do here, plus business development services for industry professionals and investors, so we stay BUSY.

YouMHProNewsSeemToHaveConceptualIQThatIsMoreImportantThanSpellingAbilityQuote

Many of our sources – and quotes – are from MHI insiders.

Or as the old Arby’s commercial used to say, “different is good.”  We’re not seeking a Pulitzer prize. Our goal is to identify the root causes of the manufactured and modular home industry’s malaise, and foster honest, ethical growth once again.

UltimateManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoQuotes1DailyBusinessNewsMHproNewsMachievelianInstiutte

That difference – the quality of the content – has kept us going, even after years of efforts by the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis to try to sideline or destroy us.  That speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

That’s more than enough from the best stocked serving line in all of MHVille of relevant Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

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

 

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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.

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

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

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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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.

 

Related References:

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

New Association Weighs In, Giving Credit Where It’s Due, Opportunitie$, But Winds of Change Challenge Manufactured Housing’s Future

 

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

 

Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert, Affordable Housing Crisis, MHI’s #NettlesomeThings Response

Clayton Donates Manufactured Home for Christmas, But What’s Up With Those Lumps of Coal?

December 24th, 2018 Comments off

 

ClaytonHomesDonatesManufacturedHomeChristmasWhatsUpWithLumpsofCoalDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Giving and denotations can be good, and certainly the Mona Lisa and Oscar De Paz of New Braunfels, TX will benefit from the Christmas gift of a new manufactured home donated by Clayton Homes.

 

Manufactured housing is one of the largest sources of unsubsidized, affordable housing in the country,” said Family Promise CEO Claas Ehlers via a Clayton Homes media release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews. “We are excited to work with Clayton and help move this family from being homeless to homeowners, helping them along the path to stability and opportunity every family deserves.”

Family Promise says about themselves that they are a national nonprofit organization helping homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through what is described as a community-based response.

We are committed to contributing solutions to the affordable housing crisis in America,” said Kevin Clayton, CEO of Clayton. “We hope our continued efforts with the Family Promise team will increase awareness and inform how others can donate or volunteer to positively impact the lives of families affected by homelessness.”

But perhaps a broader question ought to be, what is the cause of so much homelessness to begin with?

 

Zillow Research Reveals Impact of Rising Rents on Homelessness, Affordable Housing Advocates, Public Officials, and Investors Take Note

 

Some of the facts, new third-party research, and issues surrounding the challenge of homelessness and the relatively low rate of home ownership in the U.S. are found by clicking on the text/image boxes above and below.

 

 

The Darker Side of Gift Giving?

It’s a sad fact that the Mafia and drug lords are among those who know the value of gift giving. But among the questions should be, what is the below-the-waterline cost of the gift? What did the donor get in return for their gift?

Clayton Homes gained some level of media fanfare via this new home donation during the advent of Christmas Season.

But for thoughtful souls who have studied Clayton Homes and their Berkshire Hathaway inspired ‘strategic moat’ business model, several questions should arise.

For example:

  • How was the money for this gift to the De Paz family earned?
  • What is the cost to society for how the money was earned that made that donation possible?
  • Is there a metaphorical lump of coal being simultaneously given to millions, while Kevin Clayton of Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes takes a public bow for their purported largess?
  • What was the value of the free publicity to Clayton Homes, compared to the cost of the gifted home and any related tax write-off?
  • Is Clayton Homes attempting to use such donations and gifts to divert attention away from over a decade of controversies?

It has been some 7 years since Kevin Clayton said during a video interview that the industry was ready to erase the unjust stigma associated with manufactured housing. Really?

Where is the high visibility effort to explain to millions that manufactured homes today are not the mobile homes that have no longer been built in the U.S.A. since June 15, 1976?

How was it possible the on the fortieth anniversary of the HUD Code’s federally preemptive standards for manufactured housing safety, durability, and energy efficiency that the Clayton-dominated Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) failed to provide maximum news coverage for the 40th anniversary date?

A U.S. affordable housing crisis has been ongoing for years. Meanwhile, Clayton and the Berkshire Hathaway brands that dominate manufactured housing’s Arlington, VA based ‘puppet association’ has provided a fig leaf instead of action measurable by potentially millions of renters buying a manufactured home for the same or lower payment than their rental.

 

ThoseWhoTellTheStoriesRuleSocietyPlatoquoteManufacturedHOusingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Indeed, several of the scandals surrounding manufactured homes and manufactured home lending has originated from Clayton, 21st Mortgage Corp, and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).  Other controversies and scandals, past and present, are likewise found among members of the Monopolistic Housing Institute, err, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). For example, their former chairman, Nathan Smith, has deep ties to Clayton and 21st.  His SSK Communities has earned an “F” rating by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).  They’ve been the subject of class action lawsuits, as has Clayton.

2018-09-26_0939BBBSSKCommunitiesLogoNathanSmithPhotoManufacturedHomeLivingNewsThirdPartyLogo

You can see a Nathan Smith, SSK Communities related report, by clicking this link here.

While home ownership rates are slowly recovering, the U.S. still lags behind some 40 other nations in home ownership rates. How is that possible, when some of those other nations have much lower per capital earnings?

Top50CountriesinWorldHomeOwnershipRatesWikipediaPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews1878

The argument has been made that Clayton, 21st and Berkshire Hathaway’s Chairman Warren Buffett have manipulated the marketplace in various ways, some of them openly so.  But some of those open manipulations were misunderstood or overlooked. Following facts, evidence and money trails leads to some sobering concerns about Clayton, and MHI.

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Home ownership rates were holding fairly steady until 2007, four years after Berkshire Hathaway acquired Clayton Homes,, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, and began buying up loans and more pieces of the industry. While there are numerous factors, the purported manipulation of the manufactured home market by 21st and Clayton can’t be overlooked by serious researchers. See chart below.

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryDailyBusinessNEwsMHproNEws

Yes, Clayton gave away a home in Texas, and one fortunate family benefited. Good for the De Paz family, seriously. But Clayton got free publicity at Christmastime. Meanwhile, millions are renting, and some 550,000 to 660,000 others are homeless.  How much green blood-money is on Berkshire Hathaway’s hands?

It was the New York Times that reported recently on the trend of monopolization in America.

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

 

Would so many be homeless if conglomerates like Berkshire Hathaway weren’t purportedly manipulating capital, failing to defend the good about the manufactured home industry, while Clayton themselves have been the source of numerous negative-image creating headlines?  ICYMI, or need a refresher for added clarity – click on the text/image box below for more insights.

 

Escaping the Grave? Affordable, Manufactured Housing News

 

In the days when stoves heated humble housing and coal was the fuel burned, a lump of coal was a reality that became a metaphor for a few more minutes or hours of heat against the cold of winter.

The De Paz family are entrepreneurs who’ve been given a hand up.  But MHProNews has heard from and about numerous operations in manufactured housing, that number in the hundreds if not thousands, that have had their own American dreams shattered by alleged manipulations of capital access and other purported treacheries.

If Berkshire’s brands in manufactured housing have indeed participated directly and/or indirectly in manipulating the marketplace as alleged, perhaps the mainstream media spotlight on Clayton ought to be on those deprived of safer, new, and durable homes vs. renting or homelessness? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)

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