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Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

June 3rd, 2019 Comments off

 

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

 

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

This word from Washington, D.C. will fuel speculation that Berkshire Hathaway brands, along with other tech giants that impact manufactured housing and the nation, will soon become more visible targets of antitrust regulatory scrutiny. Those who’ve relied on the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their industry trade mouthpieces would have had no clue that this has been brewing for years. Meanwhile, MHProNews has been covering this developing topic from several angles for years. Our sister site has been laying the foundation for understanding on MHLivingNews too, in reports like the one linked below.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. MHProNews has given these firms an opportunity to refute or clarify the issues and concerns raised.  They and MHI have all declined responses. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

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

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

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

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

 

“For the Good of Consumers and Competition”

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

The Broader Antitrust Picture and Manufactured Housing

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Draft EO for Trump Administration AntiTrust Order Obtained by MHProNews

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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Related Reports:

Andy Gedo, Partner at ManageAmerica, Raises Clayton Homes Monopolistic Practices Debate; Manufactured Housing Institute Related Issues

 

Restraint of Trade, Manufactured Housing Institute, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage, and Antitrust Law

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

 

“November Rain” – DoJ’s Top Antitrust Cop – Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim ABA Speech on Antitrust Enforcement for Americans

Warren Buffett’s Profitable Lessons for Manufactured Housing

Does Monopoly Power Impact Workers’ Stagnant Wages? MH Industry Impact$

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

May 22nd, 2019 Comments off

 

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Free enterprise is predicated in part on the ability to compete. Be it in tea, banking, or other sectors of the economy, America from its earliest days as a colony includes examples of not just tax revolt, but anti-monopoly rebellion too. New York Times columnist David Leonhardt are among the scores of sources that have said as much.

 

  • The Open Markets Institute has said that antitrust or anti-monopoly efforts are one of the most important issues of our time. As they put it on their home page, the Open Markets Institute “…promote greater awareness of the political and economic dangers of monopolization, identifies the changes in policy and law that cleared the way for such consolidation, and fosters discussions with policymakers and citizens as to how to update America’s traditional political economic principles for our 21st century digital society.” Note to newcomers, MHProNews often turns direct quotes bold and brown to make them ‘pop,’ but otherwise the quoted words are as reported.
  • Several Democratic 2020 presidential contenders have made monopoly and antitrust enforcement a campaign issue.
  • The Trump Administration has let it be known that they have an executive order drafted on antitrust, a copy of which was obtained by MHProNews.
  • The Department of Justice’s antitrust point man – Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim – was cited at length in a prior Daily Business News on MHProNews report in a talk dubbed “November Rain.”
  • A top antitrust attorney named Lina Kahn was hired by Capitol Hill Democrats.  These 4 bullets make it clear that this challenge of market consolidation and monopoly are a bi-partisan concern, though the two major parties may have differing approaches.
  • Facebook’s co-founder is among several who have called for the breakup of the company.  But it isn’t just big tech that is facing calls of breakup under antitrust law.

 

That brief survey with links to various reports makes it clear that antitrust or anti-monopolistic practices sentiment has swelled in several swaths of the national political and economic discourse.

Which begs the question.  Other than MHProNews, and MHLivingNews, why has the bulk of the other trade media or bloggers in the manufactured housing industry been so obviously silent on the topic of monopolization, antitrust, and consolidation?

As MHProNews has noted before – but will hereby spotlight in a different way with additional quotes – there is an exception of sorts.

It’s George F. Allen, who shed his COBA7 moniker in favor of EducateMHC, reportedly sold his modest direct interests manufactured home communities, but still has a website called “Community-Investor.”

Before turning to Allen’s comments, let’s note that MHInsider, a far larger medium which is a staunchly pro-Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) backer, reveals nothing on a site search under the term ‘monopoly.’  Ditto a search under ‘consolidation’ or ‘antitrust.’ A search for articles about manufactured housing’s ‘enhanced preemption’ – mandated by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 – are missing from MHInsider, much like that topic turns up nothing on MHI’s website too. In fairness and accuracy – to MHInsider’s credit – they provided a few pull quotes from HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s address in New Orleans, which is more than the zero found on MHI’s website as of this morning as this article is being drafted.  But MHInsider lacks the entire – and highly useful for the industry’s independents – recent Secretary Carson speech to manufactured housing professionals.

 

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Other publishers in MHVille may lack a search tool, or have so few industry readers, that their pro-MHI stance is worth mentioning but not worth the time to document.  So, there are others, most of whom routinely sing from the same hymnal that MHI provides.  MHI-affiliated state associations often likewise regurgitate uncritically – often verbatim – MHI’s missives, perhaps for reasons noted in a prior report linked here.  That stated, one must note that a few manufactured home community (MHC) state associations broke ranks with MHI, citing the Arlington, VA based trade group’s lack of effectiveness.

 

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Onto Allen and Monopoly…

With that survey and backdrop, here’s what Allen has had to say on the topic of monopoly operating in the manufactured housing industry.

 

GeorgeFAllenCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOcoba7MonopolyConsolidationClaytonHomes21stMortgageBerkshireHathawayQuotesManufacturedHomesCommunitiesMHproNews

The date shown is when the screen captures were performed, not the date it was published. More on that, further below.

 

To use a phrase Allen enjoys, those are salient points. He’s made others before, like this one.

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While those are comments were made in years gone by, that begs the question. When the evidence for monopolistic behavior in America and our manufactured home industry specifically has mounted, why has Allen more recently defended the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which is the arguably the breeding ground for what Allen dubbed himself called oligarchs and monopolists?

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While MHI’s SVP Lesli Gooch has denied the charge that Ryan raised in the article above, Doug Ryan at CFED, and long time MHI member, George Allen, are among those who’ve raised the issue of monopolistic practices by MHI. 

When Allen has demonstrably agreed with the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) in the past, why has he attacked the Washington, D.C. based MHARR more recently?   Aren’t his disconnects apparent?

 

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformlogoMHARRlogoSearchMonopolyAntitrustConsolidation

 

Hold those thoughts.

Be it Allen, MHI, or others – each has precisely the same rights protected by the Constitution that we all do. From the days of the British colonies, to after the time that the United States was finally formed following years of revolutionary warfare, and through the varied phases of our national history, America has had a love-hate relationship with pamphleteers and publishers. But with few exceptions – like the classic prohibition of not crying “fire” in a crowded theater when there is none – we defend in principle the constitutionally protected right citizens enjoy to say what they will, even if it is determined later to be demonstrably wrong.

Which brings us to a pressing point of free speech and free press. On the left, right and the dwindling center, there are voices in media talking about the news that have raised concerns about free speech, concentration of media, and manipulation of news reports.  That there is a need for a graphic like the one below is troubling, but speaks volumes.

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Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. 

The quotes that follow exemplify the issue, across the left-right and even academic landscape.

 

TheseLargeConglomerateCompaniesDecideOnTheirownandForTheirOwnPurposesTheNewsWeSeeandHearDanRatherQuoteFormerCBSNewsPhotoTwitterDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Dan Rather quote from the compelling video, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page.

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Deepa Kumar quote from the compelling video, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page.

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Danny Glover quote from the compelling video, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page.

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That’s problematic, but hardly new in either American or world history. In ancient times, a leader might lop the head off someone who brought bad news.  Far more recently, media in the 20th or 21st century have examples of being pushed and prodded by government and/or private interests. One must be aware of that pattern in order to begin to discern the vexing reality that someone’s worldview is forged by what media sources they adhere to most routinely.

 

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The founding fathers themselves experienced the problems of negative media that was often harsh and agenda driven.  The founders used the press and pamphleteering to stoke the flames that caused a revolution against England, and eventually turned colonies into the independent but United States. Those founders believed that it is the clash and testing of ideas that can reveal to those who scrutinize details what is or is not true.

A close reading or attention paid to statement and subsequent events may also reveal the instances when people say or write one thing, but do another.

 

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

 

While all fail from time to time to live up to ideals, there is a special scorn many have for blatant and repeated hypocrisy. Perhaps rightly so.

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Now the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has an antitrust statement. According to form, MHI’s numerous meetings every year are opened with a reminder that antitrust guidelines apply. But does that mean that they are adhering in deed to those antitrust guidelines, and not just merely in the mentioned word? There are highlighted items in the MHI antitrust statement, linked here, which in this writer’s informed view merit legal and regulatory oversight attention.

So why are these issues missing from MHI’s website?

 

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Every symphony has high and low notes. There may be sobering, often dark drum rolls, and heartening crescendos. Symphonies – like other art forms – are meant to entertain, reflect, and inspire life. Novelists have plots, as well as subplots. Intentionally or not, publishing, writers, and media sources go through their own peaks, valleys, twists, turns, and familiar refrains.

The wonder isn’t that Allen – not just MHProNews or MHLivingNews – has raised concerns about “consolidation.”

Rather, it’s that others in manufactured housing trade publishing have not done the same. Are they unaware? That’s highly unlikely, because this writer hears from those publishers, their team, and followers. Are they afraid to rock the boat? Fearful? Paid-off via ads or other incentives? What?

One trade media competitor, in what was an unintended backhanded compliment said ‘Tony, you [MHProNews, MHLivingNews] write about that others in the industry read or talk about at bars and during meals.’  If so, that may explain why our audience dwarfs all others.  But that statement begs the question, then why doesn’t that gent and other writer/bloggers follow the lead of tackling the real issues, instead of playing footsy with MHI-driven drivel?

 

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Why does MHI have an antitrust statement, beyond as legal cover, while doing nothing of merit to commission independent research over concerns that they as a nonprofit group are being used as a tool for consolidation?

 

Then keep your tongue from evil

and your lips from speaking deceit.

Turn aside from evil and do good…” Psalm 34:13.

 

Let’s recall anew that George Washington, and other founders, for whatever their personal failings were – and they had them, as we all do – stressed the need for morality and religion, not just laws or a constitution.

 

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With that backdrop, back to Allen, monopoly, consolidation and what to do about it in MHVille.

 

Quoting Allen

A Final Thought for Year 2018, but Key for 2019

No names here, but hope you too boycott an ongoing online MH-related news media attempt to denigrate and divide us as an industry and realty asset class!

In my opinion, life is too short to be making crass and obtuse claims of national advocacy conspiracy, corporate antitrust imaginations, and disgusting personal attacks, only befouling internet platforms better used to promote manufactured housing and the land lease community lifestyle!

If so, join me in 2019, committing to read only print and online trade publications advancing the causes, and improving the image, of HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities! No more caterwauling (‘to fight like cats’) in public and in private. Period.”

To spell it out for those not informed, Allen called there for a boycott of MHProNews, and of this writer. The ironies and hypocrisy there are thick.  Because of his own self-contradictions, and his own de facto concerns over the very kind of monopolization and consolidation – in that quoted case above, of media – that he blasted previously about MHI and Clayton. Can George spell hypocrisy?

Yet Allen’s aptly cited problems with consolidation, oligarchy, and monopoly. He still calls consolidation “a problem” in even recent posts.

 

WeveGotAProblemGeorgeFAllenQuoteCommunityInvestorEducateMHCSECOMobileHomeParkManufacturedHomesMHProNews

To see more disconnects between Allen and his flip-flops, then and now, click here.

 

Nevertheless, he is hypocritically attacking this platform, and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), each of which have consistently been sounding alarms about those issues – with specific examples – to the attention of the thousands of the industry’s readers.

MarkWeissDTSQuoteManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

Allen has pointed out the obvious, that MHARR is a sponsor of our website. But that’s out in the open, MHARR has banner ads here. What Allen fails to mention is that MHI used to sponsor MHProNews too. Our coverage has been based upon our LLC’s own research and work, without favor. What Allen has, by contrast, avoided is what are the ways that he is being coached, rewarded, and influenced?  In pointing an errant finger, are three pointing back at George’s chest? Note too that MHProNews cites sources from MHI, MHEC members, MHARR, and others.  We do so accurately and in their historic context. 

 

Allen’s voice is significant, but small compared to this platform’s.  We have more readers in a few hours than he will have all week.  So, why bother?  Because frankly, reviewing the history of Allen’s musings make clear some of the very problems he once asserted, and now denies.  Its instructive to unpack Allen.

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Many of these quotes are from MHI insiders.

Allen is interesting to the extent that he does periodically make accurate statements.  But a stopped clock is correct twice daily too.  More politely, he is a reason why we believe in the wheat and chaff approach to people and sources. We all have our good and bad days, our good points, and our weaker ones.  Our readers have pointed out that we get typos, for instance.  Guilty as charged.  That’s our chaff, but who strive for finer wheat that feeds our audience that doesn’t find like content from other’s in the industry trade media.

Closely read, Allen’s arguably consistent about only one thing, support for himself.

With that said, he has apparently been re-embraced by the very people – MHI and their leaders – that he railed against for unfair treatment by examining his business interests under the cover of a nondisclosure agreement (NDA), and then unethically going into competition against him. Allen personally felt the sting of manipulative and costly maneuvers from MHI, whose structure and funding point to firms in Omaha and the Knoxville, TN metro areas as their dominating, driving forces.  He ought to be leading the charge, instead of giving the manipulators cover.

Rephrased, Allen knows first-hand who pulls the puppet strings at Arlington, VA based MHI. He fought them, he was marginalized, he lost. That is, he lost until he was more recently reembraced to be the apparent purported surrogate and attack dog for the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.  Now, for example, MHI Chairman Joe Stegmayer is back on Allen’s stage.

The key to understanding Allen’s pivots in publishing is to understand that he is highly motivated by self-interest.  That is per a former, significant client of his, who told this writer that the way to understand Allen is summed up in this saying: “With George, it’s always AAA – All About Allen.” Pondering that claim, and watching the pattern after that was heard, that source arguably proved correct.

The point here isn’t that Allen has flip-flopped, or that the balance of the industry’s trade media has been mute on the issues of monopolization, consolidation, antitrust, and market manipulation that has kept manufactured housing underperforming.

 

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While MHI in their monthly shipment report doesn’t deny the decline, neither are they addressing the underlying causes, nor have they proposed a remedy via their messages to the industry. Why not?

Frankly, we’ve covered much of that ground previously.

So the point here now is to make clear to new industry readers, investors wondering why a stock isn’t performing as it could be, outside researchers, legal, and public officials looking into MHVille seeking to grasp the facts that have caused obvious patterns to be obscured by others –including, but not limited to, the industry’s trade media.

 

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Be Skeptical, Question and Test

It’s entirely logical to test the accuracy of the reports and analysis here on MHProNews and MHLivingNews. It is logical to likewise test the writing and publishing of others in this same news and commentary space, to see how consistent each sources may be, or what evidence is offered by said sources beyond mere words.

GeorgeAllenPhotoPamDannerPhotoEducateMHCMobileHomeCommunityInvestorManufacturedHomeProfessionalNewsUnlike Allen’s railing – as was cited above – about “…making crass and obtuse claims of national advocacy conspiracy, corporate antitrust imaginations, and disgusting personal attacks…” we’ve provided on MHLivingNews and MHProNews the documents and direct quotes from the sources involved.

Besides, Allen himself said similarly – as this report makes clear – only he’s not been consistent about it.

Allen uses the old debaters’ tricks of red herrings, commits the ad hominin attack fallacy, and demonstrably accuses others of what he does himself. It’s the classic definition of a hypocrite.

 

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When we’ve given documented opportunities to Allen to publicly debate the issues we claim.  Bring on the supporting evidence as to what are the factors hindering manufactured housing industry’s growth, during an affordable housing crisis.

Other than MHARR and our trade media, who today in MHVille have offered a cogent explanation for the why and how the explains the cause of over 15 years of manufactured housing as an industry’s underperformance?

That underperformance in turn cost taxpayers, homeowners, and independent businesses collectively billions, at each turn.  Some of those independent businesses are the smaller community owners that Allen and his allies claim to care about.

That public debate offer with George Allen is one he’s routinely ducked out on. Thus, noting his roar like the lion in Wizard of Oz – but his failure to back up that roar – he’s arguably earned the mantle of that fictional character. It should be noted, Cowardly Lion finally got his courage, and did the right things.

We hope and pray Allen will do the same. Because Allen, in fairness and accuracy, has at times – albeit inconsistently – argued similar claims to those we, MHARR or others in MHVille seeking to maintain a lower profile have raised. Let’s note that some of those MHI sources, unhappy with what the Arlington trade group is apparently doing, have said they would testify to federal investigators about what they know.

Let’s return to one of those flashes from the past of apparent candor from Allen about the problem of monopoly power.

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George Allen, photo credit, MHProNews.com.

Hopefully you already realize we live and work in turbulent times, where the national economy and our industry’s business model are concerned. But have YOU stopped and considered the lasting effects horizontal (consolidation) and vertical integration have had, and continue to have, on our industry and realty asset class?

If you’re one of those who believe the MHIndustry needs a new, independent national trade association to protect and advance the business interests and concerns of the post production sector of manufactured housing, you’ll want to read this week’s blog posting from beginning to end. Because there is indeed a third such party ‘waiting in the wings’ for the timing and leadership to be right and effective from the word ‘Go’!

  • In short order, the number of independent (street) MHRetailers plummeted from more than 14,000 to fewer than 4,000.”

After listing some of the extensive holdings of Buffett led Berkshire in manufactured housing, Allen says:

Now, here’s the proverbial ‘rub’. With quiet but increasing frequency we read of conspiracies and monopolies gradually taking over (if not already ‘taken over’) the political agenda of the manufactured housing industry.”

Assuming truth and legitimacy of these claims of ‘conspiracies and monopolies gradually taking over the political agenda of the manufactured housing industry’, what’re the solutions? In the same op/ed piece in THE JOURNAL, the writer makes this case for a new independent national trade association to represent the post production sector of manufactured housing:

  • “…to monitor issues in the nation’s capitol, mobilize for effective action, and fight for their interests and issues, rather than the few industry-dominant lenders and the corporate conglomerates that stand behind them.” And until that happens, the writer opines, our shipments of new HUD-Code homes will continue to languish well below 100,000 units per year.

So, where’s this new independent national trade association going to come from? Surely not the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) with its’ 80+ percent national member market share of new HUD-Code manufactured housing distribution; nor, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) and its’ regional housing manufacturing firms.”

Allen on that occasion from his blog dated 21 August, 2016 proposed himself  and his now defunct COBA7 as the industry’s solution and savior.  It is as if he set out to prove the point noted above from that former client of his that said, “With George, it’s always AAA – All About Allen.”

But sadly, one must ask, is Allen a white hat in MHVille, or a black hat?

 

White Hats, Black Hats…

 

 

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Allenites – those who uncritically follow him – turn a blind eye to problems like his ‘education’ on lease-purchase, or contract for title, which an industry attorney has called ‘illegal’ in the Dodd-Frank era, and which the NY State Attorney General’s office punished dozens of manufactured home communities for practicing. Hasn’t Allen condemned the kind of problematic negative news headline causing issues that his buddy Tom Lackey is accused of running? If so, why didn’t Allen called Lackey out, and asked for his ouster from SECO’s board? See the Chattanooga Times Free Press report, which notably cited MHProNews in part of its coverage. Note the circle.  MHVillage – which is a sister firm to MHInsider, which has Allen as a writer.  MHInsider’s parent company is part of MHI.

Allen failed to mention at all then that Dick Moore/Bob Crawford had launched a third party effort dubbed the MHIDEA, which MHProNews reported years before this specific 8-21-2016 musing by Allen.

While the effort never garnered the traction its concept merited, MHIDEA – short for the Manufactured Housing Independent DEaler Alliance – was launched in 2008, even before the full effects of Buffett’s Moat became clear.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

MHProNews reviewed MHIDEA’s otherwise insightful notions in depth in a report, linked below.

 

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

 

During the 2010 timeframe, MHProNews reported on the MHIDEA efforts. Hindsight can be 2020. Had MHIDEA been better supported – by us and others – would the industry’s current issues be as severe as they are now?

By contrast, MHARR covered these issues to various degrees, and in a consistent fashion.  It must be noted that several of Allen’s references to concerns over monopolization were oblique references to claims and allegations made by MHARR.  They have been by far the most consistent in the industry on the topics that they’ve engaged upon.

Once more, it must be noted that MHI avoids these controversies, as reflected by using the site-search tool on their website.  If they suddenly, after weeks and months of such reports suddenly popped information that mentions these issues onto their platform, that doesn’t change the fact that they’ve avoided it for some years.

 

 

Summing Up

This current and historic survey revealed the following.

  • MHARR has consistently called out the problems of market monopolization, proposed solutions, and has done so for a period of years. It should be noted that the MHARR website is relatively new, so one would have to go to MHProNews’ MHARR module, or specific MHARR monthly articles to see the years of consistency in their reports and analysis.

DannyGhorbaniFormerMHIVpQuoteFoundingMHARRPresidentQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

  • MHIDEA – while effectively dormant at this time – raised these concerns over a decade ago.
  • NAMHCO – which does not yet have a website – is still young, but has made it clear that they felt that MHI was ineffective and not advancing the interests of their members, which is why they said they broke from MHI in 2017.
  • MHI has nothing on several potentially positive items for the industry, ignored publishing Secretary Carson’s fine speech, and has nothing on these controversies.
  • MHInsider – essentially parrots the MHI stance, as have most if not all of the lesser known trade bloggers and publishers.
  • Blogger George Allen has flip-flopped, apparently based on if he’s getting benefits from MHI or not. But what’s clear is that Allen on several occasions raised the issue of monopoly, consolidation, and ‘oligarchy.’  More recently, Allen has attacked MHARR, and MHProNews for making arguments similar to those he himself previously advanced.  Allen does not bother to explain his contradictions, which can demonstrably occur within the same blog post.
  • MHProNews raised the issues years ago, in reporting on the MHIDEA and MHARR reports. But frankly, this writer – and our LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC family of publications – were not convinced initially. We reported what others said, but did not strongly advocate on the issues of monopoly, consolidation, marketing rigging, and the need for legal and federal action.
  • As I’ve said previously, per the SPJ standards of journalism ethics that call for clearly stating errors or omissions once noted, it took years of evidence, documents, news tips, and commentary by others until the scope and chutzpah of the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis was fully grasped in more recent years.
  • Oddly, some of Allen’s and MHI’s circle and readers have been among those who’ve for some time explained why they thought market manipulation was underway. They explained Allen’s role – or lack thereof – in masking or exposing it at various times.
  • It should also be noted that MHInsider publisher Darren Krolewski himself praised this publication and writer for taking on the tough issues. He was among those that informed us of what was underway, where MHI was allegedly undermining our pro-industry growth work, even as we were dues paying members of that association.

 

DarrenKrolewskiPraisingMHProNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Krolewski is now co-president of MHVillage, and the publisher of MHInsider. He now arguably avoids the difficult topics he once praised us for tackling on MHProNews.

 

Allen could perhaps go back and purge his site, if he was incentivized to do so. But we already have the screen captures, so why bother?

While he loves to charge that we misquote or do something ‘out of context,’ he’s not once provided evidence of that claim. In fact, as noted, when invited to debate or prove his case in a third-party moderated forum, publicly in front of an industry audience, and on video so others could witness it later, he’s always declined that offer.

The allegations and concerns raised in this report clearly tie directly into the issue of what we’ve dubbed  the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.

Namely, that leaders at Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), Joe Stegmayer (MHI Chair), MHI salaried staff, and their inside and/or outside attorneys have repeatedly been invited to discuss and debate these concerns publicly.  Such offers to those leaders have been documented. The offer was to do hold such a discussion/debate in front of a live manufactured home industry professional audience.  That means that those who understand and/or are the most impacted by the issues to be discussed would be in attendance. A third-party moderator, plus video recording so others could see it all later, were part of the offer.

The powers that be in MHVille have declined every time. It’s their right to remain silent.  But that means that the allegations against them stand unrefuted.  One might ask, why they haven’t sued us – with or without just cause – as they’ve threatened in writing several times to do?  Is it perhaps because their leaders have praised us often, and for years, and that would come up in any legal proceedings?  How could they possibly explain it all away with a straight face?

 

TimWilliamsToRephraseMHITonyBothCorrectThereisNoDaylight21stMortgageCorpMHIChairmmanufacturedHousingProNews

 

What the axis apparently did instead was reembraced Allen, who was persona non grata after their purported backstab of Allen only a few years ago. Allen was apparently re-engaged and rewarded precisely, to be used as a purported surrogate and as an attack dog against MHARR, MHProNews, and this writer.  Given that they can’t or won’t defend their actions, they’ve turned to the smear tactics instead. Allen and company do what they allege we do, interesting ploy, isn’t it?

SnearMudThrowingTacticsUsedWorkToDuckDodgeDebatePixabayMastheadCommentaryMHPronews

 

Last week, an MHI member named Andy Gedo began to enter into a question/answer with this writer about an article posted on LinkedIn.  That posted article spotlighted how Kevin Clayton, in a recent video interview with CNBC, did not deny that Berkshire monopolization of not only manufactured housing, but the broader housing market, was underway. Gedo initially questioned, but gave up on, defending Clayton against that claim. The Gedo discussion with this writer in its entirety is linked below.

 

Andy Gedo, Partner at ManageAmerica, Raises Clayton Homes Monopolistic Practices Debate; Manufactured Housing Institute Related Issues

 

While these incidents, Berkshire Hathaway documents and direct quotes in context linked here or other concerns are not proof in an absolute or legal sense, it is enough to cause more federal regulators, public officials, candidates, media/researchers to sharpen their scrutiny.  That’s frankly part of the reason to do such summary articles, which then link evidence and examples.

The reason we say ‘more’ is because there are already – beyond MHARR, NAMHCO, MHIDEA, MHProNews, and MHLivingNews – non-industry sources that have spotlighted some of these same concerns.  Some of those are linked below.

 

  The New York Times had an interesting article on the historic trends, and named several industries being monopolized.

  The Atlantic, without specifying how the monopolization was being accomplished, noted that the independent retailers in manufactured housing were being rapidly eliminated/consolidated, that report is linked here.

  GuruFocus said “Warren Buffett Can’t Escape Unethical Strategic Moats,” their specific points are linked here.

  The Nation called it “The Dirty Secret Behind Warren Buffett’s Billions…” and specifies Clayton Homes among those using the strategic moat in ‘dirty’ ways.

  The Jacksonville Florida Times Union summarized the connection between the John Oliver viral hit video dubbed “Mobile Homes,” MHI, Clayton Homes, and their related lenders. That op-ed was first fact-checked by an editor, before it was published not only in the one newspaper it was submitted, but at least in 5 Florida newspapers.

But what those other sources may lack are specific examples of documents and video that were not yet published, until the trade media our LLC deploys covered them.

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation. Why hasn’t Allen told his readers how that cost them money? https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

What this summary does is reveal to industry readers and to outsiders looking in that there is substantial evidence of monopolization, consolidation, and examples of potential violations of antitrust laws at play in manufactured housing that date back about a decade or more. That’s almost roughly the same timeframe that Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway bought Clayton Homes, and began the slow ‘strategic moat’ and other related conquest techniques of the manufactured housing industry.

No one with common sense can believe that Buffett, Berkshire, and their billions could somehow have failed to grow manufactured housing to over 500,000 or more shipments a year.  MHI’s president himself said that was doable.

 

MHI CEO Dick Jennison’s Pledge – 500,000 New Manufactured Home Shipments

 

Which leads thoughtful readers and researchers with the vexing concerns that manufactured housing has been de facto sabotaged, largely from within.

 

 

That’s why the industry is the ‘best kept secret’ in affordable housing, as Terry Decio from Skyline Homes lamented on camera.

TerryDecioSkylineChampionHomesPhotoQuoteImTiredofManufacturedHousingbeingBestKeptSecretReadyHelpHouseAmericaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

That’s arguably why Secretary Carson’s full address isn’t found on MHInsider, or at all on MHI’s website.  Carson made it clear he wants to promote the manufactured housing solution, and end the secrecy that hangs over the industry.

Alan Amy is one of the many quiet, thoughtful voices that helped advise this writer as to what was occurring, and why. Manufactured housing is the housing of the future, not just the past, said Amy.  The big boys are consolidating the industry at a discount now, knowing that they can reap billions in annual earnings once they’ve completed their conquest of the industry, and a friendly administration to their interests takes over in Washington, D.C.

 

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

Gus’ message came in response to a series of exposes on issues within manufactured housing, as well as tips, strategies, and opportunities.  From independents like Gus, to the largest players in the industry, and thousands in between, this is the most read source in the industry, because we tackle the issues most avoid – all in search of getting manufactured housing to achieve its true potential.

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

Note the trend line. This is from an MHI member firm’s investor relations package.  They point to the industry underperforming, but they refer to it as the upside potential for growth. Manufactured housing is underperforming. Note the difference between RVs 20 years ago, and MH 20 years ago. No one else has advanced a thesis as logical and compelling. To date, Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington have not even attempted to refute the claims. Will they today?

The puzzle pieces fit, which is what Occam’s Razor calls for in its test of reason.  Otherwise, observers are to believe that Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Tim Williams, and MHI staff are all incompetent?  That they don’t know how to grow this industry that used to produce hundreds of thousands of homes per year?  That they can’t achieve growth during an affordable housing crisis? That’s absurd.

Once more, the powers that be are invited to refute or explain away these concerns and allegations. Or they can keep using diversionary tactics, while the industry’s shipments have shrunk for 7 months, during an affordable housing crisis?  Absurd. Preposterous.  Impossible to believe, unless the powers that be want it to be so.

And on that note, let’s call it a morning, as the sky suggests that the dawn will soon break.  We pray that dawn will be a sign for this once far greater industry that a new day is coming.  But like the founders and generations before us, freedom won’t be free. It will only come from a struggle.  That struggle begins with understanding the issues, which hopefully this report, fact-check, and analysis has helped shed fresh light upon.

It is long past time to break up the monopolists, using existing federal and state laws.  As Secretary Carson said about a different topic last night on Tucker Carlson’s show, “enforce the law.”

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

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

May 13th, 2019 Comments off

 

SenCoryBookerWeNeedAPresidentToEnforceAntiTrustLawsDiggingElizabethWarrenPOTUSTrumpManufacturedHousingMHProNews

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

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

 

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

IfMHProNewsIswritingAboutItIWantToKnowAboutItQuote

Executive level readers comment.

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

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

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

 

Booker on Antitrust, President Trump and Elizabeth Warren

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

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

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

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

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

 

DeFaangBmAntiTrustOpenMarketsAffordableHousingManufacturedHomesHousingChoiceMHProNews

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

The Issue of Antitrust, America, and MHVille

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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“When Rules Don’t Apply” Docudrama Video, How Workers, Others Get Ripped Off By Giants Breaking Laws – Successful Case Spotlighted

April 10th, 2019 Comments off

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It is the Department of Justice, says the makers of this video, that put the theft of wages workers as 4x higher than the loss to property crimes.

 

4 times more lost wages to companies – white collar – than to those who steal, rob, vandalize, etc.? That’s the claim of the makers of the new documentary video, “When Rules Don’t Apply.”

It explores a successful actual antitrust case that was lodged not so long ago against big tech companies.

Here is the teaser version of their video.

 

But to what degree does this influence industries like manufactured housing?

Sources inside those giant MH brands, and their competitors too, have been telling MHProNews that the alleged rigging of the marketplace by Berkshire brands, in collusion with some at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is resulting in wage and earnings suppression.

 

WageTheftVsPropertyTheftDeptOfJusticeWhenRulesDontApplyDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

This is an overlooked point of the harmful impact of monopoly and the manipulation of markets. It has been highlighted before by MHProNews, see related reports, further below.

 

They’ve also sounded the alarm that if Clayton succeeds in its slow-motion takeover of manufactured housing, that its currently high-earning general managers (GMs) will find their pay cut.  Insider say that happened once before but had to be walked back.

Antitrust laws exist because monopolies are harmful to all but a favored few.  That is why monopolies or ‘trusts’ are illegal.  The Daily Business News on MHProNews will continue to raise awareness on this critical issue for the sake of the industry’s independents, but also for those who work for firms of all sizes.

 

 

That’s this afternoon’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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Chinese PreFab Housing In U.S., Reasons George Soros’ Davos Remarks on China’s Threat Important to MHVille

January 29th, 2019 Comments off

GeorgeSorosChinesePrefabHousingUSReasonsGeorgeSorosDavosRemarksonChinasThreatImportanttoMHVille

For years, the Daily Business News (DBN) on MHProNews has been a lone voice in the factory-built housing trade media alerting domestic firms about the looming – and now actual – challenges from imported industrialized building.

 

The industry’s so-called leaders in Arlington purportedly have an often documented inability to address bad or good news publicly beyond their members in a manner that might yield greater growth.  Instead they either ignore reality with the illusion of motion or provide excuses – easily debunked for thinkers – for a lack of growth.

Meanwhile, China and other nations are producing prefabs that are making inroads into U.S. markets.

It seems that domestic builders didn’t learn the lessons of Chinese drywall? Some have forgotten how costly that fiasco was.

 

 

Nevertheless, American firms kept buying stuff and shipping jobs from the U.S. to China.  This DBN report is an important example of how properly sourcing from both the left and right can be useful, even necessary.

 

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The Soros has taken on Facebook this year, among other issues. But the far greater threat, says progressive mega-billionaire George Soros, is China’s tech, economic, and other power.  His recent comments at the tony Davos conference of global leaders about China sounded much like an episode of right-of-center Tucker Carlson on Fox News.

Listen to Carlson, then read Soros’ comments.  Facts are facts, regardless of the source.

 

 

Soros billions make his words and movements news. So this stark warning from Soros – whom this publication has periodically critiqued – represents an interesting partial pivot.

Let’s see some pull-quotes from Soros’ address at Davos, followed by his entire speech.  Each bullet is a quote from the full text, below.

  • Last year when I stood before you I spent most of my time analyzing the nefarious role of the IT monopolies. This is what I said: “An alliance is emerging between authoritarian states and the large data rich IT monopolies that bring together nascent systems of corporate surveillance with an already developing system of state sponsored surveillance. This may well result in a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even George Orwell could have imagined.”
  • Tonight I want to call attention to the mortal danger facing open societies from the instruments of control that machine learning and artificial intelligence can put in the hands of repressive regimes. I’ll focus on China, where Xi Jinping wants a one-party state to reign supreme.
  • China isn’t the only authoritarian regime in the world, but it’s undoubtedly the wealthiest, strongest and most developed in machine learning and artificial intelligence. This makes Xi Jinping the most dangerous opponent of those who believe in the concept of open society. But Xi isn’t alone. Authoritarian regimes are proliferating all over the world and if they succeed, they will become totalitarian.

As noted, there are several points that MHProNews’ would editorially disagree with Soros, and longtime readers know we’ve critiqued Soros before.  But we believe in a ‘wheat and chaff’ approach, you take truth wherever you find it. 

Much of what follows are facts that go beyond the left-right ideological divide. After the video is the speech, per Soros’ own website.  

 

 

Remarks delivered at the World Economic Forum

Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2019

 

Good evening and thank you all for coming.

I want to use my time tonight to warn the world about an unprecedented danger that’s threatening the very survival of open societies.

Last year when I stood before you I spent most of my time analyzing the nefarious role of the IT monopolies. This is what I said: “An alliance is emerging between authoritarian states and the large data rich IT monopolies that bring together nascent systems of corporate surveillance with an already developing system of state sponsored surveillance. This may well result in a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even George Orwell could have imagined.”

Tonight I want to call attention to the mortal danger facing open societies from the instruments of control that machine learning and artificial intelligence can put in the hands of repressive regimes. I’ll focus on China, where Xi Jinping wants a one-party state to reign supreme.

A lot of things have happened since last year and I’ve learned a lot about the shape that totalitarian control is going to take in China.

All the rapidly expanding information available about a person is going to be consolidated in a centralized database to create a “social credit system.” Based on that data, people will be evaluated by algorithms that will determine whether they pose a threat to the one-party state. People will then be treated accordingly.

The social credit system is not yet fully operational, but it’s clear where it’s heading. It will subordinate the fate of the individual to the interests of the one-party state in ways unprecedented in history.

I find the social credit system frightening and abhorrent. Unfortunately, some Chinese find it rather attractive because it provides information and services that aren’t currently available and can also protect law-abiding citizens against enemies of the state.

China isn’t the only authoritarian regime in the world, but it’s undoubtedly the wealthiest, strongest and most developed in machine learning and artificial intelligence. This makes Xi Jinping the most dangerous opponent of those who believe in the concept of open society. But Xi isn’t alone. Authoritarian regimes are proliferating all over the world and if they succeed, they will become totalitarian.

As the founder of the Open Society Foundations, I’ve devoted my life to fighting totalizing, extremist ideologies, which falsely claim that the ends justify the means. I believe that the desire of people for freedom can’t be repressed forever. But I also recognize that open societies are profoundly endangered at present.

What I find particularly disturbing is that the instruments of control developed by artificial intelligence give an inherent advantage to authoritarian regimes over open societies. For them, instruments of control provide a useful tool; for open societies, they pose a mortal threat.

I use “open society” as shorthand for a society in which the rule of law prevails as opposed to rule by a single individual and where the role of the state is to protect human rights and individual freedom. In my personal view, an open society should pay special attention to those who suffer from discrimination or social exclusion and those who can’t defend themselves.

By contrast, authoritarian regimes use whatever instruments of control they possess to maintain themselves in power at the expense of those whom they exploit and suppress.

How can open societies be protected if these new technologies give authoritarian regimes a built-in advantage? That’s the question that preoccupies me. And it should also preoccupy all those who prefer to live in an open society.

Open societies need to regulate companies that produce instruments of control, while authoritarian regimes can declare them “national champions.” That’s what has enabled some Chinese state-owned companies to catch up with and even surpass the multinational giants.

This, of course, isn’t the only problem that should concern us today. For instance, man-made climate change threatens the very survival of our civilization. But the structural disadvantage that confronts open societies is a problem which has preoccupied me and I’d like to share with you my ideas on how to deal with it.

My deep concern for this issue arises out of my personal history. I was born in Hungary in 1930 and I’m Jewish. I was 13 years old when the Nazis occupied Hungary and started deporting Jews to extermination camps.

I was very fortunate because my father understood the nature of the Nazi regime and arranged false identity papers and hiding places for all members of his family, and for a number of other Jews as well. Most of us survived.

The year 1944 was the formative experience of my life. I learned at an early age how important it is what kind of political regime prevails. When the Nazi regime was replaced by Soviet occupation I left Hungary as soon as I could and found refuge in England.

At the London School of Economics I developed my conceptual framework under the influence of my mentor, Karl Popper. That framework proved to be unexpectedly useful when I found myself a job in the financial markets. The framework had nothing to do with finance, but it is based on critical thinking. This allowed me to analyze the deficiencies of the prevailing theories guiding institutional investors. I became a successful hedge fund manager and I prided myself on being the best paid critic in the world.

Running a hedge fund was very stressful. When I had made more money than I needed for myself or my family, I underwent a kind of midlife crisis. Why should I kill myself to make more money? I reflected long and hard on what I really cared about and in 1979 I set up the Open Society Fund. I defined its objectives as helping to open up closed societies, reducing the deficiencies of open societies and promoting critical thinking.

My first efforts were directed at undermining the apartheid system in South Africa. Then I turned my attention to opening up the Soviet system. I set up a joint venture with the Hungarian Academy of Science, which was under Communist control, but its representatives secretly sympathized with my efforts. This arrangement succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. I got hooked on what I like to call “political philanthropy.” That was in 1984.

In the years that followed, I tried to replicate my success in Hungary and in other Communist countries. I did rather well in the Soviet empire, including the Soviet Union itself, but in China it was a different story.

My first effort in China looked rather promising. It involved an exchange of visits between Hungarian economists who were greatly admired in the Communist world, and a team from a newly established Chinese think tank which was eager to learn from the Hungarians.

Based on that initial success, I proposed to Chen Yizi, the leader of the think tank, to replicate the Hungarian model in China. Chen obtained the support of Premier Zhao Ziyang and his reform-minded policy secretary Bao Tong.

A joint venture called the China Fund was inaugurated in October 1986. It was an institution unlike any other in China. On paper, it had complete autonomy.

Bao Tong was its champion. But the opponents of radical reforms, who were numerous, banded together to attack him. They claimed that I was a CIA agent and asked the internal security agency to investigate. To protect himself, Zhao Ziyang replaced Chen Yizi with a high-ranking official in the external security police. The two organizations were co-equal and they couldn’t interfere in each other’s affairs.

I approved this change because I was annoyed with Chen Yizi for awarding too many grants to members of his own institute and I was unaware of the political infighting behind the scenes. But applicants to the China Fund soon noticed that the organization had come under the control of the political police and started to stay away. Nobody had the courage to explain to me the reason for it.

Eventually, a Chinese grantee visited me in New York and told me, at considerable risk to himself. Soon thereafter, Zhao Ziyang was removed from power and I used that excuse to close the foundation. This happened just before the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 and it left a “black spot” on the record of the people associated with the foundation. They went to great length to clear their names and eventually they succeeded.

In retrospect, it’s clear that I made a mistake in trying to establish a foundation which operated in ways that were alien to people in China. At that time, giving a grant created a sense of mutual obligation between the donor and recipient and obliged both of them to remain loyal to each other forever.

So much for history. Let me now turn to the events that occurred in the last year, some of which surprised me.

When I first started going to China, I met many people in positions of power who were fervent believers in the principles of open society. In their youth they had been deported to the countryside to be re-educated, often suffering hardships far greater than mine in Hungary. But they survived and we had much in common. We had all been on the receiving end of a dictatorship.

They were eager to learn about Karl Popper’s thoughts on the open society. While they found the concept very appealing, their interpretation remained somewhat different from mine. They were familiar with Confucian tradition, but there was no tradition of voting in China. Their thinking remained hierarchical and carried a built-in respect for high office. I, on the other hand I was more egalitarian and wanted everyone to have a vote.

So, I wasn’t surprised when Xi Jinping ran into serious opposition at home; but I was surprised by the form it took. At last summer’s leadership convocation at the seaside resort of Beidaihe, Xi Jinping was apparently taken down a peg or two. Although there was no official communique, rumor had it that the convocation disapproved of the abolition of term limits and the cult of personality that Xi had built around himself.

It’s important to realize that such criticisms were only a warning to Xi about his excesses, but did not reverse the lifting of the two-term limit. Moreover, “The Thought of Xi Jinping,” which he promoted as his distillation of Communist theory was elevated to the same level as the “Thought of Chairman Mao.” So Xi remains the supreme leader, possibly for lifetime. The ultimate outcome of the current political infighting remains unresolved.

I’ve been concentrating on China, but open societies have many more enemies, Putin’s Russia foremost among them. And the most dangerous scenario is when these enemies conspire with, and learn from, each other on how to better oppress their people.

The question poses itself, what can we do to stop them?

The first step is to recognize the danger. That’s why I’m speaking out tonight. But now comes the difficult part. Those of us who want to preserve the open society must work together and form an effective alliance. We have a task that can’t be left to governments.

History has shown that even governments that want to protect individual freedom have many other interests and they also give precedence to the freedom of their own citizens over the freedom of the individual as a general principle.

My Open Society Foundations are dedicated to protecting human rights, especially for those who don’t have a government defending them. When we started four decades ago there were many governments which supported our efforts but their ranks have thinned out. The US and Europe were our strongest allies, but now they’re preoccupied with their own problems.

Therefore, I want to focus on what I consider the most important question for open societies: what will happen in China?

The question can be answered only by the Chinese people. All we can do is to draw a sharp distinction between them and Xi Jinping. Since Xi has declared his hostility to open society, the Chinese people remain our main source of hope.

And there are, in fact, grounds for hope. As some China experts have explained to me, there is a Confucian tradition, according to which advisors of the emperor are expected to speak out when they strongly disagree with one of his actions or decrees, even if that it may result in exile or execution.

This came as a great relief to me when I had been on the verge of despair. The committed defenders of open society in China, who are around my age, have mostly retired and their places have been taken by younger people who are dependent on Xi Jinping for promotion. But a new political elite has emerged that is willing to uphold the Confucian tradition. This means that Xi will continue to have a political opposition at home.

Xi presents China as a role model for other countries to emulate, but he’s facing criticism not only at home but also abroad. His Belt and Road Initiative has been in operation long enough to reveal its deficiencies.

It was designed to promote the interests of China, not the interests of the recipient countries; its ambitious infrastructure projects were mainly financed by loans, not by grants, and foreign officials were often bribed to accept them. Many of these projects proved to be uneconomic.

The iconic case is in Sri Lanka. China built a port that serves its strategic interests. It failed to attract sufficient commercial traffic to service the debt and enabled China to take possession of the port. There are several similar cases elsewhere and they’re causing widespread resentment.

Malaysia is leading the pushback. The previous government headed by Najib Razak sold out to China but in May 2018 Razak was voted out of office by a coalition led by Mahathir Mohamed. Mahathir immediately stopped several big infrastructure projects and is currently negotiating with China how much compensation Malaysia will still have to pay.

The situation is not as clear-cut in Pakistan, which has been the largest recipient of Chinese investments. The Pakistani army is fully beholden to China but the position of Imran Khan who became prime minister last August is more ambivalent. At the beginning of 2018, China and Pakistan announced grandiose plans in military cooperation. By the end of the year, Pakistan was in a deep financial crisis. But one thing became evident: China intends to use the Belt and Road Initiative for military purposes as well.

All these setbacks have forced Xi Jinping to modify his attitude toward the Belt and Road Initiative. In September, he announced that “vanity projects” will be shunned in favor of more carefully conceived initiatives and in October, the People’s Daily warned that projects should serve the interests of the recipient countries.

Customers are now forewarned and several of them, ranging from Sierra Leone to Ecuador, are questioning or renegotiating projects.

Most importantly, the US government has now identified China as a “strategic rival.” President Trump is notoriously unpredictable, but this decision was the result of a carefully prepared plan. Since then, the idiosyncratic behavior of Trump has been largely superseded by a China policy adopted by the agencies of the administration and overseen by Asian affairs advisor of the National Security Council Matt Pottinger and others. The policy was outlined in a seminal speech by Vice President Mike Pence on October 4th.

Even so, declaring China a strategic rival is too simplistic. China is an important global actor. An effective policy towards China can’t be reduced to a slogan.

It needs to be far more sophisticated, detailed and practical; and it must include an American economic response to the Belt and Road Initiative. The Pottinger plan doesn’t answer the question whether its ultimate goal is to level the playing field or to disengage from China altogether.

Xi Jinping fully understood the threat that the new US policy posed for his leadership. He gambled on a personal meeting with President Trump at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires. In the meantime, the danger of global trade war escalated and the stock market embarked on a serious sell-off in December. This created problems for Trump who had concentrated all his efforts on the 2018 midterm elections. When Trump and Xi met, both sides were eager for a deal. No wonder that they reached one, but it’s very inconclusive: a ninety-day truce.

In the meantime, there are clear indications that a broad based economic decline is in the making in China, which is affecting the rest of the world. A global slowdown is the last thing the market wants to see.

The unspoken social contract in China is built on steadily rising living standards. If the decline in the Chinese economy and stock market is severe enough, this social contract may be undermined and even the business community may turn against Xi Jinping. Such a downturn could also sound the death knell of the Belt and Road Initiative, because Xi may run out of resources to continue financing so many lossmaking investments.

On the question of global internet governance, there’s an undeclared struggle between the West and China. China wants to dictate rules and procedures that govern the digital economy by dominating the developing world with its new platforms and technologies. This is a threat to the freedom of the Internet and indirectly open society itself.

Last year I still believed that China ought to be more deeply embedded in the institutions of global governance, but since then Xi Jinping’s behavior has changed my opinion.  My present view is that instead of waging a trade war with practically the whole world, the US should focus on China. Instead of letting  ZTE and Huawei off lightly, it needs to crack down on them. If these companies came to dominate the 5G market, they would present an unacceptable security risk for the rest of the world.

Regrettably, President Trump seems to be following a different course: make concessions to China and declare victory while renewing his attacks on US allies. This is liable to undermine the US policy objective of curbing China’s abuses and excesses.

To conclude, let me summarize the message I’m delivering tonight. My key point is that the combination of repressive regimes with IT monopolies endows those regimes with a built-in advantage over open societies. The instruments of control are useful tools in the hands of authoritarian regimes, but they pose a mortal threat to open societies.

China is not the only authoritarian regime in the world but it is the wealthiest, strongest and technologically most advance. This makes Xi Jinping the most dangerous opponent of open societies. That’s why it’s so important to distinguish Xi Jinping’s policies from the aspirations of the Chinese people. The social credit system, if it became operational, would give Xi total control over the people. Since Xi is the most dangerous enemy of the open society, we must pin our hopes on the Chinese people, and especially on the business community and a political elite willing to uphold the Confucian tradition.

This doesn’t mean that those of us who believe in the open society should remain passive. The reality is that we are in a Cold War that threatens to turn into a hot one. On the other hand, if Xi and Trump were no longer in power, an opportunity would present itself to develop greater cooperation between the two cyber-superpowers.

It is possible to dream of something similar to the United Nations Treaty that arose out of the Second World War. This would be the appropriate ending to the current cycle of conflict between the US and China. It would reestablish international cooperation and allow open societies to flourish. That sums up my message.

### End of Soros Davos Address ###

 

That’s MH “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “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.

White Paper on Digital Media, Details, Trends, Marketing Insights for Manufactured Housing

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

January 16th, 2019 Comments off

 

NoKingsInAmericaJohnShermanSpeakstoManufacturedHousingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

If we will not endure a king as a political power, we should not endure a king over the production,
transportation, and sale of any of the necessities of life
.”

— John Sherman

 

Sherman was a mover in what today is known as the Sherman antitrust act. The act was sponsored by Senator John Sherman (1823–1900) of Ohio, as a leading anti-monopolistic leader.  The quotes speaks for itself. Among the necessities we should not have a monopoly over the production of affordable manufactured housing.

 

JohnShermanWikiDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The next two more contemporary quotes are more sobering.  Both come from the political left.

Antitrust law isn’t about protecting competing businesses from each other,
it’s about protecting competition itself on behalf of the public
.”

–      Al Franken

 

This antitrust thing will blow over.”

–      Bill Gates

 

Keep in mind that Gates’ Microsoft was the target of an antirust action. Gates and Warren Buffett are in several ways, joined at the hip. Gates, in a very specifric sense, turned out to be correct.  More on those points another time.

This quote below is also from the progressive side of the aisle. All but the first and next quote are from AZ Quotes.

From a non-profit’s website: “The Open Markets Institute uses journalism to promote greater awareness of the political and economic dangers of monopolization, identifies the changes in policy and law that cleared the way for such consolidation, and fosters discussions with policymakers and citizens as to how to update America’s traditional political economic principles for our 21st century digital society.”

Let’s turn to a former and famous president.

Beware of that profound enemy of the free enterprise system who pays lip-service to free competition, but also labels every antitrust prosecution as a persecution.”

–      Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

Back to Franken.

Most Americans don’t think about antitrust law when they look at their cable bill, flip channels on TV, or worry about what their favorite website knows about them. But they should.”

–      Al Franken

 

Changing technologies, changing marketplaces, and even changing trends in anti-competitive practices have all presented challenges to antitrust enforcement.”

–      Al Franken

 

Then, there is Green Party candidate for president, Jill Stein. For all of these, keep in mind, wheat and chaff.  You don’t have to agree on everything, to agree on specific things.

We need to use antitrust laws. You know, we need to create real media again.”

–      Jill Stein

It’s time to use the antitrust laws and to break up this conglomerate corporate media that has now poisoned our democracy to the point that our very survival is at risk for the kinds of monstrosities that are flourishing in our corporate media dominated discussion.”

–      Jill Stein

There are voices on the right that favor use of antitrust action.  One of them is below.

Vigilant and effective antitrust enforcement today is preferable to the heavy hand of government regulation of the Internet tomorrow.”

–      Orrin Hatch

Here’s a surprising one, a former Democrat, who today is a member of the GOP.

If I am elected President, I will end the special interest monopoly in Washington, D.C.

– Donald Trump

 

From President Donald J. Trump, to a plank in the Democratic Party’s ‘new deal’ plan, and others in between, are calling for a break-up of several major conglomerates.  From the FAANGs, to major media conglomerates, to Berkshire Hathaway and others, there is a need to restore balance to both the market and politics. Regulations can’t fix this, only a breakup – like the AT&T breakup – will do.

A useful overview of the topic of monopoly is explored in a reasonably balanced way in this video below.  For example, the video explains the limited cases – such as public utilities – when a monopoly can make sense, although that too could become a dated view as various technologies emerge that could allow more competition for utilities.  The video uses facts and humor as it educates, and has had hundreds of thousands of views.

 

Monopolies and Anti-Competitive Markets: Crash Course Economics

 

 

Those voices in MHVille that stand mute or even actively oppose a discussion of monopoly are practically defending those that are monopolizing manufactured housing. That hurts independent businesses, consumers, government – almost everyone – save for the limited numbers who are doing the monopolization.

As an independent operation that favors free enterprise, we stand foursquare against monopolistic forces, because they are corrosive of the economic and thus political system in America. See the related reports, linked below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Related Reports:

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

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

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

 

“Major Step” in Independent National Post-Production Manufactured Housing Advocacy Taken, Per Trade Group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 Tons, and MH Whistleblowers

November 19th, 2018 Comments off

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We’ve entered a new era.

 

But in some ways, it’s a throwback to decades ago, when thousands of workers resembled the message of the classic song, “16 Tons.”

There was a time after slavery ended in the U.S. when workers in various markets – including, but not limited to those in mining – were essentially trapped in ‘company towns.’ You made just enough to keep a roof over your head, basic food, and clothing.

It was the ultimate monopoly. For those who think that a monopoly is no big deal, imagine what America would look like in 10 years if the monopolists won.

CompanyStoreDefinedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

SmallbusinessFactsSBADailyBusinessNEwsMHProNews

According to Genius, here below are the lyrics to the classic Tennessee Ernie Ford son, which are also shown on screen in the video, posted below.  It was wildly popular in that era, and offers lessons to those who ponder its meaning today too.  You can play the video to hear the music and song, as you read the lyrics.

16 Tons

 

[Verse 1] Some people say a man is made outta mud
A poor man’s made outta muscle and blood
Muscle and blood and skin and bones
A mind that’s a weak and a back that’s strong

[Chorus] You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

[Verse 2] I was born one mornin’ when the sun didn’t shine
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine
I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal
And the straw boss said “Well, a-bless my soul”

[Chorus] You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

[Verse 3] I was born one mornin’, it was drizzlin’ rain
Fightin’ and Trouble are my middle name
I was raised in the canebrake by an ol’ mama lion
Cain’t no-a high-toned woman make me walk the line

[Chorus] You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

[Verse 4]

If you see me comin’, better step aside

A lotta men didn’t, a lotta men died

One fist of iron, the other of steel

If the right one don’t a-get you, then the left one will

[Chorus] You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store

 

 

There was also the era of the “Robber Barons,” which were eventually broken up by antitrust action.

It’s not always as easy to see, but a more complex form of those phenomenon arguably has begun, and is developing today. That emerging trend impacts manufactured housing.

 

RobberBaronsBigTechManufacturedHousingLATimesNewYorkPostDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It impacts the vast majority in our industry, including those who work for a conglomerates brands in manufactured housing.  Who says?  Among others, sources within those MH brands.  ICYMI, or need a refresher, you can later read the reports linked from this article for more insights and details.

 

Former Clayton Homes Team, Employees Speak Out – Mainstream Media, Trade Media Reports

 

It’s from deep, well placed Clayton Homes contacts that the stories above and below developed.

 

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

 

It was sources inside and deep within, Cavco, as pros well long standing ties to Cavco Industries, that helped round out and develop the report linked below, along with others from that same post.

 

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

 

Sources within and tied to MHI have provided MHProNews with insights that have proven useful to thousands of industry readers who’ve wondered, when is manufactured housing actually going to return to something more like the shipment levels of the industry’s glory days?

 

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

 

Insider tips, whistleblowers, and just savvy sources are among those who’ve helped transition the manufactured home industry’s top trade media on the Daily Business News on MHProNews into our industry’s trade media unrivaled leader.  Men and women, workers and leaders from operations of all sizes logon daily by the thousands.

And our third-party traffic logs reveal that for a modest industry, our market penetration is likewise unrivaled. This requires team work.

 

Whistleblowing, Tips and More – Becoming a MH Citizen Journalistic News Source

It’s your industry, and your country. Sound off via:

  • on or off the record news tips
  • expert insights,
  • anonymous document drops,
  • Whistleblowing,
  • and more.
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.

Notice:

As a rule, we’re not interested in people’s private lives, unless it directly relates to or somehow impacts an operation, consumers, or the profession in some bright line fashion. For example, when a community manager or owner attempts to coerce sex from residents, that’s a federal fair housing violation, and may violate other civil rights. We’ve reported that as news, as in the example linked below.  But most private activities of professionals, no matter how embarrassing, isn’t what we’re interested in.   Hopefully that helps clarify the news worthy subject matter.

Feds Bring Charges Against Manufactured Home Community Owner

 

The nation and our manufactured home industry are in flux. News tips and feedback – on or off the record – and whistleblowing are part of how we interact with the industry, and that keeps savvy, honest professionals informed.

 

Help Us, Help You

One of our industry’s favorite tag lines, and it isn’t ours, is “Better Together” – because that captures the essence of what should ideally happen — mutual victories through joint efforts.

What ROC USA’s tag line expresses could be rephrased something like these two notions for the industry’s professionals.

  • Achieving Mutual Victories by Wisely Working Together.”
  • Together, Let’s Honestly Protect, Properly Educate and Promote the Proven Affordable Housing Solution, Today’s Manufactured Homes.”

We can’t do it alone, and thankfully, we have had useful support and insights for years.  There have always been willing clients and sponsors, who’ve routinely thanked us for results, along with expert, inside sources that gave us tips, news, documents, evidence, and comments.  Those in turn have helped spotlight the real problems that have held manufactured housing back from its potential.

If you don’t want to shop at the company store of the future, this is the time to step up to the plate. Some more recent examples of MHProNews stories that resulted from industry tips and sources are found below. We Provide, You Decide.”  © ## (News, 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.

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

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

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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:

MH State Association Issues Midterms Report – Rent Control Alert – Reveals Troubling Trend

http://www.mhmarketingsalesmanagement.com/blogs/daily-business-news/manufactured-housing-mhville-its-not-a-matter-open-to-interpretation/

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

 

For Independents, Independent-Minded MH Professionals, and Freedom-Loving Investors Only, Sunday Headline News Recap 10-7 to 10.14.2018

October 14th, 2018 Comments off

ForIndependentsIndependentMiindedMHProsFreedomLovingInvestorsONLYSundayMornignRecap1014-2018

First, thank you for giving us a record start to October.  It seems that the sharper the fact-checks, the more our audience or professionals and investors eats it up.

 

Serious readers deserve facts, not pablum.

The pie-charts below are about manufactured housing production.

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

The third pie chart below is the punch line. Ignoring the trend lines helps only the powerful few.

But they arguably represent similar trend-lines in retail, communities, suppliers, lending, transport, service, installers and other segments of the industry too.

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2011DailyBuisnessNewsMHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews

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

 

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) brags about their big three members. When they created their videos, it was their big three members that were featured. If you are an independent, does the charts above and below inspire your confidence in their objectively supporting you?  Or does it make you see that the Big Three have taken over the lion share of the industry?

Third-party tracking data reflects that professionals among the manufactured housing industry’s giants are as dedicated to reading us as are smaller- to mid-sized firms.

Working for a giant? There are many reasons for managers or those who aspire for more read us and become sources of news and tips. If they want more, history reveals that there is only so much you can make by working for the monopolistic “company store.”

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017DailybusinessNewsManufacturedHousingMHProNews

RVsshipmentsTrailedMH1998WinnebagoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Monopolies and their cousin – oligopolies – purportedly harm every segment of society. Common sense says as much.

 

WarrenBuffettMonopolynsiderMonkeyManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Warren Buffett, say critics, is buldling a new type of “company town.” Like the proverbial slow boiling of the frog in a pot of water, the placid pace nevertheless has an impact over time. Clayton has gone from an large also ran in 2002, prior to Buffett’s takeover in 2003, to some 50 percent of the industry by 2018. Monopoly? Is this a demonstration of Buffett’s “The Moat” principle at work?

  • Fewer competitors, means there are fewer opportunities.
  • Fewer opportunities means lower pay.
  • Giants are more likely to automate, which makes a worker’s or manager’s position vulnerable.

The above are akin to the thoughts from experts in other fields that study monopolies and oligopolies.

During the last three presidential administrations, the foundations were established or fostered policies and practices that led our once thriving manufactured home industry to the relative low point that it exists today. Just think, if we get past the 100,000 shipment mark in 2018, that would still be about 73 percent lower than manufactured housing was 20 years ago.

There is an affordable housing crisis.  As MHProNews and MHLivingNews have documented, third-party housing experts that studied our industry believed in the late 1990s, and early 2000s that manufactured housing would thrive. But that didn’t happen.

  • The more you think and look at the evidence,
  • the deeper you examine the facts and trends,
  • the more people of common sense see that “the system” has been rigged, as supporters of Bernie Sanders and POTUS Donald J. Trump broadly agree.

A rigged system hurts almost everyone, save the few that benefit from the system being rigged.

Monopolies of information and capital lead to monopolies of power.

 

DannyGloverQuoteItsNotOnlyAMonopolyOfWealthItsAmonopolyofInformationasWellDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

Danny Glover quote from the fascinating video documentary, Shadows of Liberty, posted on the linked page above.

 

The Manufactured Housing Institute has purportedly worked in concert with the majors in our industry to lead the many into habits and patterns of behavior that’s cost thousands their businesses in the last decade alone.

We follow the facts, the evidence, and the money.  Who else in MHVille trade publishing does that?  Why do the others in MH publishing gladly take the money of the majors?  How has it influenced their content?  These are apt questions that Danny Glover’s observation compels thinking people to ponder.

The following are facts.  Professionals like:

  • the Claytons’,
  • Nathan Smith, and
  • numerous allies of Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway are backing Democratic candidates to oppose Donald Trump’s candidates in the GOP.
  • 7 of the top 10 billionaires back Democrats. How could so many people not see that the Democrats are the party of the rich that have corrupted our system?  That’s not to say that every GOP leader was pure. We strive to use a principle of separating the wheat from the chaff, with every source. But as independents, if you compare the two parties, looking at the facts, it becomes obvious that the mainstream media and money are largely with Democrats.
  • In MHVille, if you look beyond MHProNews, at the bloggers and publishers, most of them are bought and paid for by the big money people behind MHI, right?
  • Democrats are trying to buy elections. Billionaires and others are pouring money into Democratic campaigns.
  • That said, even push-polls are starting to reveal the shifting-tide away from candidates like Beto O’Rourke toward conservatives like Ted Cruz who are backing the pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-independent businesses Trump Agenda.

Forbes estimates that the president’s net worth has dropped about one billion dollars since his election. President Trump has said on the campaign trail, it’s worth the loss of billions if he can help rally the nation so that we the people can together retake our country.

Check out the headline news that documents the facts and trends. There is a steadily growing throng – thousands of manufactured home industry professionals – who read here daily. Pros tell us that they are forwarding emails, and links to articles.

We’re all for wealth honestly earned. We’re all for free enterprise. We are all in on Constitutionally limited government that protects the rights of all and enforces equal justice.

We oppose and will continue to expose through facts, figures, insider tips those who are trying to limit, buy up at bargain prices, our once great Manufactured Home Industry.

ICYMI, see Saturday’s insider tips story, and the one on Friday too.  They are all part of the most read reports in manufactured housing.  We thank you, and our sponsors, for making that possible.

Watch for more special reports in the days ahead. With just over 3 weeks to one of the most important midterms ever in the modern era, now is the time to educate and inform confused or wavering colleagues.  We said in 2016 that Donald J. Trump could win, months before most of the mainstream media got that wrong.  We say now that in 2018, the GOP Congressional allies of POTUS Trump can beat the historic trends, and hold onto the House and Senate. But it takes pros like you to make that a reality.

Investors want certainty.  Under the Trump Administration, pro-growth policies for business, workers and consumers alike have returned.

Faith, flag, family and fortune honestly earned.  Those are among the principles that made America the land of opportunity.  With no further adieu, let’s dive into the headlines that let you learn more, to prepare you for approaching opportunities to earn more.

 

What’s New on the Masthead

TheMastheadCommentaryLATonyKovachMHProNews

Truth, Trump, Tragedy, Triumph, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

mhlivingnews-improvedlivingforle-logo

“2nd, 3rd, & 4th Chances,” the “American Dream,” “Mobile Homes” Movie, Video Trailer Reviews

“2nd, 3rd, & 4th Chances,” the “American Dream,” “Mobile Homes” Movie, Video Trailer Reviews

 

What’s New at MHARR

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformMHARRLogoPreservingTheDreamOfAffordableHousingTGhroughRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHproNEws

MHARR Calls on HUD To Remove Zoning, Placement and Consumer Financing Barriers to Manufactured Homes

Strong HUD Code Production Growth in August 2018

GSEs’ “Duty To Serve Underserved Markets” Plans

MHARR Exposes GSES’ Failure On Chattel Financing Before Congress

 

What’s News on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

1DailyBusinessNewsLogoMHProNewsLogo-1

 

Saturday 10.13.2018

Financing – Dramatic Shift – Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Insider News Tips

Friday 10.12.2018

 

Manufactured Homes, Conventional Construction, Hurricane Michael-Reports, Videos, Lessons Being Learned

Manufactured Housing, Money, & Midterms, From KNOXVILLE, TN, & Beyond – Plus MH Market Updates

 

Factory Rep’s Tip–Manufactured Home Service & Satisfaction – ABC News, Clayton Controversy Follow-Up

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) PAC Supports Former Hillary Clinton VP, Senator Tim Kaine, Other Anti-Trump Agenda Democrats

 

Thursday 10.11.2018

 

News Tips, Manufactured Housing Industry Comments on Big City’s Manufactured Home Promoting Commentary

Risk Taking! Kanye West, Jim Brown, POTUS Trump Oval Office Meeting, Plus MH Market Updates

Manufactured Homes – HUD Called to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Remove Zoning, Placement and Consumer Financing Barriers to Manufactured Housing

 

Frank Rolfe. Manufactured Homes and Communities. Industry Politics. It’s Complicated.

 

Wednesday 10.10.2018

 

Performer Taylor Swift, HUD Code Manufactured Homes, Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) PAC Donations, and 2018 Midterms

 

 

Media Claims New Story/ICON Builds 3D Printed Housing for $4000, Fact Check & Analysis

Reminder to Clayton Homes. Cavco Industries, and Skyline Champion Employees

 

Tuesday 10.9.2018

 

 

NBC Video – Federal Authorities Investigating Clayton Homes, Maxine Waters Denounces Lending “Discrimination” Against Minorities

Notice. Articles with similar themes found on MHLivingNews and MHProNews are not identical. This is a professional site, with a professional view of a topic.  On MHLivingNews, a broader context is presented, which aims to appeal to the general public.

“Act Now to Help Pass Amendment 2,” Says State Association

 

Monday 10.8.2018

 

“It’s the Economy, Kavanaugh” – Ted Cruz vs Beto O’Rourke TX Senate Race, Plus MH Market Updates

LinkedIn, Manufactured Housing, and Manufactured Home Industry Professional Insights

Blueprint Robotics Disruptive Aim at Modular Housing, and Factory-Building Technology

 

Attracting and Retaining Sales Talent – Evidence and Data-Driven Potential in Manufactured Housing

 

Sunday 10.7.2018

 

It’s Natural – Soccer, Home Town Pride, Lee Greenwood, Patriotism and Manufactured Housing – Sunday Weekly Recap 9.30.2018 to 10.7.2018

 

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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.

Their are still some professionals that tell us they’d rather not see anything political here on MHProNews. We understand and respect that view.  But we disagree, and here’s why.  Warren Buffett and his buddies are highly political.  They debatably use politics to help get what they want for their businesses. Furthermore, placement issues are all about local or state politics.

Ignore political considerations at your own peril.

The manufactured housing industry is marching towards the midterms, now just over 3 weeks away. No one in manufactured housing even comes close to the kind of breadth of coverage for the issues that impact your business. Maybe that’s why we’re number 1. Our sincere thanks to readers like you, our business development clients and sponsors for making it so.

Together with honest people of good will, we can make our industry and our nation achieve its great potential. “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.

October15-172018RSVPmanufacturedHousingFall2018LegacyHousing

The ad above is not connected to the story it is posted in. To learn more about this sponsor’s event, click here or the banner above.

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

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ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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

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

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

Related Reports:

Biblical “Talents,” Words, Ideas, Evidence, and Practical Impact on Manufactured Housing, Sunday Morning Recap, MHProNews Headlines Aug 26 to Sept 2, 2018

Clayton’s Surprising Result – Sunday Morning Weekly Recap, MH Headline Reports and News in Review Aug 19 to Aug 26, 2018

NBC Video – Federal Authorities Investigating Clayton Homes, Maxine Waters Denounces Lending “Discrimination” Against Minorities

October 9th, 2018 Comments off


NBCWBIRNewsClaytonHomesLogoManufacturedHousingNotMObileHomesManufacturedhomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

ClaytonHomesSubsidiariesDiscriminateLowModerateIncomeMinorityBuyersHighCostLoansLeaveMaxineWatersCA-DClaytonlogo21stMortgageLogoVanderbiltMortgageLogo

Still from the NBC WBIR 2018 video posted above.

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

DiscriminationChargesJimClaytonKevinClaytonFairHousingComplaintWBIRNBCStillDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

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

2018-10-09_1427SeattleTimesClaytonHOmesBrianSullivanHUSpokespersonDailyBusinessNewsMHPronews

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

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

2018-10-09_1416AustinFrerickWSJCLaytonHomesLendingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

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

HowClaytonHomesMakesMoneyAustinFrerickTwitterOpenMarketsDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

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

AustinFrerickOpenMarketsAntiTrustAntiMonopolyClaytonHomesWarrenBuffettPredatoryLenderMinoritiesMoreDailyBusinessNewsManufacuredHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Two Sides of the Clayton Allegations Coin

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

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

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

 

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

 

Why It Matters to MHVille

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

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

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

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

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.

October15-172018RSVPmanufacturedHousingFall2018LegacyHousing

The ad above is not connected to the story it is posted in. To learn more about this sponsor’s event, click here or the banner above.

(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:

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

 

Truth, Trump, Tragedy, Triumph, Affordable Housing, and Manufactured Homes

Draft EO for Trump Administration AntiTrust Order Obtained by MHProNews

September 24th, 2018 Comments off

 

DraftEOTrumpAdmininstrationAntiTrustOrderObtainedbyMHProNews

Longtime manufactured housing industry readers know that the issues of monopoly or antitrust concerns have grown in recent years.  These relate to several sources of perceived antitrust threats that debatably harm independents, consumers, the economy, and others in the industry.

 

There are obviously voices and agendas on each side of the issues that follow. 

President Donald J. Trump, and members of his administration, have increasingly voiced antitrust concerns in the areas surrounding certain tech giants and their perceived bias. That bias impacts the content and news Americans are exposed to in searches and social media feeds.  As Brad Parscale (see linked article further below) and others have argued, that in turn threatens election outcomes, and thus the democratic process. 

The Daily Business News on MHProNews has led the industry’s coverage about such anxieties, along with how it is potentially interrelated to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway brands, and their alleged efforts to establish a monopoly in manufactured housing.

So, the start of serious antitrust activity by the Trump Administration that aims at Google or Facebook should not be seen as being limited to those subjects alone.  Indeed, the president himself has signaled other possible targets of such anti-monopolistic federal legal actions. 

With that introduction, and noting the linked related reports herein and below, let’s provide the full text of the White House draft of an Executive Order (EO), geared at antitrust action, as provided by Business Insider. Note that the typo below is in the original.  It will be followed with additional commentary, links, and analysis.

 WhiteHouseDraftEOExcutiveorderAntiTrustDailybzusinessNewsmHProNEws

EXECUTIVE ORDER TO PROTECT COMPETITON AND SMALL BUSINESSES FROM BIAS IN ONLINE PLATFORMS 

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to protect American consumers and workers and encourage competition in the U.S. economy, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. Online platforms are central to American commerce and the free flow of news and information. Whether reading news or looking for local businesses, citizens rely on search, social media, and other online platforms to provide objective and reliable information to shape a host of decisions ranging from consumer purchases to votes in elections. Because of their critical role in American society, it is essential that American citizens are protected from anticompetitive acts by dominant online platforms. Vibrant competition in the online ecosystem is essential to ensuring accountability for the platforms that hold so much sway over our economy and democratic process. 

[Can expand this section, if necessary, to provide more detail on role of platforms and the importance of competition]

 

Section 2. Agency Responsibilities. (a) Executive departments and agencies with authorities that could be used to enhance competition among online platforms (agencies) shall, where consistent with other laws, use those authorities to promote competition and ensure that no online platform exercises market power in a way that harms consumers, including through the exercise of bias.

(b) Agencies with authority to investigate anticompetitive conduct shall thoroughly investigate whether any online platform has acted in violation of the antitrust laws, as defined in subsection (a) of the first section of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 12, or any other law intended to protect competition.

(c) Should an agency learn of possible or actual anticompetitive conduct by a platform that the agency lacks the authority to investigate and/or prosecute, the matter should be referred to the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission. 

(d) Not later than 30 days from the date of this order, agencies shall submit to the Director of the National Economic Council an initial list of (1) actions each agency can potentially take to protect competition among online platforms and address online platform bias; (2) any relevant authorities and tools potentially available to enhance competition among and protect the users of online platforms.

(e) Not later than 60 days from the date of this order, agencies shall report to the President, through the Director of the National Economic Council, recommendations on agency-specific actions in response to paragraphs (d) of this section. Such recommendations shall include a list of priority actions, including rulemakings, as well as timelines for completing those actions.

 

Section 3. General Provisions. (a) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(b) Independent agencies are strongly encouraged to comply with the requirements of this order. 

(c) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals. 

(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

 

###

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

Bloomberg and MHProNews reported last year that one of Warren Buffett’s more significant concerns is supposedly the threat of the breakup of Berkshire Hathaway. That breakup, should it occur, would be under some type of antitrust action, which could be initiated by federal regulators.  It could also involve civil antitrust cases, which can bring up to triple damages for a prevailing party.

Should serious antitrust case(s) occur, as it directly relates to manufactured housing, it would likely be caused by trend lines, facts, and factors such as those linked in the report and related video found in the linked report, below.

 

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

 

Any breakup or other major legal action that targets Berkshire, Clayton Homes, and their lending units would arguably send shock waves through the HUD Code home industry. It would have serious repercussions for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), which is widely seen as dominated by Warren Buffett led Berkshire’s MH industry brands.

Antitrust action may create an array of opportunities and activities for others not seen for over a decade in manufactured housing, for reasons that N.Y. Stern Professor Scott Galloway has expressed.

 

 

MHProNews will continue to monitor and report on this developing story. “We Provide, You Decide.” (C)

  ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

1. Terminology error – the word ‘trailer’ is in the original. It is unclear from the article if these are mobile homes, post-HUD Code manufactured homes, or a combination of both.

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

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

ManufacturedHomeIndustry#1HeadlineNewsMHProNews

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:

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

Warren Buffett Would be Okay With Clayton Homes Losing Money, Says Kevin Clayton – But Why?