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

April 12th, 2019 No comments

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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?

 

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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

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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?

 

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

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

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Related Reports:

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

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

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

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

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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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

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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

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

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

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

 

Related 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.

HomeOwnershipRatesUSCensusBureauDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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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Related Reports:

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

Billion Dollar Startup Modular Builder, Using Robotics, Could Soon Rival Clayton Homes’ Total Sales

 

Machiavellian “Godfather” – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Capital, Lending and Crossed Lines in Manufactured Housing

 

Capital Pouring In, What Warren Buffett May Not Want MHVille Professionals to Know

MHI Allies Respond, Provide Confirmation to #NettlesomeThings, Facts, and Clayton/Berkshire Exposés

December 17th, 2018 Comments off

 

MHIAlliesRespondProvideConfirmation#NettlesomeThingsFactsClaytonBerkshireExposesDailyBusinessNewsMHpronews

The issue that follows is tied to allegations of corruption, how that impacts affordable housing, and thus millions of Americans, plus taxpayer funded budgets.  At its core, it’s not a matter of one political party over that one.

 

It seems that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and the Berkshire Hathaway brands that operate in manufactured housing backing the Arlington, VA based trade group may be embarrassed.

Rather than respond directly to various allegations against them, they have demonstrably used one or more MHI surrogate(s) to attempt to distract from the concerns over their purportedly corrupted work.

So, this report and analysis is about one/more self-identified ally(ies) of MHI, which last year sent via U.S. Mail the package shown further below – designed as an apparent intimation tactic.  The goal was to attempt to dissuade us from publishing on these concerns.  Note that inside the rather large anonymously sent envelope, which has been examined by federal officials – clearly identifies the person who sent the anonymous envelope as working on behalf of the interests of MHI.

Perhaps they didn’t expect us to publish further about that topic last year?  If so, they were clearly mistaken. We at MHProNews have no intention of being silenced by underhanded and arguably illegal tactics. Misusing the U.S. Mail is a federal offense.

If MHI, Clayton, 21st and the other Berkshire brands want to disprove any of our published allegations or concerns, we invite them anew to do so in public. See a new, in depth report, linked here, on their latest major purported scheme that once more aims at diverting lending from affordable housing, as well as harming several of the independent producers of our industry. If MHI and the Berkshire brands in manufactured housing can’t or won’t disprove the concerns against them, doesn’t that speak volumes?

Numbers inside and out of the factory-built housing industry agree that MHI does nothing contrary to the interests or desires of Clayton Homes, and the various affiliates of Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway that operate in the manufactured housing industry.

 

 

To understand what follows, some added insights are merited.

First, the additional background.  Then, the connections and ties to MHI, and what we will refer at times to as the Berkshire brands operating in MHLand, MHVille – i.e.: the manufactured housing (MH) industry, or the MHIndustry.

When we mention allegations against MHI, Clayton, or a Berkshire related issue(s), we use terminology that makes it clear that in the eyes of the law, they are deemed innocent until proven guilty, by plea on criminal matters, and/or via a settlement agreement in the case of a civil cause of action.

Videos like the following two in 2018, and a third one from a few years ago, are all third-party media. They may provide claimed evidence against them Clayton and their sister companies.  But the above principle applies, they are deemed innocent in the eyes of the law, until a matter is proven, pled, and/or legally settled.

 

 

Note that these video sources span the left-right media divide.

 

 

 

Now, let’s briefly look at justice in America, because many believe there is a two-tier system. One where the rich or famous can delay or avoid convictions of crimes that others accused of the same things could more swiftly be found guilty of doing.

Possible examples are former President Bill and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and their scandal-plagued Clinton Foundation, as noted in the second and third video, above.

With that preface, let’s next look at the justice system as it applies to our industry. Because certain practices in both are arguably in need of reform.

 

The Justice System in America, and MHVille

Why do we as a nation lock up convicted criminals? Because if someone is proven guilty of fraud, theft, robbery, rape, RICO, human trafficking, drug dealing, murder, or whatever other serious crimes – they are presumed to be more likely to do it again if they aren’t incarcerated.

So, the goal of incarceration in a prison is in theory to stop more crime from being committed by those proven guilty.

Before someone goes to prison in America – prison, vs. jail – the law provides that they get a defense attorney or one is assigned to them.

 

JailsVsPrisonsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

If the defense attorney for an accused has moxie and resources, there are a wide range of ways they can legally attempt to refute or cast doubt about an accused person’s guilt.

In civil litigation, both parties have the right to an attorney too, although there are times someone or some organization for whatever reason opts to represent themselves. Even in a criminal defense case, one can go “pro se” or “pro per.”

 

DefineProSeOrProPerAppearanceinCourtDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

The Great Manufactured Housing Debate – Guilty…

MHProNews and MHLivingNews are subsidiaries of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC. The registered principals of LifeStyle Factory Homes LLC are L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach and Soheyla Kovach.

They are arguably guilty! Guilty!

Guilty of what?

1) Of wanting to see manufactured housing independents grow and profitably succeed.

2) They are also willing to plead guilty of trying to honestly elevating the image of manufactured housing, manufactured home owners, and honorable manufactured housing professionals.  They strive to do so with facts, evidence, reason, and common-sense.

3) The evidence or proof of that guilt are found on hundreds of articles and scores of posted videos on MHLivingNews.com.

There is even more proof found on MHProNews.com. But there is no court of law needed, because we  hereby plead guilty to counts 1 and 2 above.

Naturally, we as a business want to – and have in fact profited from – such efforts. News is a business, as we’ve underscored before. The fact that MHProNews is the runaway #1 in its niche of manufactured housing trade media is pretty good evidence that we have credibility with our audience.

4) What follows is a partial listing of reasons for credibility, conferred upon our operations’ work, on our team, and/or our publisher by others.

Various third-party mainstream media have spotlighted us or our publisher, for but a few examples:

The above are a partial listing only, none were paid for by MHProNews, and thus are more than enough to demonstrate that MHProNews is widely deemed to be a credible source from outside of our industry.  How about from within the ranks of MHVille?

 

Recommendations, Endorsements, Letters, Videos and Messages 

Every form of modern recommendation that once can think of has been provided to the work of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC and/or our publisher.

Are we perfect?  No, and never claimed to be so.  As a senior MHI member put it recently, “You seem to have conceptual IQ that is more important than spelling ability,” which is a humorous way of saying that we have typos.  Guilty. That same source added, “You [MHProNews] are prolific and you keep the headlines sexy.” Sexy? We’ll let that one go for now.

That said…

 

Over a Thousand Professionals Gave via LinkedIn Recommendations or Endorsements 

Based upon LinkedIn endorsements and kudos alone, we arguable don’t need or require any endorsement by MHI or from people connected to the Berkshire brands.

But we have those MHI- and Berkshire-connected kudos too.

  • Tim Williams – President and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corp, and then MHI Chairman:
TimWilliams21stMortgagePublicationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews

To see the full on-the-record statement by Williams to MHProNews, click here.

  • Howard Walker, JD – the late ELS Vice Chair and MHI Executive Committee member:
HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

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

  • Jim Clayton – founder of Clayton Homes and Clayton Bank  – by video:

 

  • MHI President and CEO, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison by video and others too:

  • Ann Parman – since retired from MHEI,  the educational wing of MHI:

AnnParmanVPManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoLATonyKovachMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews800

EngagingTheMediaSeminarDuringMHICongressandExpoLATonyKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

MHI and the Berkshire brands were delighted – demonstrably delighted – to have our support based upon the financial logic or merits of issues such as the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act. Note that whatever the odds for success were – and the MHI backed bill never passed – it arguably merited support, for reasons the article linked here revealed.

So, both on MHProNews and on MHLivingNews our publishing and video was sincere.

That support of Preserving Access – and more – was also widely praised by state associations, MHI, and Kevin Clayton himself. He had one word to describe it in this email sent to Tim Williams, to another Clayton staffer, and which Williams forward to our publisher — “Strong….”

KevinClaytonClaytonHomesStrongTheHillBlogPostManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This forwarded email was forwarded to MHProNews by a third party. Why wasn’t all of the pro-industry research, video, and educational materials supporting MHI’s Preserving Access bill shared by MHI?

 

For those who think that all the praise from the Clayton organization is in the past, a Clayton Homes marketing team member praised our work for its thought leadership this year, in 2018.  They asked us for permission to use some of our work from MHLivingNews on the Clayton Homes blog.

 

ClaytonHomesContentManagerPermissiontoUseMHLivingNewsContentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHPronnews

 

Based upon the above, you or any objective person can thus see how difficult it must be for MHI’s or the Berkshire brands.  Standing in their shoes, with respect to the various antitrust and other concerns raised, they arguably can’t simply dismiss MHProNews, which they’ve praised too many time.  While other scandalous behavior allegations have been lodged against them by voices outside manufactured housing, inside our industry, our reporting, fact-checks and analysis have been dominating. As the most prominent voice, they have arguably attacked us indirectly rather than directly.

But we are not alone.  These same MHI/Clayton/Berkshire voices have tried to debatably go after the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) too.

So, if they had a good explanation for issues raised in the related resources, found below the by-line, why do they avoid doing so?  Why don’t they merely debate or disprove – based-upon the merits – MHARR’s arguments – or our own research, fact-checks and reports at MHProNews?  Why?

It’s a tactic some refer to as Duck, Dodge, Dismiss, Distract, Detract, and/or Defame.

 

 

Award-winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson – on the cover of her best-selling book – calls this tactic “The Smear.”

 

DuckDodgeDismissDistractDetractDefameFromIssueTacticsByThoseWithNoGoodAnswersMHProNews-768x609

These evasion tactics are nothing new.  Cain used the same distraction and smear tactics against Able, but he also took it to the degree of murder.

In an honorable trade association, an association/trade organization is supposed to take input from members – and then based upon that input – craft one or more policy direction(s).

But MHI is debatably no ordinary association. A system is in place that essentially rubber stamps, for example, who will be the next MHI Executive Committee chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer. It is that ‘elected’ MHI Executive Committee that makes all final decisions that the paid MHI staff are then called upon to carry out.

For years, one or two of those four MHI Executive Committee members worked directly for a Berkshire brand.  Others had strong ties to Clayton, 21st Mortgage Corp, or another Berkshire brand. Nathan Smith and his scandal plagued SSK Communities for example, has such ties to Clayton Homes and 21st Mortgage. Nathan Smith’s SSK Communities has the distinction of having earned an “F rating” from the third-party Better Business Bureau (BBB).

 

2018-09-26_0939BBBSSKCommunitiesLogoNathanSmithPhotoManufacturedHomeLivingNewsThirdPartyLogo

In fact, among the current or past MHI chairman, you have to go back to the tenure of Don Glisson Jr., President of Triad Financial Services, to find one that didn’t or doesn’t have a serious allegation and/or scandal attached to them.  Joe Stegmayer, for example, is under a cloud of an SEC subpoena, and was a former Clayton Homes division president. By contrast, have you heard of any scandals attached to any recent MHARR elected chairmen?

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIBoardofDirectors1242018DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Increasingly people inside and outside of our part of the affordable housing industry are realizing that where there is smoke, there is a likely fire.

When you follow the evidence of Buffett’s money trail, some of his gifts have flowed to the Tides Foundation and onto such as groups as:

Those in turn have been cited or published reports, protested, or objected to the behavior of Clayton Homes, their sister firms in MHVille, and/or protested at an MHI event.

 

NovoFoundationWarrenBuffettTidesFoundationFundsMHActionManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

In a video posted above, it is a former Clayton team member who is pointing their finger at Clayton Homes in their own Knoxville metro hometown media.  Ouch.

The feds have been investigating Clayton and others tied to them in manufactured housing for at least two years, and our sources tell us that their investigations are ongoing. Would the Feds waste the time on a company if there were no evidence?

Maxine Waters (CA-D) and 3 other Democrats have charged Clayton with racism, predatory lending, and with being a ‘near monopoly.’

So, with that brief background, the following envelopes comes in the mail, anonymously.  Bear in mind the first envelope below included an  unsigned letter from someone that identified themselves as clearly acting on behalf of MHI.

What’s inside the next set of envelopes are personal, family matters. Have you ever done something personal that may or may not be bad, but would require some explanation, otherwise it might be briefly embarrassing?  Have you or anyone you know ever squabble with family?

These matters involved legal disputes within our publisher’s family, dating back some 23 years ago. Who cares?  Besides, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach won, won, and won. As in, Tony Kovach won judgments and was not guilty of any alleged wrongdoing.

The first envelope that follows was sent from a self-identified MHI ally.  The envelope as you can see was hand-written. Big mistake. A letter inside that came with a packet of documents, and was turned over to federal investigators.   As noted, the cover letter was from someone supportive of MHI, and who opposed our MHProNews exposes about them.  Do we want such tactics used against a free press?

 

EnvelopeMailedApril2017imageCreditMHProNews-

Scanned copy of envelope mailed to MHProNews, received on Friday April 9, 2017.  Misusing the U.S. Mail is a federal offense.

 

The Daily Business News on MHProNews reported on the above last year.  Following that 2017 report, there was a pause in such an anonymous letter.  That pause ended during basically the second half of this year (2018). Among those new anonymous letters since that resumption are a new series of letters and their contents, which the 6 shown below (see the dates shown).  Those letters were produced by using a printing device, and we won’t go into much more detail, because federal investigators are on this matter too.

 

2018-12-16_1547TimWilliamsKevinClaytonRichardDickJennisonLeslGoochNathanSmithLATonyKovach#NettlesomeThingsEnvelopesDialyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Misusing the U.S. Mail is a federal offense.

 

The Offer to Claytons, Berkshire Brands, & MHI

There is a big fish to catch, one that lacks transparency, and it debatably isn’t MHProNews or MHLivingNews, as we are not trying to monopolize manufactured housing.

That said, we’ll make a deal – an offer to Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, Lesli Gooch, et al should take us up on.

  • Appear on stage with our publisher at the upcoming Louisville Manufactured Housing Show, with third-party media and an array of video cameras to record the entire matter.
  • Our publisher will explain on camera in under 2 minutes the contents of these purported distraction and smear tactics envelopes, after Kevin Clayton and Tim Williams explains to the audience and the video cameras their Smoking Gun letters from 2010, the issues around “the Moat” video, and the undisclosed item related to the GSEs and their new class of homes initiatives.
  • Also, let Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison and Lesli Gooch explain on camera after Kevin Clayton and Tim Williams has spoken questions about the GSEs and the so-called ‘new class of homes’ related concerns. Because, the GSE “Duty to Serve” lending isn’t currently being made available for the least expensive manufactured homes, as the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA 2008) arguably required.  Plus, let that pair from MHI answer questions regarding their multi-year Preserving Access effort. For example, why MHI PAC Chair Nathan Smith’s wife supported an opponent to candidate Rep. Andy Barr – when Barr has faithfully supported the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act.
  • Then, let Jim Clayton explain why he supported the opponent of Rep. Marsha Blackburn for the U.S. Senate, when Blackburn was a loyal MHI supporter for Preserving Access.
  • After those three sets go first, Tony will gladly in under 2 minutes explain the guts of the distraction tactics they are trying to use against him and our trade media.  Then, let them all question and cross-examine each under. Let their be transparency in public and on camera.

 

Are those named up for it?  LifeStyle Factory Homes reserves to right to call as witnesses for such a media/video session those who have said off-the-record precisely how the Claytons, 21st, MHI or others have purportedly attempted to drive others of out of business, or force them into selling for less.  There are also others who have reported to us having under-handed tactics against them too.  After the first round of discussions suggested in the bullets above is complete, let let those who claim to be victims of MHI, Clayton or one of the other Berkshire brands take a microphone and tell their stories on video too.

In short, let’s have a robust, transparent discussion.

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

Thoughtful words, worth pondering. See the story, linked here.

 

Over the Target

L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach has cited the axiom, “You aren’t taking flak unless you are over the target.” These anonymous documents from decades ago aimed at Tony, are arguably because Clayton’s ‘image’ efforts, and the latest MHI self-promotion video are distractions and/or fig leaves from the real issues that have kept manufactured housing snoring when it should be roaring.  Clayton has consolidated roughly half of the industry since 2003, using a variety of strategies that Warren Buffett broadly calls “the Moat.”

 

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryDailyBusinessNEwsMHproNEws

Ask yourself, why the GSEs aren’t supporting all HUD Code manufactured homes, which is the most affordable permanent housing available – instead of only supporting only the far more expense Clayton backed ‘new class’ of manufactured homes?

Every one of the tactics described herein or previously has reportedly been attempted or used on others, per those who have told MHProNews.  Some of those relating their personal stories about Clayton, MHI, et al shared them face-to-face. Others have via phone, message, etc.

Perhaps most significantly, if federal investigators are taking such concerns seriously, maybe more in media, public officials, MH industry professionals, and investors should too?  Don’t forget what is said on those third-party and mainstream video, further above. You don’t have to take our word for it, because we’ve laid out the facts, evidence, and the money trail.

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Submit confidential or on-the-record news tips, or comments at this linked email mailto:iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com

Why is there a growing affordable housing in crisis?  Call it a rigged system, manipulation, and/or corrupt practices.  That’s this morning’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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It’s Your Profession – Investment of Time, Talent, Treasure – So What’s Next?

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

Machiavellian “Godfather” – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Capital, Lending and Crossed Lines in Manufactured Housing

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

 

 

“It’s a Terrible Idea,” Comments from Manufactured Home Community Owners, Senior Management, and Investors

December 7th, 2018 Comments off


ItsTerribleIdeaCommentsFromManufacturedHomeCommunityOwnersSeniormanagementProducersInvestorsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews
Skimmer alert: the subject isn’t a video per se.  But we open this Daily Business News on MHProNews with a comment about a new video because it shines a light on broader issues that have drawn comments – also shared below – from a variety of industry personalities.  Many are from the manufactured home community sector.  But other voices from retail and production have weighed in too, as you will see.

 

A company president with interests in communities that has also done retail wrote a long missive that began as follows. “My first reaction when I saw the opening frames [of the Manufactured Housing Institute self-promotional video] was WTF?????  OBVIOUS to me at least that this was made for folks who DON’T know the real details behind the [manufactured housing industry’s current condition] story.  In a depressed industry, with competition slowly being choked out of existence, they [MHI] come out like we’re back in 1999!  What a joke.”

 

Terrible Idea

It’s a terrible idea,” said another large community owner during a 75-minute phone call to MHProNews,to have communities lumped in” with producers, retail, and other industry segments at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). That pro said he hasn’t seen the MHI video, and said he could care less.

Why?

What has MHI done to alleviate any of the concerns” for communities, was the response.  Examples given by the caller included costly installations being mandated by HUD was part of that community owners comment.

He’s far from alone.

The Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and financing issues have sparked several responses from operations of varied sizes, from coast-to-coast.

MHI pays lip service to communities. Sure, they have their community focused events. But in terms of policies, what has MHI actually done? It’s still a retail and production-oriented organization.”

The dues paid by communities [to MHI] are not that bad,” said one. “But there’s no performance [by MHI] either. I’m waiting to see who will step up and do something that will be helpful for communities.”

MHI provides “a lot of sizzle, but the steak’s still kinda tough. We as an industry are still WAY below where all rationale says we should be, IF ONLY NORMAL MARKET FORCES WERE AT WORK HERE.  I have long felt that to NOT be the case, as you [MHProNews] are also verifying through your investigative reporting.”

Put differently, one of the hot-topics include a growing sense of manufactured home market manipulation and monopolistic practices.  There are many who believe that the industry should be performing far better, but that manipulation of the market has kept the industry at far below it’s capability.

 

 

A Wink and a Nod?

I have no doubt that deals are made [at MHI] with a wink and a nod” that benefits some operations at the expense of others stated a partner in a community operation.

Nathan Smith was a name that drew repeated fire. “What a likable guy, who sadly is working every ——ing day to get politicians elected who harm everything independent business people in our industry stand for and need [in order] to be successful.” Without saying so, it is likely a reaction to the report found by clicking on the hot-linked box below.

 

Nathan & Mary Lee Chance Smith, Leaders in ‘Anti-Trump Resistance,’ Manufactured Housing Impact?

 

I just want an organization that helps keep Big Brother off my back,” explained one, commenting about MHI. “We have modest working-class [MH] communities. There are no clubhouses. Having to put in high-cost pads only increases the costs to consumers. MHI’s promos only shows photos or video of freshly black topped streets, that have double wides1, garages, and swimming pools. Hey, that’s great for those few that actually do offer that, but that ignores the reality at over 80 percent of the properties in our industry. It’s like they [MHI] are embarrassed by the reality that millions are happy to have a home that they can call their own, even if it is modest, it’s theirs.”

 

1 – sic terminology error in the original.  More properly,
multi-sectional manufactured homes. Note to Industry
newcomers – percentages shared by reader comments
may or may not be precise, but can be understood
as broadly on point.

SICSicutJournalismDefintionSocietyProfessionalJournalismDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

One mentioned a comment by Kevin Clayton, on an occasion when he said that the industry should “…dance with those that brought them to the dance.” Meaning, the industry should not forget the entry level product.  “But this Clayton/MHI new class of homes absolutely ignores the ones that brought manufactured homes to the housing industry dance.  Not providing them with Fannie [Mae] and Freddie [Mac] lending is another case of leaders doing the opposite of what they’ve said. Their program does nothing for community owners, and all of our industry’s existing home owners. It’s outrageous.”

It’s why, one said, so many community people walked out last year from the MHI presentation at their Congress and Expo.  ICYMI, you can learn more about that by clicking on the box in the report linked below.

 

Manufactured Housing Institute “Walk Out,” “Cover Up,” and Shock at their Vegas Event

 

 

What’s Next?

There have been questions and comments about the new national manufactured home community organization.

MHProNews has spotlighted the emerging group, and without endorsing it, has noted that at least NMHCO has condemned MHI’s performance failures for communities, which is a hopeful sign that those organizing community owners not only understand the issues, but have plans to address them.

An industry veteran said the need for MHIdea and the new community organization could not be more pressing, saying in part that while most are figuring out how to do more or better business, “SOME in our industry focus on an entirely different goal every morning:  “What can I do today to make my competition go away?“”

One pro said that whatever MHI or Clayton say they want, automatically sparks skepticism.  She gave an example, citing the fact that MHVillage has launched MH Insider, which has praised Kevin Clayton and MHI makes.  That pro now questions not only that publication, but the parent operation too. “If someone is promoting those con artists,” that person alleged, “after the reports we’ve read [on MHProNews], they are either blind, naïve, or part of their con.”

SubmitNewsTipsManufacturedHomeProNewsMHProNewsLogoDailyBusinessNews

Submit confidential or on-the-record news tips, or comments at this linked email mailto:iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com

Whistleblower! Ex-Clayton Homes Team Member on TV Denounces Manufactured Housing Giant’s Practices

 

Are Tech and Emerging Trends Threatening to Undermine MH Communities?

An interesting observation has been about the changes on the horizon in transportation. Out West, where Elon Musk and his Boring Company have been doing tests on the hyperloop, there’s a gnawing concern that in conjunction with other trends, that hyperloop could in time undermine community values in or near metro areas.

Some of us [in the community sector] have thought about or sell properties to big box stores or multifamily housing redevelopers. But as technology like hyperloop develops, it may become ever-more important to be resident satisfaction focused. While today, communities have great stability and lots of exit options, that may not always be the case. If so, that could be [a] good [development] for residents, and the industry, in the long run.

 

ElonMuskHyperloopBoringCompanyManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

This may have been a reference to one of the reports on MHProNews on that topic, see one example, at this link here.

 

More people work from home than a decade ago,” observed another. “Their [a home owner’s] location doesn’t have to be near downtown, or even in a suburb. Where is there any drive [by MHI] to attract that [home buying] audience?

The fact that MHI used Nathan [Smith] to attack the new communities association in their so-called newsletter is [a] clear reason to believe that they know that there’s unrest among many NCC [National Community Council] members.”

Anyone who has gone to a few Congress and Expos knows that they have very low actual attendance at most of their breakout sessions,” said one. “They have a few keynotes [that get better attendance], but beyond those, most [community professionals] take off and talk business with others or are handling calls and messages.”

 

Regarding MHI/NCC meetings:

> Education could be better and more relevant, as often low attendance at actual sessions underscores.

> Lobbying on behalf of actual needs and concerns of communities is almost none-existent.

> Some argue that MHI is undermining communities, by favoring initiatives that tilt toward clients of what previously was known as Clayton Bank, 21st, Vanderbilt, or other Berkshire Hathaway brands operating in manufactured housing.

Some – as was indicated earlier – used choice, blunt words.

Nathan is a disgrace to our industry,” is one example. “How can he be in a leadership role? I wouldn’t be surprised if he helped that d-mned Richard Cordray in his Ohio campaign for governor [the comment came from several states away, Cordray was prior head to the Obama Administration CFPB]. Nathan’s whole schtick is like a carnival barker, an embarrassment to those of us who try to run an honest business.”

CarnivalBarkerWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews
DefinitonShtickWikipediaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

I wouldn’t mind supporting more than one association, if a new group actually wanted to do something real. Once they [a new organization] proved themselves, dropping out of MHI would be no problem.”

Other who aren’t in MHI – but may or may not be members of state associations – are hopeful too.

I’ve been told that the mixers and events [for MHI] exist for two main reasons. They want independents [retailers, communities] to come which raises money for MHI, but it also gives the portfolio operations a chance to —ing schmooze us into selling [to them]. That video you guys have of Nathan [Smith] laughing while he says he wants all the communities for himself says it all. You guys [MHProNews] need to use that Monopolistic Housing Institute logo more, because that’s like a meme that captures what they [MHI] are all about.”

 

 

 

Anger Over GSEs and Financing

 

While community owners like the rates and terms they get on refinancing a property with one of the GSEs, when the topic turns to lending on actual manufactured homes, they often get angry.

It’s worse than an insult to promote this Clayton [Homes] backed ‘new class of homes,” said one. “It undermines what the HUD Code stands for and has accomplished. MHI has essentially helped the GSEs avoid supporting 95% of what consumers want to buy, in favor of something that is totally unproven.”

A concerned producer and MHI member indicated that the lower rate offered by the GSEs on that new class of homes is cancelled out by the far higher cost of the product. That same producer soberly said that the majority of producers couldn’t build such a home the way they are configured.

Put differently, that professional was explaining why most of the 130 some plants producing homes in the U.S. are being undermined by this Clayton/MHI initiative, that they purportedly got the GSEs to buy into.

Another MHI only member producer stressed that modular homes already qualified for GSE lending. “This [new class of homes] was just unnecessary.”

There are clearly conflicting interests at MHI, and they always tilt toward what Berkshire Hathaway wants.”

The two most heard or read words?

Thank you,” with an example from one who added, “for giving voice to those of us who’ve been abused by a train of lies and broken promises.”

You [MHProNews] are smart to be mixing in those videos and reports that teach the basics of what made America great,” because “what the reality of what is happening to our country could cost everything we hold dear if we don’t change [the trajectory of] the culture.”

 

Articles on related topics are linked further below. NMHCO has promised a new, formal statement on their latest is in the works. MH Idea is also found further below. Quotes may or may not represent the views of MHProNews. That’s this afternoon’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

NOTICE: 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.

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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.

 

Related Reports: Click the Boxes Below to Read More…

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Slam New National Manufactured Home Communities Group in Written Statement

 

“Servants of Satan” vs. Servants of God – Ex-GreenTree, Conseco, Current & Past MHI Members Sound-Off on Clayton, MHI, POTUS Trump, Bush 41, More

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

Crisis of Misinformation, Fact Checks, and Manufactured Housing

Clayton’s Miss, Kevin and Tim’s Manufactured Housing Kill Shot, More

Machiavellian “Godfather” – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Capital, Lending and Crossed Lines in Manufactured Housing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whistleblower! Ex-Clayton Homes Team Member on TV Denounces Manufactured Housing Giant’s Practices

December 5th, 2018 Comments off

 

WhistlblowerExClaytonHomesTeamMemberOnTVDenouncesManufacturedHousingGiantsPracticesDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Foreword: a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member messaged our publisher, “You seem to have conceptual IQ [and] that is more important than spelling ability.”

 

That there are divisions in manufactured housing ought to be self-evident. That’s true for any industry or large group. But among the many questions that ought to be asked, are those divisions in manufactured housing (MH) bad?

Are some distinctions within the MH Industry useful — or even good?

Within companies there are different points of view too.  The larger the organization, the more points of view will exist.

It goes without saying that Clayton denies recurring allegations that have surfaced in 2018, that have been visible for some years in mainstream media. Before we get into the Clayton whistleblower mainstream TV news video, this topic is serious enough where it merits a giant step back for perspective.

 

MH Divisions

It goes without saying that neither MHI, nor the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), are entirely monolithic organizations. Because there are some dual members of both national trade groups, there have at times been some in MHVille that mistakenly believe that the two are one in the same.

Hardly. A close look at the track records of the two trade groups make it abundantly clear that there are real differences in style, goals, and more.

There are those in manufactured housing who believe there should only be one national trade group.  To that point – we ask, if that is logical – then why are there so many trade groups in:

  • Mainstream housing: National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), National Association of Realtors (NAR), Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and on down the list or remodeling, finance, and more.
  • Automotive – According to Wikipedia, there are some 29 pages of associations in the automotive field. Just starting with A: Auto Care Association. Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. American Automobile Association. American Highway Users Alliance. American Hot Hod Association. American Motor League. Association of Global Automakers.
  • How about RVs? There are producers, dealers, owners, suppliers, and a plethora of trade groups that represent the varied interests of Recreation Vehicles (RVs). FYI – for those who aren’t into RVing, an RV is not just a motorized vehicle, towable RVs are a huge part of the RV business. Some of those towable RVs are de facto a competitor to manufactured housing.  FEMA orders for RVs vs. MH are but one example.

So, if there are so many trade associations in other industries, why are there so few manufactured housing national trade groups?

That is arguably a problem for the manufactured housing industry.  There are inherent conflicts of interest in having manufactured home (MH):

  • Communities
  • Producers
  • Suppliers
  • Lenders and Financial Services
  • Retailers
  • Transporting and Installation
  • Professional Services and more

all in one trade association.

The proof is found in the results vs. the claims of MHI.  For all the bluster and what one ex-MHI member called their ‘Razzle Dazzle’ at appealing getaway spots, the declining sales of HUD Code manufactured housing for two straight months is all the evidence needed that MHI is at its core ineffective at best.  The report hot-linked via the box below can be read later for greater depth of understanding of this issue.

 

“Pants on Fire” – Latest New Manufactured Housing Shipment Report

 

As fabled author Adam Smith said in the Wealth of Nations,People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” Merely readingantitrust guidelines at an MHI meeting doesn’t automatically mean that monopolistic activity isn’t at play. When a high-profile congressional representative (see further below) and others in Congress raised that very concern about monopoly, why haven’t others in manufactured housing trade media done the same, save MHProNews?

 

The Elephant in the Room 

It was almost funny when some years ago when a now-former MHI leader said at one of their meetings that the ‘elephant in the room’ was Danny Ghorbani and MHARR. That’s a tip of the hat to the outsized-shadow they’ve cast, but the obvious actual elephant in the room is Clayton Homes, and the array of Berkshire Hathaway brands working in manufactured housing.

There is one kind of value to having Berkshire in manufactured housing, but it arguably already existed with Sam Zell of Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) fame and is limited to this next point.

Warren Buffett has given his seal of approval on the common sense value of manufactured housing.

But beyond that, there has been years of “consolidation” of manufactured housing production, retail, lending, supply, and more in our industry ever since Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway entered our industry.

Our HUD Code manufactured home industry’s sales have overall declined – not rose – since Clayton and Oakwood were acquired by Berkshire.

 

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryDailyBusinessNEwsMHproNEws

See related report, linked here.

 

There are a variety of reasons why the Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has argued that there must be one or more new post-production trade groups. We’ll refer readers to MHARR’s report, when they declined expanding to compete with MHI, because they believe that the industry should be more like housing, automotive or other industries with a myriad of representative bodies.  That is a natural way of blocking conflicts of interest that are arguably evident at MHI.

 

MHARR Releases Study Recommending Independent Collective Representation for Post-Production Sector

 

It should be noted that the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA) was achieved when MHARR, MHI and state association came together on areas of mutual interest.  But that is different than unity under one umbrella, which has demonstrably resulted in far lower shipment levels than existed in the late 1990s.

Kevin Clayton has been in the mainstream news several times in recent weeks, since the MHProNews exclusive in the hot-linked box below was published.

GIGO, Esther Sullivan, Clayton Homes, Boston Globe, GSMOL on ‘Manufactured Insecurity-Mobile Home Parks and Americans’ Tenuous Right to Place’

 

But the reality is that what could have been done in 2011 to promote the industry and growth – according to Kevin’s own statement in a friendly video interview – has been allowed to drag on until 2018.  For whatever reasons, there is no denying that what MHI and Clayton have done in the last two years has had no appreciable change in the modest growth the industry has had, especially when compared to the strong growth of the RV industry.

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

RVsshipmentsTrailedMH1998WinnebagoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

So while

  • MHI’s Lesli Gooch has defended Clayton/Berkshire against charges of monopolizing the industry in a response to Doug Ryan at Prosperity Now, or
  • Clayton Homes has denied to local, regional, and national media the varied allegations against them,

there is also no denying that the claims keep popping up. In fact, when MHProNews offers MHI or Knoxville’s brands the opportunity to respond to reports like this, they’ve passed.  Why, if they had a good defense, would they miss out on the opportunity?

It is arguably absurd that the elected leadership of MHI’s current and prior 2 chairman have had serious negative media coverage, and yet have been allowed to continue as chair.  What image does that give the outside world about manufactured housing, or MHI?

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIBoardofDirectors1242018DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It is also absurd that that all three of the current and prior chairs have clear and deep ties to Berkshire Hathaway.  The real elephant in the room is Clayton and the Berkshire brands. If they want to claim leadership of the industry – and MHI and Clayton repeatedly do so – then the results of the industry logically fall at their feet.

LouisianaManufacturedHousingAssociationOklahomaMHAOManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Louisiana is one of the top ten states for manufactured home shipments in recent years, per data collected by HUD and reported by MHARR. Clayton Homes has a serious presence in the state. Yet, sales are declining. Why???

And those results have been towards ever more consolidation of the industry in the hands of a few, including Clayton Homes and their sister companies involved in manufactured housing.

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

One more point must be made. When the allegations of racism and other claims of financing malfeasance were lodged against Clayton and their related lenders – 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance – first surfaced, MHProNews and MHLivingNews leapt to their defense. Why?  Because we knew of no such examples, and asking some industry pros, they said similarly.

Lies, Advocacy Journalism and Statistics – Seattle Times/BuzzFeed Attacks, Warren Buffett’s Clayton Homes Defends – charges of Racism and Discrimination – Critical Analysis

 

But as the claims have continued, and other facts emerged, we looked deeper.  Our understanding of the issues has matured, in part with input from others in manufactured housing.  Unlike MHI or Clayton, which rarely wants to admit in public an error, our publisher has said ‘mea culpa’ several times, as we have pivoted to our clarified understanding.

 

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesMarketShareManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews-e1528746976415

With that tee up, we now show the video from the Clayton headquarters – the Knoxville metro’s own TV news media – is shown below.

 

 

Former Clayton Team Member Blows the Whistle on TV on Clayton Homes Business Practices

With that backdrop is this ongoing controversy about Clayton Homes and concerns over racism and unjust lending practices.

111
Maxine Waters is among those who signed the letter that this local Knoxville TV news media report reflects.

ClaytonHomesSubsidiariesDiscriminateLowModerateIncomeMinorityBuyersHighCostLoansLeaveMaxineWatersCA-DClaytonlogo21stMortgageLogoVanderbiltMortgageLogo

One of several reasons to provide this to 2018 Knoxville TV news report to industry members at this time is that Waters will likely become the next chairperson for the important House Financial Services Committee.

 

CongressAsksDOJInvestigateClaytonHomesCreditTwitterWikipediaMHProNews

U.S. Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Mike Capuano (D-MA). Image credit, Twitter, Wikipedia.

 

Waters has called Clayton and Berkshire ‘near monopolies.’ That charge may take on new meaning in 2019. The Democrats have an anti-monopoly plank in their revised platform.

 

As the Daily Business News on MHProNews has previously documented, there are voices across the left-right divide that are seeing the challenges to small and independent businesses from monopolies.

Monopolies and growing consolidation over time causes ripples in costs to consumers, and for employment opportunities and thus wages too.

Some will act out of habit and ‘stroke the check’ to renew their MHI membership.

Others will feel compelled for reasons that sources say are akin to RICO related concerns.

For those who don’t want to be part of feeding the hand that bites them, this is a good time to step back and decide to cancel membership in Berkshire dominated MHI, and explore other options.

To learn more, see the related reports, and click on the hot-linked boxes further below.

Finally, it should be noted that Berkshire vice-chairman, and longtime Warren Buffet partner, Charlie Munger has said on camera that he doesn’t doubt that some wrongdoing has occurred.

 

 

While denying the thrust of the anti-Clayton claims, Warren Buffett has said similarly to what Munger has said.

It’s a complex puzzle.  But MHProNews is committed to providing the facts that unravel the fog in a way that no others in MH trade media will give you.  That way, you can make more informed decisions to operate your business.

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies, and opportunities.

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

NOTICE: 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.

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

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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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Machiavellian “Godfather” – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Capital, Lending and Crossed Lines in Manufactured Housing

Manufactured Housing – MHVille, It’s Not a Matter Open to Interpretation

Housing Choice, Where Modular, Manufactured, Tiny, Conventional Housing Crisis, MHI and MHARR Intersect

Crisis of Misinformation, Fact Checks, and Manufactured Housing

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

#$2Trillion U.S. GDP Growth via Affordable Housing Plan Few Discuss – Introducing #YimbyVictory2020

 

 

 

 

Clayton’s Miss, Kevin and Tim’s Manufactured Housing Kill Shot, More

December 2nd, 2018 Comments off

 

ClaytonsMissKevinClaytonTimWilliamsManufacturedHousingKillShotMoreDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Before we get into the purported Clayton/21st/MHI “kill shots” in our headline and feature image, a few words – a preface – are in order.

 

Preface:

We consider ourselves to be among those independent industry professionals who are positive-goals and solution-oriented people by nature.

Those who know us know us well believe we are social, gregarious, forthright, and hard working. That doesn’t mean we are perfect, but when we have a glitch, we strive to make it right, period.

We smile and laugh at comments like the one below. It is from non-MHARR source(s).  In these 2 quotes below, the “You” below should be understood in both instances as a reference to our online trade publications.

You are prolific and you keep the headlines sexy,” and “You seem to have a conceptual IQ that is more important than spelling ability.”

We’re human, we make mistakes, but once discovered or pointed out, we strive to accurately correct them.  Tim Williams at 21st/and then MHI Chairman has said as much.

 

There Was No Way to Know…

When we launched MHProNews over 9 years ago, we did not imagine nor seek the role of being the ‘communiqué cop’ to spotlight – and thus help stop – what Berkshire Hathaway has arguably been doing for years to our once far-greater industry.

Over 4 years into our project, an MHI staff leader – no doubt with their power brokers okay – had arguably set a trap. Initially, we candidly stepped into it, because we naively did not understand what in hindsight is now more clear. Once we began to discover what was going on, a non-disclosure agreement that they – MHI’s president and general counsel – insisted upon kept our mouths unfairly sealed.

But we stuck by that unjust aspect of their NDA agreement.  We did our home work.  We kept learning more and more about what we hadn’t clearly seen or understood prior to those incidents.

Meanwhile, the powers-that-be kept executing their apparent plan to conquer manufactured housing, in part by using MHI as a tool.

 

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryDailyBusinessNEwsMHproNEws

  • So, MHI asked to purchase our LLC’s MHProNews – their idea – they had us sign an NDA.  They then purportedly proceed to use over time what they learned about us during their ‘due diligence’ – against us, only they did so largely behind-the-scenes, per numerous sources.
  • Keep in mind that our publisher was at that time they pulled this apparent ploy an MHI board member.  L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach was elected by his peers. Recall too that MHI elected and staff leadership had praised Tony and our team’s work for years, in front of several audiences, and often in writing.

Part of their plan was debatably to silence our independent news voice, which they apparently attempted to do by killing off our LLC’s MHProNews business.  We can look another time at parallel efforts they arguably used against MHARR or others.

So, we were absolutely not alone. As another non-MHARR source said last week, ‘some of us wake up and think about how to sell another home. Meanwhile, others wake up and think about how to put someone else out of business.’ That’s from a voice with years of Clayton Homes ties.

AtlanticIbisWorldManufacturedHousingRetailersDealersDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

In that purported effort to kill our MHProNews business off, MHI and the ‘powers that be’ behind them have clearly failed.

But had they succeeded, in that fashion, we could have been no different than the thousands of locations that have been put out of business by their apparent scheme’s efforts to consolidate manufactured housing into ever fewer – and carefully selected – hands.

So not unlike:

  • closed or acquired-at-a-discount MH retailers,
  • MH Communities that were sold for too little money,
  • MH Producers that were closed or acquired for too little money,
  • And on down the list of businesses and organizations – that during an ever growing affordable housing crisis – witnessed for several years the constant and otherwise inexplicable contraction of manufactured housing.

Rephrased, we could easily have become a victim of their consolidation efforts. In our case, they wanted to shutter an independent voice that they had long praised.

Please keep all of those details in mind, because as the bullets suggest – that applies to hundreds if not thousands of other business professionals in our industry.

 

DollarBillUncleSamPointingClaytonHomesLogo21stMortgageLogoManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHProNews

We are not idiots, but we were taken in by smiles, kind words, and sometimes big promises too. Aren’t those the historic pattern of every con? “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” – Abraham Lincoln.

 

We’ve documented previously – using their own words, which they have never tried to publicly refute – how the “Moat” by Berkshire Hathaway owned brands operated in manufactured housing. One of the more recent reports is found linked just below.  Bear in mind we’ve repeatedly offered them the opportunity – they being the Berkshire brands in MHVille, plus MHI – the opportunity to refute or clarify any of their own words and actions.  To date, nada.  The offer to Clayton, 21st, MHI, Warren Buffett, et al do so in person, via video, or in writing stands.

Machiavellian “Godfather” – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Capital, Lending and Crossed Lines in Manufactured Housing

 

 

The Feds and Others Are On Their ‘Case…’

You don’t have to take our word for it, because prior mainstream reports – some of which are found from the report link above – have documented and stated that Berkshire Hathaway brands in manufactured housing – Clayton, Vanderbilt, 21st – are among those being investigated in MHVille by the Feds or others. Or you can just “Google it.” Or see the screen capture from today, below, for some examples.

 

ClaytonHomes21stMortgageFederalInvestigationsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHpronews687

 

Federal investigators have been on this matter for some time. Clayton, et al, denies it all.

The Feds have candidly said these issues won’t be fixed overnight, because it is big. They told us what these dark forces are doing in our industry is not unlike what is happening in other industries. That pattern doesn’t make the Berkshire brands or those like them in other industries correct. It just sets the stage for our – and now your – fuller understanding of what’s happened that has kept manufactured housing at historically low levels for over a decade.

The report linked further below on monopolies from the New York Times will be useful to you and others in what we lovingly call MHVille.

There are professionals who are or have been in MHI, in Clayton or 21st, etc. that understand quite well what’s really been going on, while MHI and Clayton posture something different. There are those who have had long ties with the Clayton organization that know those smiling faces, but who tell us they too have suffered “the double cross.”

That’s about all we will say for now, but we have the evidence to demonstrate the above, some of which is linked from reports on this page, or cross liked from those reports.  Of course, at some point in time, such claims and concerns against Clayton, 21st, and MHI will likely have to be adjudicated. Until then, they are deemed innocent in the eyes of the law until proven guilty, or until they enter into a plea or other agreement.

That’s said to express this notion. We have been, and continue to be, pro-industry professionals. But we have come to realize the full depth of what some voices have said for years.  Some of those voices have at least for now, have gone silent or are more muted. Why they are silent, you’d have to ask them.

As noted, we remain goal and solution oriented. For our industry to grow to its potential, there are challenges from within that must be addressed.

 

From now until at least the Louisville Show, we will be making certain preparations. Hopefully before the time the Tunica Show comes around, we will unveil a plan that we will begin to outline tomorrow, which for now we will dub “Victory 2020.”

With that backdrop, we will once more note that someone or group with apparent ties to MHI has apparently been involved with having an investigator hired. The target? Our publisher. They have purportedly tried to dig up any ‘dirt’ – private, personal matters from over 20 years ago – that they think they could find and use to embarrass him, or silence him. We have been told from solid sources that a similar tactic has been tried with others in our industry.

Rephrased, this could be you too.  Tony took the matter up with the powers that be, as the email below reflects.

 

KevinClaytonTomHodgesDickJennisonLesliGoochRickRobinsonMHIClaytonHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHPronews

 

Federal officials have been notified. They were provided with a string of ‘anonymous letters’ that were sent to our home have since we published the email shown above that was sent to:

  • Kevin Clayton,
  • Clayton attorney and MHI Executive Committee Member, Tom Hodges,
  • Tim Williams,
  • the Dick Jennison,
  • Lesli Gooch,
  • and others as shown.

It should be noted that not long after the message shown above was first published, the anonymous letters to Tony have since stopped. A coincidence?

Our preface is nearly done, and we will pivot in a moment to the headlines from the week that was. We’ve said the above to underscore how important to you some of what follows below can be. We’ll also note again what that message to Clayton et al said, if something happens to us, federal authorities who were already investigating Berkshire Hathaway brands in manufactured housing, MHI, and certain federal officials will know where to look.

There are still Patriots in America who believe in equal justice under the law. But that justice can take time.

 

WarrenBuffettBillClintonHillaryClintonBarackObamaKevinClaytonNathanSmithPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

 

What has happened to others or to us could happen to you or someone you care about. Our publisher has nothing to hide from, which is why the intimidation tactics sent by “whomever” didn’t work.

Tony likes to quote at times the maxim, that “You don’t catch flak unless you are over the target.”  MHProNews perhaps can be understood as being over the target then in our reports, fact checks, and analysis.

 

Victory 2020

But merely exposing what has happened to our industry isn’t enough. There has to be a counterweight to MHI. Let’s be clear. There is nothing, NOTHING that they claim that they do ‘for the industry’ that can’t be done better by others.

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. MHI earlier last year, and for years before, MHI, Clayton and 21st 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?

 

Some other options that are alternatives to MHI are already developing, as we have reported, and of course MHARR has existed for years for independent producers.

Starting tomorrow, we will launch a new series which will begin the lead up to “Victory 2020.”  It took about 15 years for Berkshire Hathaway to conquer half of the production in manufactured housing.

 

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

 

Clayton and their purportedly bought-and-paid for allies took years to get to where they are.

 

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews

Graphic by MHProNews, using information provided by each corporation, or named entities.

 

But this is still America. We and others of like mind will be committed to taking the years needed to ethically combat what they have built through their ‘Strategic Moat.’ To learn more about that, see the more complete report, with quotes from Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton and Tim Williams, among others, in the linked report above: “The Feds and Others Are On Their ‘Case…'” 

Another handy report is the one linked below.

 

Center for Public Integrity – Stunning Clayton Homes-Warren Buffett-Berkshire Hathaway Manufactured Home Lending Truth Outs

 

Now, onto the reports and intros for the week that was.

 

Sunday Recap of the Week That Was

Financing, Warren Buffett has said, is where most of the money is being made by their firm in Manufactured Housing.  In fact, Clayton Homes is shown in their annual report listed under a financing category.

So it only makes sense from his point of view that Buffett – the-Moat-Builder – will have his MH lieutenants make sure that the GSEs don’t do anything useful for the majority of manufactured home communities and independents.

GoodBusinessIsLikeAStrongCastleWithaDeepMoatAroundItSharksIntheMoatIwantItUntouchableWarrenBuffettQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

That’s what Saturday’s report, linked below reveals. It’s another purported kill shot aimed at the remainder of the industry’s independents.

But that’s not the only new story this week on MHProNews. Not by a long shot, pardon the pun.

Next, a competitor of #4 Legacy Housing called and said that one of that firm’s smart moves is that they have created their own retail and wholesale lending.

Lending or financing is necessary for most any big-ticket business. Sam Zell famously observed that failing in creating a lending base has hurt the industry.

 

 

MHI’s former president had a similar but different take on that topic, found in a previous report linked here.

But a different surprise for manufactured housing professionals, investors, and industry observers is another stunning Clayton revelation. See that among the reports, linked below.

  • #HousingChoice should be part of every savvy industry professionals’ mantra.
  • Brad Pitt has proven with modular homes that even a good deed can be punished.
  • What’s Google Impact on Manufactured Housing and Free Speech? See that, below.
  • A massive judgement has hit a manufactured home community owner, that report is found among our headline news recap too.
  • Two articles review information from the New York Times, one is a review of “Mobile Homes,” the other is their take on Monopolies and their harmful impact on others.
  • There are whistleblowers at Google, as well as in manufactured housing. See Project Dragonfly, linked below.

Note, among the questions we get from those considering whistleblowing on Clayton, MHI or others revolves around the question of legality. You can and should do your own research, but a quick glance at federal and state laws may lead you to realize that whistleblowers are routinely protected by state and federal laws.

 

WhistlblowerProtectionManufacturedHOusingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews615

 

And as trade news media, we can publish even copyrighted material, within certain guidelines that we observe. Recall that the Pentagon Papers, federally classified secret information, was legally published by the New York Times and the Washington Post.

 

PentagonPapersNYTimesWashingtonPostFreePressRighttoPublishDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

More details have emerged about Amazon’s foray into factory-home building, that and several other topics are among the headlines from the week that was, all found further below.

ConfidentialNewsTipsOKTipsIreportMHNews@MHMSM-comGraphic

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.

 

Note that the Masthead and MHLivingNews below look like similar topics, but they are quite different.

One final word, we don’t generally highlight with the teaser box and featured image in this weekly recap the link to the evening market report. But some of our readers swear by those daily recaps. Check a few out, and you too may end up hooked. Those evening market recaps save time for busy people who still want to keep up with more industry news, but can do so in a matter of only a few minutes.

With no further adieu, and with no exaggeration, welcome to the hottest site in the world for Manufactured Housing “Industry New, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use.”  ©

MHInsiderManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

They arguably borrowed from the name used in our video series, “Inside MH,” but the “MH Insider” – an unofficial house organ for MHI and their Clayton/21st/VMF backers – has obviously gone unread at the last two trade events where they can’t even give them away. By contrast, our readership on MHProNews has soared in the last year. Does it seems that people want news, facts, research, and analysis, instead of big boy spin, pablum, and propaganda?

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

Festivals of Light – Hanukkah and Advent in Manufactured Home Land – a.k.a – MHVille

 

What’s New on the Masthead

TheMastheadCommentaryLATonyKovachMHProNews

Hanukkah, Advent, Festivals of Light, and Celebrating Manufactured Housing Integrity

 

What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

 

Saturday 12.1.2018


Housing Choice, Where Modular, Manufactured, Tiny, Conventional Housing Crisis, MHI and MHARR Intersect

Housing Choice, Where Modular, Manufactured, Tiny, Conventional Housing Crisis, MHI and MHARR Intersect

 

Friday 12.1.2018

 

White House Economic News, Christmas, & Oval Office Views, Plus MH Market Updates

White House Economic News, Christmas, & Oval Office Views, Plus MH Market Updates

“No Good Deed” – Brad Pitt, Make It Right Foundation Sued for Defective Modular Housing, NBC News, More Video

“No Good Deed” – Brad Pitt, Make It Right Foundation Sued for Defective Modular Housing, NBC News, More Video

Does Google Harm Manufactured Housing? Other Forms of Free Speech?

Does Google Harm Manufactured Housing? Other Forms of Free Speech?

How do CEO’s Use Their Time? Work, Life Balance Part II

How do CEO’s Use Their Time? Work, Life Balance Part II

 

Thursday 11.30.2018

Huge Lo$$ “Squalor” Reported, MH Community Owners Hit with 8 Figure Judgment, Video and Report

Huge Lo$$ “Squalor” Reported, MH Community Owners Hit with 8 Figure Judgment, Video and Report

“You’re a Nazi!” Oddly, Socialists & Nazis at War, Plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

 

Crisis of Misinformation, Fact Checks, and Manufactured Housing

Crisis of Misinformation, Fact Checks, and Manufactured Housing

Consumer Confidence High Heading into Holidays, Per Conference Board, Retail Sales Surge

Consumer Confidence High Heading into Holidays, Per Conference Board, Retail Sales Surge

 

Wednesday 11.29.2018

Fed Chair Powell’s Full 24 Minute Economic Speech, Stocks Roar, Plus MH Market Updates

Clayton Homes Owned Sales Centers Reveal Surprising Trend

Clayton Homes Owned Sales Centers Reveal Surprising Trend

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

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

Climate Change, Energy, Riots, and Manufactured Housing in Green Era

Climate Change, Energy, Riots, and Manufactured Housing in Green Era

 

Tuesday 11.28.2018

Google Employees Go Public, Protest Controversial “Project Dragonfly”

Google Employees Go Public, Protest Controversial “Project Dragonfly”

Bull Run, Part II Ahead? Says Raymond James Executive, Plus MH Market Updates

 

Annual Home Gains Slow, per S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller – Manufactured Housing‘s Missing Mantra

Annual Home Gains Slow, per S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller – Manufactured Housing‘s Missing Mantra

New York Times Review of “Mobile Homes”

New York Times Review of “Mobile Homes”

 

Monday 11.27.2018

Details Emerging on Amazon’s Plans for Plant PreFab Modular Home Investment

Details Emerging on Amazon’s Plans for Plant PreFab Modular Home Investment

POTUS “Not Happy,” Barra, Kudlow Huddle, Stocks Rise, Plus MH Market Updates

 

Jury Awards Millions to Residents in Suit Against Controversial Community Operator

Jury Awards Millions to Residents in Suit Against Controversial Community Operator

Ford and Toyota Teach Manufactured Housing Professionals and Investors

Ford and Toyota Teach Manufactured Housing Professionals and Investors

 

Sunday 11.26.2018

 

What Just Happened, to Cavco, Independent Communities, Retailers, and Manufactured Housing?

What Just Happened, to Cavco, Independent Communities, Retailers, and Manufactured Housing?

 

Together with thousands of honest MHVille pros of good will, we can make our industry achieve its great potential. That’s done by making American lives better, together. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Sunday Morning, weekly headline news review, analysis, and commentary.)

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

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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.

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

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

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

 

 

Related Reports:

The Coming Breakup of Berkshire? MHI? Plus Sunday Headline Recap 10-14-2018 to 10-21-2018

Manufactured Housing – MHVille, It’s Not a Matter Open to Interpretation

November 20th, 2018 Comments off

 

ManufacturedHousingNotMatterOpenToInterpretationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsHere in the U.S., the legal system forbids falsehood, though the law knows that it occurs.  After 18 months of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, millions of observers have learned that lying to the FBI is a federal crime. Some have plead guilty, but not to a 2016 campaign violation. Rather, they plead guilty to making a false statement.

 

Talking heads on TV nod soberly and call it a “perjury trap.”

On an entirely different level, Martha Stewart knows that trap all too well.

So why has lying and deception become so common?

CNNMarthaStewartPerjuryLyingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Manufactured Homes and Misinformation

How does misinformation impact manufactured housing, each and every day?

If tens of millions knew the unvarnished truth about our industry’s affordable housing products and services, and there was reasonable:

  • financing,
  • placement,
  • capital,
  • zoning,
  • and information/attitude parity with conventional housing,

would there have been a million new HUD Code manufactured homes sold in 2018, vs. the estimated 100,000 (+/-) actually expected by year’s end?

 

What is Wrong is That We Don’t Ask What is Right.”

– Gilbert Keith (G.K.) Chesterton.

 

Millions who know Chesterton’s work know that he’s better known as G.K., not by Gilbert Keith. Is that a lie? A deception?

When Cavco’s Joseph Stegmayer goes by “Joe,” does anyone seriously think of that as a lie? No, no more so than MHI’s Dick Jennison is lying for being a Dick, when his given name is Richard.

There are customs dating back for centuries that make it clear that we all have a reasonable degree of flexibility in the use of our own names. This writer for a time had people call her Sophia, thinking it would be easier for Americans to say, when my driver’s license said that Soheyla was my given Farsi name.

Samuel Clemens committed no crime when his writings were under the pen name Mark Twain. Teddy Roosevelt was Theodore. Barry Obama was actually named Barack, and so on.

So, a degree of understanding and common sense are necessary for mature adults as to what is or isn’t a deliberate falsehood.

 

MarkTwainSamuelClemensWikiQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

Privacy

It’s true that some people put their sexual lives online via social media, videos, photos, etc. in a deliberate fashion. But there’s still a general acceptance among people that one’s sex life is personal, and those details are generally not put forth for all to see.  We recently reminded readers that when we ask for news tips, we don’t seek information on people’s private lives, unless it has a clear connection to legal violation, or some wrongdoing in an official capacity.

 

WarrenBuffettBillGatesBusinessInsiderDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are some funny, odd, and other items that are beyond suggestive that have been provided to MHProNews, some of which are just not what we are about. This one is on the lighter side, not a slam or slur.

 

There are other details that people keep private.

Medical histories, financial access codes, and identification numbers are but a few examples.

Companies have some items that are kept confidential, rightly, on items like so-called ‘trade secrets.’ Those secrets are often legitimate, although some can be based upon a false premise, if those secrets were in fact stolen from another person or entity.

Theft of intellectual property is what much of the hang up is between the U.S. and China in bilateral trade talks. Some want those U.S.-China trade disputes quickly resolved. But the theft of ‘intellectual property,’ of corporate or even governmental secrets, cost hundreds of billions of dollars a year for American businesses. Furthermore, millions of records of former or current federal officials were reportedly hacked by the Chinese, as the following media and others reported.

 

HacksFederalComptuersbyChineseHackersDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

Other nation-states directly or through third-parties have hacked the information of citizens, companies, and governmental offices.

Yet in the U.S.A. today, it’s Russia that’s demonized more than China, North Korea, or other countries like Iran. Why?

Does anyone recall that Iran’s nuclear program was supposedly delayed by a piece of malware planted by the U.S. and/or Israel? That’s only a point-of-fact made to say that some cyberwarfare tactics are used by all; it is not to say that the U.S. does some of what China or Iran does.

There’s the language of diplomacy, which is often polite. We hear President Donald J. Trump call Communist China’s President Xi his friend. Really? But it’s a bit like Presidents George W. Bush or Barack H. Obama avoiding the use of the term, “radical Islamic terrorist.” Agree or disagree, but those usages are commonplace in public speaking by leaders. They are often not done as a lie. Rather, it’s a means of politely avoiding a difficult reality. Those who’ve used or avoided certain terminology may sincerely think it is to avoid harmfully stirring up public sentiment.

Mature people have to read between the lines. Tim Williams’ given name is TIMOTHY. Is that a lie, for him to go by Tim? Absolutely not. When James Clayton goes by Jim, does that harm another person? No.

MHProNews does not go after silly or private details that mean nothing to a reasonable person. Rather, we focus on issues that impact the industry, and thus should cause concern, alarm, or may legally be actionable.

ConfidentialNewsTipsOKTipsIreportMHNews@MHMSM-comGraphic

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.

 

The Tech Giants

The infographic chart below reflects what information is being collected on you by which tech giants.

Yes, on you.

WhatTechCompaniuesSocialMediaKnowAboutYouFAANGDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Click here to see this full sized.

 

It may be legal. But we as a society have gotten into certain habits. A pop-up box appears on a small or larger screen. It asks us to accept the “terms of use,” which are dozens of pages of legalese long. When was the last time you read those? If you want the ap or service, you click “yes,” and go on.

But that “yes” to tech is arguably to some degree a conditioned response. A shrewd attorney, a sympathetic arbitrator, judge, or jury might invalidate that consent, because that “yes” wasn’t fully informed.

The tech giants wield enormous financial and information power over millions in America and billions more around the world. Those companies – the FAANG brands, that we reported in our market report last night as sliding – are products and services that are so commonplace in our society, that tens of millions don’t question them.  ICYMI, you can circle back later and get more details.

 

Investor Fright Bites FAANG, Drags Equities, Plus MH Market Updates

 

A relatively small amount of money from Russia reportedly was spent in the 2016 campaign as disinformation on Facebook. It included both pro- and anti-Secretary Hillary Clinton and/or Donald J. Trump information. Might it have misled a few voters? Not enough to swing the election, or even come close. Who said? Then President, Barack Obama.

Yet because of some segments of mainstream media, as well as some of those tech giants, there are large swaths of the public that believe that actual votes were changed – voting machines or ballots – and that mistakenly think that Donald J. Trump ‘stole’ an election.

1430 AM reports that a new survey by the Economist/YouGov stated that over 40 percent of Americans believe that Russians changed actual votes. That’s not true.  Even former President Barack Obama said at the time that it wasn’t even possible to do that kind of election hack.

Since that statement by the former 44th president, Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and others have said that no votes in the 2016 election were changed by Russian interference.

 

AstAGRodRosenstienNoVotesChangedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Almost no one speaks about concerns over how former President Obama and then Secretary Clinton allegedly attempted to influence a Russian election, against Vladimir Putin. It’s all part of a tit-for-tat that the U.S. and Russia have done for years. Or how millions of Israelis and Brits fumed when former President Obama made statements that they felt attempted to influence the election of Prime Minster Bibi Netanyahu, or the Brexit vote.

What’s the common point? All of the above are real issues and concerns, and they relate to widely held misinformation. Each of the above notions could be confirmed with a few simple fact checks.

But what’s sinister and impacts our manufactured home industry – and tens of millions of Americans – is how misinformation or misleading postures are used day-by-day within our industry, and inside of our nation. Or how conditioned responses can cause people to give away information that most would deem private.

Manipulation and misinformation have been made commonplace.

Let’s go back to that list of 7 billionaires who supported Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterms.  It includes Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett. The list below doesn’t include George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer or other billionaires who don’t happen to be in Forbes top ten billionaires, but who nevertheless supported Democratic or socialistic candidates in U.S. elections.

 

ForbesTOP10BillionairesPartyPoliticalSupportTendenciesManufacturedHomeLivingNews

The Democrats are not the same party that they used to be. Neither are the Republicans. Democrats have tilted socialist, and many say so openly.

 

That list of the top ten billionaires includes not just people with enormous wealth, but also those who wield influence over information, media, education, and/or other facets of American life.

It’s for that reason, numbers in our industry – and millions beyond it – are realizing that only the breakup of those oligopolies and monopolies can protect our American Republic.

Note that we didn’t say ‘democracy.’ Yes, there are democratic – direct votes, by the people – elements to our nation. But by law, the U.S. is a Republic. When we pledge allegiance to the flag, it includes the words, “and to the Republic for which it [i.e.: the flag] stands…”

Our publisher is a history buff, in fact, he was an multiple award-winning history major, and had a perfect 4.0 in business that he took as his minor. He saw a quote from a 1938 U.S. Army manual that once made the distinction between the false notion that the U.S. was a pure democracy, when in fact our nation is and always has been since our Constitution was established, a Republic.

That distinction is now missing in many forms of public information.

These are facts, facts, facts. There is no conspiracy implied in reciting facts.

But facts are assiduously avoided by some of the most powerful politicians, as well as among some of the deepest pockets of our nation, and others.

There is media influence in Communist China, where the state openly controls information. The communists always have.  Until the Chinese leadership are forced by circumstances to do otherwise, they will likely will continue to control the flow of information. It makes controlling some 1.4 billion people easier.

There is media influence in America. That control is imperfect, compared to what exists in China, because there is still freedom here. There are conservative, centrist, and leftist media outlets in America. That’s one reason why MHProNews periodically trots out the left-right media infographic, shown below.  It helps readers spot the possible agenda of the source.

 

MediaBiasChartSharylAttkissonLeftRightPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/no-fire-just-smoke-and-democratic-clinton-supporter-says-enough/

 

 

A Cult of Personalities 

The New York Post said that the Obama’s are becoming a billion-dollar brand. Not unlike the Clintons, they have established a foundation. Also akin to the Clintons, the Obama’s command a large speaking fee.

The New York Post says that the Obamas have some $50 million they will earn from an agreement with Netflix. There’s another $65 million in the estimated value of book deals. Here’s how they stated it, ”In addition to a $65 million book advance and an estimated $50 million deal with Netflix, both of which she [Michelle] shares with husband Barack Obama…”

Michelle is on a high profile book tour. A common factor, says EIB Network talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, in book deals with major names are requirements to do publicity events. TV, radio, live or canned events are arranged with the ‘author.’ Those ‘author’s’ often have ‘ghost’ or other writers and editors in the mix. No one thinks ill of having an editor or ghost writer.

But where the concern should be is these questions.  Why would someone pay such enormous sums simply to have people speak? What message are they sending? Why are they being paid so much? Who gains from their speaking and fame?

 

Glitches…

You can fault MHProNews for typos or a glitch. You may or may not like every topic that we tackle. Or how we frame an issue. Our sole defense is the truth that we put out more content by far than any other MH industry trade media, plus we are doing professional services and client work too, day by day. On slower days, our publisher and editor goes back and re-edits some long columns like this one, just in case.

But on the facts and evidence, we want it all to be accurate and fair.

On each subject, we strive to bring facts, evidence, reason, and ethics into the discussion. Those issues are ones that matter to every one of our industry’s homeowners or to thousands of independent businesses. It’s also important to the millions of Americans who ought to be our industry’s customers, but have been misled into thinking ill of our housing option.

We source across the left-right media divide – and from public officials, or industry sources – for very specific reasons. First, there is the ancient “wheat and chaff” principle. Wheat must be separated from chaff in nature, before wheat is consumed. Ideally, in sourcing a story, the chaff is threshed out, and the wheat is retained.

By citing sources, if a factual error creeps in, then the cause is known. It’s what a good journalist or researcher should always do.

Manufactured homes are a fraction of the price of conventional housing. But the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) misstated that savings a few years back, in advertorials that they paid to have published. Why did MHI pay for that deliberately misleading information in the first place?

After MHProNews repeatedly spotlighted that issue, MHI eventually pivoted away from that, and now they have an infographic that includes a much better visualization of the savings between a conventionally built single-family house and a modern manufactured home. In doing so, MHI correctly pointed to the U.S. Census Bureau data to achieve that comparison. Good, the source was correctly cited.

But where was their acknowledgment or apology to the industry for their advertorials that misstated the savings? Those inaccurate advertorials are still online.

 

 

MHI brags that millions could have seen those stories they paid to place in various news sources. Misleading statistics were used, that readers can still stumble upon.  See the MHI infographic, below. Is that misuse of information emblematic of a larger problem at MHI?

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoMHIInfographicSnapshotFactCheckDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

 

Why does MHI posture one thing, when they have at various time done quite another? Why all the razzle dazzle, instead of actual performance that can be measured in new home sales? Are MHI’s top 3 staff leaders inept?  Or is there a method and purpose behind that MHI staff leadership madness?

On MHI’s website today, Joe Stegmayer is still listed as their chairman (see graphic, further below). A few years ago, Triad Financial Services President and CEO – Don Glisson, Jr. – stepped aside from being MHI Chairman over a relatively nothing issue that involved blogger George Allen. The issue, per several informed sources, was whether or not Allen would be allowed to speak at an upcoming MHI event. Sources at MHI told the Daily Business News on MHProNews that some staff were strongly opposed to Allen speaking at the event.

But Allen claimed he had been promised a speaking slot.

So, then MHI Chairman Glisson, per those sources, offered a compromise. Give Allen an early morning speaking spot, to keep the claimed promise to the now former community owner and blogger, and thus also limit his exposure to the minimum number of MHI attendees.

That arguably elegant compromise on Allen speaking reportedly brought on a revolt by some, including higher level MHI staff. Why?

Mr. Glisson stepped aside in frustration, essentially saying, ‘I don’t need this aggravation.’

Glisson made no public outcry. He just quietly stepped aside. For those present when that step-down occurred, one minute, Glisson was present, and suddenly, after his decision was shared to select people, he was gone.

Nathan Smith then became MHI Chairman. Later, when TV ads of Smith for SSK Communities reportedly were in violation of federal regulations, did Smith step down? No. When a legal class action was begun by a number of SSK Communities residents, did Smith step down from his role as MHI Chairman? No.

When Tim Williams later became MHI Chairman, and certain troubling reports about Berkshire Hathaway brands in manufactured home lending practices from the Seattle Times became public, did Williams step down? No. When those same Seattle Times reports pointed a finger at Clayton Homes, did Clayton’s Tom Hodges step aside and remove himself from the MHI board? No.

So why would mere allegations about possible SEC violations cause Joe Stegmayer, a former Clayton Homes division president, to step aside as MHI Chairman today? Others cozy with Berkshire Hathaway stayed on. Why should Stegmayer be any different?

 

2018-11-20_1350MHILogoManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoDailyBusienssNewsMHproNewsJoeStegmayer

 

The above is telling. Triad’s Glisson has a well earned reputation for being honorable. His firm’s sound business model in manufactured home chattel lending thrived while others in manufactured home lending collapsed in the early 2000s. Track records matter.

MHProNews isn’t saying more or less than what the facts or track records reflect.

How many times has MHI had to pivot from an embarrassing posture? Several, in just recent years, as carefully readers of the Daily Business News know. Where was the transparency that the late Howard Walker said should exist at MHI, that the ELS Vice-Chairman said existed at their publicly traded company?

 

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

Thoughtful words, worth pondering. 

 

Why won’t Cavco reveal which stock is in question involving Stegmayer and the bombshell SEC probe? Won’t that information come out, sooner or later?

If Cavco can’t say so publicly, due to some SEC reason, and the SEC won’t reveal it either, why doesn’t Cavco not bluntly say so? Why do they use more nuanced, but evasive, language?

Why did Third Avenue Value Fund (TAVFX) sell off all of Cavco’s (CVCO) stocks recently?  Why don’t others in MHVille trade media raise or report on such problematic issues?  ICYMI, or want to later share those details with others, see the report linked below.

 

Hedge Fund’s Cavco Move, and More from Inside MHVille

 

Are there not sufficient reasons for Stegmayer to step aside from his leadership role at MHI?

What is MHI doing to and for our industry’s image or on regulatory issues anyway? How much of what they do are just a fig-leaf – posturing?  Isn’t the bottom line that manufactured home shipments are still at record low levels, a decade after the 2008 meltdown?

 

Figure1MobileManufacturedHomeSalesSHipmentsVsExistingingNewHouseSalesManufacturedHousingiinudstryDataMHProNews

There are a growing number of industry voices that believe that BH/CMH and MHI have by various action/inaction has kept manufactured home sales at historically low levels. Evidence? See Related Reports and videos, linked below, which quotes and cites BH, MHI, CMH, 21st Mortgage Corp, and other sources.

 

Facts matter. As a comparison, why are RVs roaring, while HUD Code manufactured homes are snoring?

 

RVsshipmentsTrailedMH1998WinnebagoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

KennyLipschutzQuotePoorJobOfLobbyinginMHIndustry-postedMHProNews48thMHINCClist

 

“It’s a Disgrace

President Donald J. Trump has said and done some things that are less than pure. He said prior to his election that he used the rigged system himself, which is why he could fight it – because he knew it first hand.

In short, he was self-revealing.  He’s not claimed to be what he’s not.

Millions mistakenly believe something totally untrue about Russia and the Trump Campaign, if that recent poll noted above is accurate. Again, millions were wrongly led to believe that votes were changed. That was accomplished by merely repeating a false impression for days, weeks, and months on end. Recall that in 2017, Project Veritas had an undercover video with a CNN producer that revealed that the Russia Collusion story was a “nothing burger.” But that same CNN producer said that Russian collusion was good for ratings. Welcome to fake news?

That lie or deception about a phony Russian collusion doesn’t mean that everything CNN does is a lie. But it does mean that what CNN or others in media do must be scrutinized.

Fox News isn’t perfect either. They have people or hosts on that can use claims that likewise are incorrect or even deceive, but at least they often show both sides of a given question.

The answer isn’t to throw up one’s hands and not watch news, or not vote, or not be engaged. That’s a fine outcome for those who arguably pull the strings of millions by media and tech manipulation. Those who are not engaged in solving the problem are de facto a vote for those who are engaging in deceptive and manipulative practices.

The ubiquitous Drudge Report ran a headline quoting from President Trump recently that said that he likes to ‘tell the truth as often’ as he can. Wow.

There are things that world leaders know from intelligence and other sources that they don’t tell their populations. It’s been that way for centuries before the printing press. It is also so since the modern internet, broadcast or cable eras.

The point?

The broad brush of what is real is knowable, but it requires a little common sense, some understanding, a bit of history, etc.

HumanitiesValueBuisnessCriticismDissentWhenGoingAlongGetAlongWhereWhistleblowersDiscouragedBadThingsHappenBusinssesImplodeMarthaCNussbaumPhotoQuote

Design by MHProNews.

 

What a Fed Said to MHProNews

Federal investigators have been on the Berkshire Hathaway trail for years, per the Seattle Times, and reports from federal sources to MHProNews. Warren Buffett himself admitted to being questioned about why he sold out his stocks in Fannie Mae prior to the meltdown.

 

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

 

So, when a federal investigator said to our publisher recently would be no surprise to those who have closely followed this periodic series on MHProNews.

In essence, without defending Buffett, that investigators said that what Buffett – whom one of those investigators referred to as “the Oracle of Omaha” – is doing in manufactured housing, is occurring in other industries too.

Put differently, that Fed said is that what is occurring at MHI, and our manufactured home industry being consolidated by manipulation of the system by major players is only a subset of a greater problem.  Our publisher agreed with that agent.

But that is also why for several years, MHProNews has spotlighted issues outside of MHVille.  Those elements of the FAANGs, for example, either parallel and/or are interconnected to what has purportedly developed in our industry.  Further, as our reports have noted, FAANG firms not only daily touch MHPros and manufactured home owners, some of those same tech giants are getting involved in factory-based construction too.

 

Where Left, Right, and Center Might Agree?

There are voices in the Democratic Party, in the political center, and on the right that are seeing the threat to the nation from big tech. Some believe that Berkshire Hathaway plays a role in that monopolistic/oligopoly threat too, as the federal investigator referred to above, implied.

DougRyanAmericanBankerManufacturedHousingMonopoly-postedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

Just one of numerous examples of articles in the mainstream media, about Berkshire Hathaway’s manufactured housing units. FYI, there will be a report, perhaps next week, on Prosperity Now, which was previously known as CFED. Doug Ryan is pro-manufactured homes, but takes issue with several things in manufactured housing – a mixed bag for the industry.

 

There are areas that the 45th President, Donald J. Trump – who has called the Mueller probe a “witch hunt” and “a disgrace” – can work with Democrats and Republicans on that could benefit the vast majority of the nation. Breaking up monopolies is – on paper – one of those areas. It may be the most important one.

 

 

HowClaytonHomesMakesMoneyAustinFrerickTwitterOpenMarketsDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Open Markets Austin Frerick argued that monopolies are the most important issue facing America today.  See two of several tweets by Frerick, above and below.

 

AustinFrerickOpenMarketsAntiTrustAntiMonopolyClaytonHomesWarrenBuffettPredatoryLenderMinoritiesMoreDailyBusinessNewsManufacuredHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

AT&T’s breakup in the 1980s under antitrust action by the federal government was arguably good for the country. The breakup of Berkshire and those FAANG companies could similarly be good for our industry and the nation too. Phone service didn’t end, it got better after the AT&T breakup. Breaking up the monopoly/oligopoly of FAANG and Berkshire could – similar to AT&T’s breakup – lead to a renaissance in American small business, and for our industry too.

 

ScottGallowayNYSternUniversityL2AntiTrustAntiMonopolyDailyBusinessNEwsMHProNews555

 

Note that federal sources tell MHProNews that their investigations include public officials for possible malfeasance.

Pam Danner, JD, are you reading this today?  Just asking…

…and the industry should ask why Danner was given de-facto support and purported cover by MHI.

 

pam-danner-hud-code-manufactured-housing-program-administrator-mhi-2014-summer-meeting-indianapolis-in-alexander-hotel-(c)2014-mhpronews-com-

Pam Danner, JD, HUD Code Manufactured Housing Program Administrator, credit, MHProNews.

 

MHI’s Response to MHProNews and their Naysayers

As part of MHI’s response to our reports and analysis, we have several sources that said that they were pressured not to advertise with MHProNews. Huh? At the time, we’d been a member for years, and had been praised numerous times for our “News, Tips, and Views That Pros Can Use” © coverage by MHI leaders.

George Allen, who at various times was persona non grata at MHI, and other ‘friends’ of MHI have allegedly attempted a smear campaign against our publisher. That has taken place over a period of years, along with others connected to MHI, per sources. Our L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach addressed that matter directly to Kevin Clayton, Tom Hodges, the top 3 MHI staffers, federal investigator/officials in Washington, D.C., and others. That email is shown below.

 

KevinClaytonTomHodgesDickJennisonLesliGoochRickRobinsonMHIClaytonHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHPronews

Suffice it to say for now that neither the Berkshire Hathaway brands, not MHI, did as requested. We documented that they received this and other messages, and provided the same to officials as noted above. The above began after a report linked here was published, but that may or may not be a coincidence. 

The above has also been provided to federal investigators, who as previously noted, had already been looking into the matters at MHI, and how they relate to Knoxville and Omaha.  That’s been going on for several years.

There will be a special Masthead possibly tomorrow evening. Tune in and check it out, won’t you?

 

 

The World Didn’t End…

When Legacy Housing, an MHI member, advertised their events last fall on MHProNews, did that doom them? Hardly.

Instead, they had two successful fall events.  That is to be expected when you market via the runaway most read-publication in the entire industry. In their public filings for an IPO with the SEC, Legacy Housing said they had their biggest backlog in their firm’s history.

 

Legacy Housing IPO, Lending Tree, & New HUD Ruling Updates

Arguably, those who get spotlighted on MHProNews not only benefit from the exposure, but they are safer from the FAANGs, Berkshire’s and MHI’s of the world.  Again, for some evidence of that, see the upcoming Masthead.

  • Sound information,
  • the rule of law,
  • access to capital,
  • placement,
  • lending, and
  • a level playing field will liberate manufactured housing.

There is, to be accurate, both subjective and objective truth. For example, you may like mustard and ketchup; our publisher dislikes both of those. Those are subjective truths, and in those matters of taste, your truth and ours can collide, but that’s harmless.

Then there are objective realities.

Has MHI failed the majority of its own members?

Several voices at various times have called them out for exactly those kinds of problems. A partial list is insightful.

  • Frank Rolfe,
  • Marty Lavin,
  • Bob Crawford,
  • NMHCO leaders,
  • Titus Dare, and
  • even the MHI exiting president, Chris Stinebert,

among others.

Perhaps because MHProNews has pulled those and other disparate voices into one place, MHI and several Berkshire brands have purportedly targeted our publication for elimination. If they could have disproven our claims, why didn’t they?  So instead of disproving our concerns and allegations, they go after sponsors, or resort to phony smear tactics?

For those who grasp the reality of the concerns, ponder this. Smoking Gun 3, or more recently, the detailed report linked below, reflects a series of facts. Money and evidence trails are apparently difficult for them to deny.  Each fact-based, logic-laced report arguably points to this Occam’s Razor style conclusion.

MHI and their Berkshire brands try to pick winners and losers in our industry.

Why did MHI publish a community count data that agreed with MHVillage, instead of Frank Rolfe’s or George Allen’s manufactured home community totals or estimates? Favoritism? Winner and losers?

 

Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, George Allen, Manufactured Home Community Controversy Continues

Why are MHAction – paid via various money channels by Warren Buffett, George Soros and other deep pockets on the left – targeting

  • ELS,
  • Rolfe & Company,
  • and Blackstone?
  • Why don’t they target Tom Lackey and his defenders/trainers?

The truth is there, to be found, when one follows the money and the evidence trail.

But it takes time to ferret out the facts. Then it takes time to frame that truth in ways that make sense to a growing numbers of industry professionals and investors.

We’ve come into the holiday season. Thanksgiving is almost here. We’ll see if or how much readership might take a short break. But normally, if so, it’s usually a modest one (about 10 percent). Our competition in MHVille trade publishing would only dream of having that potentially modest fall off as being their total readership.

That’s true despite the reported dirty tricks by those who don’t want reports like this available.  But our readers see the value.

 

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies and opportunities.

 

When your opponents uses the tactics of:

  • Duck
  • Dodge
  • Dismiss
  • Detract
  • Distract and
  • Defame

SpinMisdirectionRedHerringDuckDodgDismissDistractDetractDefame6DsManufacturedHOusiungInstitute

you can guess that as a publisher, you are over their targets, catching flak.

And you, faithful reader? Knowledge is potential power. Use it, share it, and base your decisions upon reality, not illusions, lies, or costly faked impressions.

If they drove thousands of others out of business or who sold out for less, then, why would you think they won’t do it to you, too?

Affordable Housing, the Visible, Yet Mysterious Struggle for an Obvious Solution, Case Examples

Thus

  • MHARR – which sticks to facts, facts, facts and rarely has to pivot, exists for independent manufactured home producers; and
  • the new NMHCO trade group for communities, have or are forming.

 

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Slam New National Manufactured Home Communities Group in Written Statement

 

Will independent retailer and other MHVille professionals rise up, as NMHCO is striving to do?

The time to prepare for 2019 and 2020 are now. Reports like this are wake up calls.  Don’t just read, use the information, double check the facts, and then plan accordingly. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

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

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

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

 

Related Reports:

Machiavellian “Godfather” – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Capital, Lending and Crossed Lines in Manufactured Housing

Due Credit, Warren Buffett, Media, and Manufactured Housing’s Historic Achievement

November 1st, 2018 Comments off

 

DueCreditWarrenBuffettMediaManufacturedHistoricManufacturedHousingAchievementDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews600x315

What we learn from history is that people don’t learn from history,”

–        Warren Buffett, per MarketWatch.

 

Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken,”

– Warren Buffett, per Brainy Quote.

 

The smarter the journalists are, the better off society is. For to a degree, people read the press to inform themselves – and the better the teacher, the better the student body.”

–        Warren Buffett, per Brainy Quote.

 

I just read and read and read. I probably read five to six hours a day.

Warren Buffett – according to the Business Quotes.

 

I want them [the Berkshire Hathaway CEOs] to judge every action by how it would appear on the front page of their local news paper, written by a smart but semi-unfriendly reporter, who really understood it, to be read by their families, their neighbors, their friends. And it has to pass that test

Warren Buffett, according to the Business Quotes.

 

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

– Henry Ford, per Brainy Quote.

 

You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

 

–        Abraham Lincoln, per the Quote Investigator.

 

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we [some fellow Americans] destroyed ourselves.”

–        Abraham Lincoln, per Brainy Quote.

 

You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometime you find you get what you need.”

– The Rolling Stones, song lyrics, per YouTube.

 

Never invest in a business you cannot understand.”

– Warren Buffett, per MarketWatch

 

Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.” 

– Warren Buffett, per MarketWatch

 

Notice: There will be certain relevant
disclosures at the end of this post,
plus linked related reports below the by line.

 

Give Warren Buffett his due.

 

The man is smart, and successful. Friends and foes alike can admit that fact. Mr. Buffett is well read. He is patient. When he sees a good opportunity to buy in an industry that makes sense, he strives to get a bargain when he can.

Those are all principles that Buffett himself has stated at various times. Not unlike the 45th President – Donald J. Trump – Warren Buffett has made himself accessible to the media for years.

But Buffett, unlike fellow billionaire turned President Trump, has owned several media outlets, some for many years.

Mr. Buffett has written in recent years about synergy at Berkshire Hathaway. Synergy is not a novel concept to one of the world’s richest men.

Misinformation – misunderstandings about manufactured homes – are among the larger challenges that the industry has. There is also an unjustifiable stigma about manufactured homes. Media is uniquely poised to address those issues. As Bloomberg exemplified earlier this, there are times when manufactured housing gets favorable and fair media coverage.

An important question should be, why doesn’t the industry get favorable media more often?

Before proceeding, let’s note Buffett is the well known chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns:

 

–        Clayton Homes,

–        Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance,

–        21st Mortgage Corp.,

–        Shaw Carpeting,

–        NAI – the Joanne Stevens led manufactured housing brokerage company,

–        along with other corporate and media interests that are captured in this next infographic.

 

WarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayEmpireDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Click here to see full size version of this infographic.

 

WarrenBuffettEmpireHowItWasBuiltPrinciplesPracticesVisualCapitalistFinderMHProNewsLogo595x10433

 

Among those holdings by Berkshire are the BH Media Group. There are some 31 newspapers all told.

As anyone who follows Buffett and Berkshire knows, he can get on television virtually any time he wants to do so. CNBC has fawning coverage of Buffett. At times, so does Fox Business.

But back to the point.

If misinformation and misunderstandings are part of the Manufactured Homes (MH) Industry’s challenge, and Buffett understands the power of synergy between units of Berkshire, that raises a question. Given his gifted mind, why hasn’t Buffett’s BH Media Group done a campaign of favorable media coverage for manufactured housing?

Let’s use but one example from 31 that Buffett’s brands own to make the next point.

 

OmahaWorldHeraldMobileSearchMobileHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHPronews

 

The above are screen captures of articles run by Omaha, the Omaha News Herald’s online edition, a BH Media Group paper in Buffett’s headquarters city. You might think of Omaha as his flagship publication, although he owns others with large readership, such as the Tulsa World too.  They are mobile Google searches from yesterday, at the date and time shown, from Berkshire’s Omaha news website.

The first search above uses the term “mobile home.”

The second search used the term “manufactured home.”

 

OmahaWorldHeraldMobileSearchManufacturedHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Is it possible that Buffett has missed the importance of using correct terminology? So why would Buffett allow his own newspapers to allow misinformation about the industry to continue?

Hold that thought for now, don’t forget that they are failing to correct what they have the resources to properly inform millions. That said, let’s press on.

 

What Buffett’s Allies Missed

In fairness to Mr. Buffett, there are certain things that Warren Buffett’s minions in manufactured housing could not have anticipated. Those will be covered in part in the disclosures, near the end of this post.

But let’s note for the moment the quotes at top, above.

Buffett’s own words clearly state that he believes most normal people would have given up reading an article like this already. Quotes like the above, and others from “the Oracle of Omaha,” indicates that he counts on professionals like yourself most not doing too much reading.  He teaches his unit managers certain principles, explains Kevin Clayton in the video above.

Put the quotes together, and the Berkshire brands count on most people avoiding details, and critical – meaning, analytical – thought.

Buffett also believes people have little or no interests in history, which along with reading, he finds quite useful and profitable.

Buffett also thinks people are chained to their habits. Sadly, he’s normally not incorrect. Will you be the exception?

Put those Buffett principles and his strategic “Moat” principles together, and it means that people – even intelligent professionals like yourself – can be manipulated, and financial advantages gained.

In a recent annual letter, Buffett quipped that Berkshire had 3 percent of the real estate brokerage market, which generated $1.3 billion in volume, adding “That leaves 97 percent [of the real estate market] to go.”

That 97 percent wisecrack was spoken like a true monopolist. In manufactured housing, he’s at or over 50 percent, in just 15 short years. The brokerage jibe was stated as matter of fact, but could also be construed as a jest. Thus, it’s brilliance, if he were ever asked to testify about the matter – or others – before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Congress, FBI investigators, or a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney.

Because as Bloomberg reported – and the Daily Business News on MHProNews spotlighted last year, the one thing that Warren Buffett fears is the breakup of Berkshire Hathaway. More on that later.

FEDs, MHI, Buffett’s Berkshire’s Clayton Homes Moat, Affordable Housing, and Billion$ in Manufactured Home Market Manipulation

 

Non-Profits, Foundations, MHVille, Professionals, and You

Kevin Clayton, President and CEO of Clayton Homes, was considered for a time as a possible successor to Buffett as chairman of Berkshire. In a puff video interview of Kevin Clayton shown below, not a word of Clayton’s or his friendly interviewer’s has been edited or altered. But text commentary and some images have been added, to put context and facts to what is said.

 

 

That combination of Kevin’s words, plus text that mention published MHProNews reports makes this video a powerful tool.  The video and Smoking Gun 3 are a must to understand how once-powerful firms in our industry have vanished.  Others re-emerged only after bankruptcy, and today, only some 20 percent of manufactured housing production is from the vast majority of manufactured home builders.

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

 

The principles he’s used have created what Maxine Waters (CA-D), and others have called a monopoly or near monopoly.  Look at the trend line, noting that more details – including extensive quotes from Buffett and Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage Corp, are found in the report linked above.

 

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNewsClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2011DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2017DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews

Graphic by MHProNews, using information provided by each corporation, or named entities.

EricBelksyManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacuredHomeManufacturedHousingInstituteResearchDataAffordbleHousingMHProNewsDailyBuisnessNews575

Why did Belsky miss his predicted date? Because it came before Buffett’s entry into MH? See Smoking Gun 3.

 

Tim Williams, 21st Mortgage, and former MHI Chairman…

Our publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach was for some time quite chummy with Tim Williams, and Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison. Each of those two praised MHProNews and MHLivingNews. They can’t deny that, so they don’t.

TimWilliams21stMortgagePublicationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews

To see the full on-the-record statement by Williams to MHProNews, click here.

 

Jim Clayton, the founder of Clayton Homes and Clayton Bank, praised 21st’s Tim Williams. Williams, per Jim Clayton, is likewise a brilliant, gifted and disciplined professional.

Notice that in none of our analysis or fact-checks of Buffett, the Claytons, Williams, MHI top staffers, or others in the mix does either MHProNews or MHLivingNews go beyond the facts, evidence, credible allegations – and so notes them.  We don’t not use ad hominems or other cheap shots. Rather, we follow the facts, logic, evidence and the money trail. That’s prudent. That is the basis for credibility. That’s part of the reason why, we’re told by credible sources, hundreds of the top industry leaders are regular readers of MHProNews, plus thousands of the small-to-mid-sized businesses.

Competitors are also among our strong readers, again, per messages forwarded to us by their followers.

LATonyKovachMHProNewsMHLivingNewsMHINoJournalistPhotoNCCPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

When these signs were first introduced, top MHI staff claimed it was aimed at ‘outside’ media, not ‘industry media.’ What caused their change toward a dues paying association member? What message does it send to others in the association? What message does it send to the industry at large? Is MHI trying to create a de facto industry trade media monopoly?  Other monopolies too? L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, publisher, holding the MHI poster.

Until MHProNews, there were no manufactured home industry trade publishers that seriously did the kinds of fact-checks that we have done for years now. That doesn’t diminish the others who blog, or publish. It’s simply a statement of fact. The significance will be clear, further below.

It should be noted that about 18 months ago, the Berkshire dominated Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) directly and through purportedly outside counsel threatened MHProNews on a number of issues.  We were a dues paying member at that time. Our reply was to call their bluff. After a brief flurry of direct and indirect activity, Berkshire dominated MHI decided to go quiet.

But what MHI has been doing is obliquely dealing with issues that the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), and/or MHProNews have publicly raised in writing. On topic after topic, MHI has had to pivot.  They don’t admit it as such.  But they’ve come to realize that fact-checks of MHI, of Clayton, of 21st or other Berkshire brands are taking their toll on the industry’s perceptions.

How is that known?  In part through third-party data which reflects a surge of traffic on MHProNews in the last 12 months.

 

 

Others in MHVille Claiming Harm by MHI, Berkshire Brands

 

A growing number of manufactured home professionals have met with, called, or messaged MHProNews’ publisher, and told their personal tale about the ways that “the moat” was – and related – was deployed against them.

At the proper time, and in the proper venue – no doubt after the midterms – those third-party stories will be told.

ConfidentialNewsTipsOKTipsIreportMHNews@MHMSM-comGraphic

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.

 

What Buffett feared, a skeptical journalist that seeks the facts in MHVille, is something that Buffett, Clayton, and Tim Williams/21st didn’t count on.  How could they have known that our publisher, who:

–        has an award-winning university background in history,

–        earned a journalism scholarship,

–        studied business as a minor,

–        later entered the manufactured housing industry, earning numerous awards,

–        would after some 15+ years in the trenches of the industry, would launch this publication?

–        Who else besides someone who understand the industry well, still does consulting and services, could have pieced together the various elements of the puzzle that has caused experts to wonder why manufactured housing has struggled, while RVs, conventional housing, and automotive – among others – have grown substantially?

Williams himself, says our publisher, intentionally or not gave certain clues that resulted in some of these reports.

So too did Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison, MHI’s president.  Jim Clayton shared insights that are going to be upcoming in the days ahead.

Then, there is the ongoing study of Warren Buffett himself.  Hold those thoughts.

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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Buffett’s Berkshire Empire, and the Intersection of Politics and Money

It is not new that money influences politics, and vice versa.

It is not new that most people only lightly follow the news, much less politics. So knowing patterns of behavior – plus the machinations purported in Smoking Gun 3 and other reports – Buffett’s men in manufactured housing have had an advantage over almost everyone.

That was true until Tim Williams, Dick Jennison, Lesli Gooch – among others – statements and actions sparked the curiosity of our publisher.

It was something Buffett may not have anticipated.  In fairness, how could he?

Buffett purportedly knows that the Trump Administration – and potential antitrust actions – are arguably the biggest threat to his operation. There are, per federal and other legal sources, already enough published to establish the basis for opening an investigation.

With that understood, and knowing that Congress could play a role in a major antitrust action, can you see why Clayton, Tim Williams, and other MHI insiders are supporting Democratic candidates in key races?

The good news?

Even largely left-leaning media polling reveals that the GOP candidates in several of these races show that the  Democratic/Buffett/Clayton/MHI plays are poised for defeat.

But the votes are not all in, much less counted.

For those who think ahead, as Buffett does, the prudent move is to vote for Buffett’s Democratic opponents.

Otherwise, the nation could return to Obama era politics and regulations. Or MHAction style targeting could be aimed at your firm someday.

But there are other surprising facts we’ve not yet published.  Stay tuned, and sign up for our ‘read hot’ emailed news.

 

 

 

Buffett Berkshire Brands, and the Intersection of Information

Clayton Homes and 21st Mortgage’s Manufactured Housing “Spies”

 

“The Enemies Within,” Pacific Freedom Foundation, Author Trevor Loudon

 

“Distracting Spectacles” Tech Billionaire Peter Thiel on New American Politics, Trump Campaign

 

 

Never Give Up the Con…

Never give up the con,” said Dinesh D’Souza in his acclaimed documentary, Hillary’s America.

You can watch this fascinating video on several streaming services. The teaser is posted below.

 

MHProNews identified 2 years ago documentaries like Clinton Cash that have had millions of views. Why would an ‘honest’ businessman support a political operation like the Clintons?

CNN is among the media outlets that reported federal probes of the Clintons that are underway.

 

 

The author of Clinton Cash, which did a ‘follow the money’ report on their controversy plagued foundation, later released a graphic novel, a teaser on that is shown below.

The point in part is that none of these are secrets.  But who else in MHVille have tied together these various threads, for industry professionals to read or view them?

MHLivingNews – and MHProNews before it – were each launched with the idea that informed and motivated trade media had to be part of the solution for the manufactured housing industry’s growth.

We said at the top that there would be disclosures.  Here they are, and those who’ve read us for years know these to be accurate.

Our publisher, quoting a line from a Clint Eastwood movie, says “a man has to know his own limitations.” Our editing could be more precise, and with more sponsorship, that will occur. Help us, help the independents of this industry, so that more growth will occur.

MHProNews and MHLivingNews evolved on certain topics, so we understand that others will catch up at different paces too.

But at each turn, we’ve laid out the facts as then known.  No one has challenged the facts or allegations. There were too many voices saying similar things.

Our publisher has invited directly and in digital print public discussion of these items on video with MHI or Clayton/Buffett brands, that could be replayed for all to see.  So far, no takers.  Why not?  If there is nothing to hide, why are they ducking legitimate discussion?

The answer may be in part in that Kevin Clayton video, posted above.  It’s purportedly better than a deposition, in this respect. Kevin says things freely, that in hindsight are arguably stunning admissions, from an antitrust perspective.

The midterms next week could be a repeat of 2016.  Democrats have very deep pocket billionaires, like Warren Buffett, pushing their agenda.  Odd that the party that claims to be for taxing the rich, in fact is backed by the rich, isn’t it?  Odd that a party that claims to be against monopolies, has so many oligarchs supporting it?

ForbesTOP10BillionairesPartyPoliticalSupportTendenciesManufacturedHomeLivingNews

 

America went through the so-called robber baron era.  It took federal antitrust efforts to break it up.  The same will be true this time, only the challenge may be greater, since it isn’t just Buffett’s Berkshire that needs to be broken up.  It is also the so-called FAANG companies.

 

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http://www.mhpronews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/ny-stern-universitys-scott-galloway-on-facebook-founder-mark-zuckerbergs-capitol-hill-hearings/

 

And among them are those who are paying lobbyists and even former Barack Obama millions to help their cause in Washington, or to fight for their Democratic candidates on the campaign trail.

 

Draft EO for Trump Administration AntiTrust Order Obtained by MHProNews

 

The next step is easy, for those who want to break free of the purportedly corrupted, rigged system.  Vote for those who back the president who has already drafted an antitrust executive order.

 

Giving Buffett His Historic Due

Our headline and those quotes were all spot on.  Buffett is a smart man. His game has been successful for years. But Team Trump arguably understands what Buffett, and the people behind the FAANG companies, have been doing.

The countdown is coming.  The Trump Administration has been rebuilding the economy.

“Girls of Steel,” 3 Untold Stories of Job Creation, Growing Opportunities for MHVille

In MHVille, we’ve been honored to have a part in spotlighting these issues – and beyond research – our stories have often with the help of third-party news tips.  Please keep those documents and tips coming.  More special reports lie ahead.

The historic irony from the headline is this.

It’s the onetime history major who fell in love with the manufactured housing industry, and others working with him, that has been working to spotlight what and how the ‘big boy’s and their minions could not have anticipated.

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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?

 

Follow the evidence.  Follow the facts.  Follow the money.

 

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

 

Then, vote wisely, and get others to do the same. This worked in 2016, and it can work again in 2018.

Either way, more hard-hitting reports with solutions for MHVille will come after the midterms. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

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Related Reports:

Following Facts, Money – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Tim Williams/21st Mortgage, and Manufactured Housing

 

Expose! Why Has Warren Buffett/BH Funded Anti-MHC Activists, MHAction? Why Fund Attacks on ELS, Frank Rolfe, Blackstone Group?

 

Manufactured Home Resident Group President Cautions Against MHAction, Surprising Background Reveal to Manufactured Housing Action

 

“He’s Lying,” Campaign Insider Video – “Don’t Do Politics?” Tell Jim Clayton, Phil Bredesen, and Marsha Blackburn, Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act Supporter

 

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Clinton Cash Machine vs. Donald Trump’s Movement – Closing Arguments Video