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Democratic and Republican Policy Dilemmas, Affordable Housing, Economic Growth, and Manufactured Homes

February 18th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Let’s be clear. The publishers of MHProNews are political independents. We believe that affordable housing is a non-partisan issue.

 

A new report stresses the notion that Democratic and Republican lawmakers can and are working across the partisan political divide to promote manufactured homes as an important part of the solution for the affordable housing crisis.  That’s an encouraging example that Washington, D.C. could successfully embrace.  See that report by clicking on the linked text/image box below.

 

 

Democrats, Republicans Agree – “Manufactured Homes Can Play a Vital Role in Easing” the Affordable Housing Shortage

 

Ideally, bipartisan efforts to advance affordable housing could spell job plus household wealth creation.  The right policy supports and/or changes will either make common sense cures easier, or harder.  See the report below to learn more.

 

 

While MHProNews’ questions the practicality and constitutionality of many parts of the so-called Green New Deal, there are some stated positions taken by Democrats that we editorially believe makes sense. For example, Senator Elizabeth Warren has previously laid out a good case for antitrust action based upon existing law. We applaud her on that score, but more important, would encourage and celebrate its ASAP adoption.

 

Who Will Act? Will Senator Elizabeth Warren, and/or the Trump Administration Act to Restore Open Markets, Thereby Supporting Affordable Manufactured Homes?

 

House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters and some of her colleagues raised a warning a few years ago about Clayton Homes and their lending/businesses practices. That should be pressed by Waters and all on the House Financial Services Committee (FSC).

 

 

President Trump and some Republican lawmakers are similarly raising concerns about monopolistic practices that can unjustly twist the political process.  That goes beyond manufactured homes, and focuses on the tech giants known by the acronym #FAANG. While we believe in free enterprise, we oppose warped forms of rigged capitalism.  Free enterprise has rejected the trusts – monopolies – for decades.  That’s a position that Democrats and Republicans could agree upon. Beyond FAANG, Berkshire Hathaway and Microsoft (#BM) arguably should arguably be broken up under antitrust laws.  Doing so would achieve what Professor Scott Galloways said in the quotation below about the big four, but could be applied beyond those 4 to #DeFaangBM.

Put differently, there is a broad consensus that could be forged to advance not unconstitutional wealth redistribution, but rather enforcement of laws that may fine or punish some who have broken various laws.  That could also give more opportunities for new businesses and existing ones to emerge.

 

 

There is no logic or need to jettison what made America the wealthiest nation on earth. Rather, what is necessary is to apply the “American Way” principles of equal justice under the law that Democrats, Republicans, and Independents have effectively achieved at various points in times past.

 

Draft EO for Trump Administration AntiTrust Order Obtained by MHProNews

 

Breaking up monopolies is good public policy. Advancing affordable housing – including, but not limited to – the liberal use of manufactured housing just makes good sense too.

 

HomeOwnershipRatesUSCensusBureauDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It’s a disgrace that America is not in the top 20, 30, or even 40 nations on earth in the rate of home ownership.

 

Top49NationsInWorldInHomeOwnershipRatesGlobalHomeOwnershipRatesMHProNews602

Home ownership, as HUD Secretary Ben Carson often said during his first year in office makes a significant difference in growing the personal wealth of Americans.  Renting households, said Carson, have an average household net worth of $5,000.  The average home owner, by contrast, has a net worth of some $200,000.  The most proven form of affordable housing has been manufactured homes.

MostMenAppearnNeverConsideredWhatHouseIsNeedlesslyPoorAllTheirLivesHenryDavidThoreauManufacturedHomeLivingNews

For newcomers to the website not familiar with modern manufactured homes, learn more by clicking the image above or the link here.

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Citizens can’t easily stop political posturing or game playing.  But what voters can do is encourage their elected representatives to promote the proven solutions now that routinely don’t even require new legislation.   What is needed is enforcement of existing laws.

MHVille Exclusive – Democrats Senators Sign Anti-Competitive Practices Letter to DoJ, Plus MH Market Updates

 

Democrats and Republicans each have billionaire supporters.  Money won’t be taken out of politics anytime soon.  The FAANG and BM have armies of lobbyists.  They will want more regulation, not an antitrust breakup.  But only an antitrust breakup will achieve what is needed for the American people.

 

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

 

Implementing an agenda that is non-partisan and can give each side ‘political victories’ by using existing laws is a simple notion whose time has come. Polls reveal that the public wants bipartisanship, and they are also catching onto the serious levels of ‘fake news’ that exists.

 

Trust in News, Washington Post vs Investors Business Daily Poll Results, MHVille Impacts

 

Those who ignore those trends could pay the price in 2020.

 

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, a Novel Yet Proven Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis That Will Create Opportunities, Based Upon Existing Laws

 

President Donald J. Trump, the 45th president’s administration, the GOP, and Democrats can create trillions of dollars in new economic opportunities by implementing existing laws.  See the related reports above and below to learn more.” That’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Two Great Laws Already on the Books NOW,  Can Unlock Billion$ Annually for Manufactured Housing Industry Businesse$, Investor$

 

The First Step to Problem Solving and #HousingChoice

The “Need For Quality Affordable Housing Has Never Been Greater,” Says LT

 

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

 

“I knew right from the beginning.” When President Trump, First Lady Melania, VP Pence Toured Manufactured Home Community

 

The Ultimate Manufactured Home Industry Fact$, Data, and Insights – Bullets plus at-a-Glance Infographic

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

“Democrats Are Sinful Hypocrites. Just Like All of Us.” Weaponizing Information, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and MHVille

February 8th, 2019 Comments off

 DemocratsAreSinfulHypocritsJustLIkeAllofUsWeaponizingInformationWeaponizingINformationSenatorElizabethWarrenMHIvilleDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Erick Erickson is a one-time never-Trump Republican, who still quibbles over policy, strategy, and tactics with President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J. Trump. Erickson publishes a “Morning Briefing” and does radio.

 

So what? 

It goes without saying for seasoned managers, owners, and investors that facts, performance – and accountability – all matter. 

Experienced managers know the challenge of having someone look them in the eye, and lie to them.  Spin, lies, and half-truths are sadly common in our part of the affordable housing profession – just as they are in other professions. 

The scenario that follows is getting wide play in the mainstream media.  That makes it a useful illustration of challenges that exist within MHVille, without seemingly taking a side on hot-button issues that impact manufactured housing. 

Once the table is set in part one of this report, the Daily Business News on MHProNews will apply lessons from these current-event cases to issues that matter to manufactured housing.

With that tee up, let’s dive in. 

 

Part I – Political Weaponization of Information

A few paragraphs from his emailed “Resurgent” are an interesting, right-of-center perspective.  It is one that MHProNews has not normally sourced from the right, which balanced left-of-center sources such as the New York Times that we routinely consider.  The Daily Business News on MHProNews also receives updates from the Boston Globe, the flagship newspaper in Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (MA-D) state. We will return to Senator Warren’s portion of the headline, deeper into this column. 

There are scores of other inputs MHProNews turns to for information.  Sources run the gamut from within the affordable housing industry. They span political, economic, social, religious, health, and personal subgroups.  That plus outside media inputs offer a full range of insights or inspiration for manufactured home professionals.

As long-time readers know, we are eclectic.

 

MediaBiasChartSharylAttkissonLeftRightPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

“Check Your Facts,” “Follow the Money” – Journalist Sharyl Attkisson, Fake News, MHVille Takeaways

 

This article’s headline includes a direct quote from Erickson, shown again, below. That and his following paragraphs point to the developing controversy in VA over three scandals from three different top officials.  The screen capture below that precedes Erickson’s thoughts are from the ubiquitous Drudge Report. 

 

NYPostDrudgeVirginaIsFOrLosersDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The seemingly odd occurrences in Virginia are arguably illustrations of the “weaponization of information.” One can argue the merits of each of these troubling claims.  But each instance of the ‘weaponization of information’ ought to remind MHVille how a similar process impacts our industry, and the largely  honorable manner that manufactured home professionals honorably seek to serve millions of Americans.  That aspect of this will be explored, following the bulleted quoted paragraphs from Erickson, which are bracketed by two mainstream media videos that outline the specifics of the concerns in VA.

 

 

TheResurgentDemocratsAreSinfulHypocritesJustLikeTheRestofUsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

•          Both the press corps Democrats and the political Democrats have used President Trump’s election to advance the idea that their side is scandal free, racist free, and pure as the driven snow. They have asked Americans to ignore much and have loudly raised standards to impossible heights to ensure they have a moral advantage over their political opponents.

•          “Believe all women,” they claimed. Brett Kavanaugh was unqualified to be on the Supreme Court because of an unproven accusation. Then other, less credible allegations came in, some with stories that kept changing, and we were all supposed to still believe them.

•          Anyone who voted for President Trump was presumed to be a racist. Republicans had to quickly denounce anyone and everyone who said anything that even hinted at being racist. The Democrats have turned a blind eye to problematic bigots within their own party. They have used allies in the press to paint this bigotry as a Republican stunt.

•          But they cannot hide now thanks to Virginia. Read More…

 

 

 

The Slime

Mudslinging – no pun intended on the racially-sensitive blackface issue – has been a tactic in American politics for decades. 

Arguably, smear tactics have been used in the U.S. for centuries.  Candidate Trump was attacked in a similar fashion to the VA scandals above.  The lines of attacks are uncovered via “opposition research” or “oppo research” – which in Mr. Trump’s case produced the Access Hollywood/Billy Bush hot-mic video in 2016.

Apparently giving up hope that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation will bring down the 45th president, some in Congress now want his tax returns, hoping to find fact-based dirt – or the impression of dirt.  Per Forbes, the president’s net worth has declined significantly since he’s entered the White House.  

President Donald Trump’s net worth has declined by more than
$1 billion since the year he launched his presidential campaign
,” per CNBC on Oct 2, 2018.

So when a broad range of third-party evidence is considered, the Oval Office has cost the president money, not earned him more of it. 

Instead of being concerned about evidence of any specific crime, what the nation is witnessing is the targeting of individuals, hoping to find something embarrassing might topple a target – Democrat or Republican – out of office. 

The mere hunt for dirt, hope some, can create an impression of wrongdoing.

These examples make it clear that oppo research that aims to weaponize information occurs across the left-right, Democrat and Republican, and other divides. 

 

OppositionResearchDefinitionDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

Embarrassing oppo research is arguably targeting Senator Elizabeth Warren on her Native American issue. 

It should be noted that editorially, MHProNews and MHLivingNews have opposed specific policies of Warren’s.  But honest policy debates should be just that, done ethically.  That should include in Warren’s case giving due consideration to a theme of the Massachusetts senator that we editorially believe merits positive attention.   The #OpenMarkets issue can be accessed via the text/image linked box below.

 

Who Will Act? Will Senator Elizabeth Warren, and/or the Trump Administration Act to Restore Open Markets, Thereby Supporting Affordable Manufactured Homes?

 

It is idealistic to imagine that the oppo research industry and tactics will end as a result of the issues noted above and below.  Warren and her policies should be viewed apart from efforts to discredit her based upon the obvious error in judgment over her now past Native American claims.  That said, the same courtesy ought to be provided to others too, on both sides of the left-right divide.  That includes President Trump.  For example, the often used smear tactic of alleged racism should be as denounced and ignored as any yet unproven Democratic cases.  For more on the ‘racist’ claims, see the report linked below. Carson’s comments are noteworthy.

 

Is POTUS Trump Racist? “Here Today, Here to Stay” – HUD Secretary Ben Carson Sounds Off

 

 

Demeaning Opponents, “Opposition Research”

As noted, defaming an opponent – often by using carefully editing information – are examples of the ‘weaponization of information.’ It’s been going on for years, under the mantra of “Oppo Research.”  This issue can impact the purest among us.  It clearly influences public policy – via the dark-but-robust industry of opposition research.  See what the Google search below reflects.

 WeaponizingInformationOppositionResearchDailyBusinessnewsMHProNews603

 

Opposition research is big business.  Understanding the principles behind it arguably could help manufactured housing (MH) professionals and researchers better understand some factors that explain why manufactured home sales are underperforming.

 

 

Part II

The Weaponization of DATA, Business Information, and MHVille

MH Industry’s professionals of whatever political party, professional segment, or personal persuasion can see from Part I of this survey how some seemingly negative personal information is weaponized.

But there are other ways that data – facts, figures, plus quotes – can arguably be weaponized too. 

•          Information used to harm a perceived opponent or targeted party.

•          Information can be withheld that might benefit a perceived opponent.

•          Partial information – a mix of the good and bad – can create the illusion of balance, when it fact it can be a carefully crafted hit-piece. Brad Lovin, the Executive Director of the North Carolina Manufactured and Modular Homebuilders Association put it this way to MHProNews.

 

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

 

 

Every month, manufactured home data compiled and published by the Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) has disclaimers on it. IBTS collects shipment and production information by state on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which is the primary regulatory body for HUD Code manufactured homes.

That IBTS data has for decades had an * – an asterisk – on production totals where three or fewer production centers are located in that state. The reason IBTS does so is to protect proprietary information. 

But the reality is that “proprietary” information can be gained in a variety of ways. Some are licit, others are not.

MHProNews explored in 2018 reports how field representatives working for Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and other brands purportedly gather “intelligence.” Insights about other companies gathered by representatives of the Berkshire brands occurs when they visit a retailer or community.

So, one may not be a Clayton or 21st retailer – yet a firm could still have multiple files about any given operation on hand in various offices.

 

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

 

In January of 2019, other tips from well placed sources connected to the Berkshire brands operating in manufactured housing pointed to other allegations of an even more sinister use of data collection.   See that disturbing report, below.

 

CFPB and 21st, Second Shoe Drops? Flooring w/21st Mortgage Corp? Insider Tips

 

Some industry professionals’ wonders if the facts, video statements, and troubling revelations found in the report below were a one time tragedy in the past?

 

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

 

The evidence suggests, no.   

Rather, it seems to be part of an ongoing pattern of activity.  Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and attorneys that represent them have been asked to clarify, refute, or correct any of these items.  So far, silence. The opportunity for them to confirm or clarify is still open.

  

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Was Information Weaponized Against Her Presidential Aspirations?

The only intelligent answer to that subheading question is absolutely. Democrats and Republicans alike, per sources, have used the Native Americans ancestral claim against her. The issue is arguably aimed to derail the maverick progressive law professor and senator in her planned run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. 

Some even in her own party are already writing Warren off, due to weaponized information. Others – looking at POTUS Trump – say, not so fast.

The story from VA is just the latest in a series of such tales that could reach back for decades, or even centuries. Erickson is correct in saying that it applies to everyone. If you have ethical standards, then the odds are good that you’ve violated them. We’re all arguably ‘guilty’ of doing, or not doing, something we should have. 

If someone learns information about you that may even appear to be unsavory or unethical, that information can be weaponized and used against you in business, politics, personally, or whatever.

Most people arguably don’t think in these terms. That’s precisely what makes the weaponization of information useful to those who do so. They know it can be used to ‘turn off’ potential clients, customers, political, and public policy sources.  While MHProNews is not endorsing Senator Warren, we’ve spotlighted her for very specific reasons. There are – at least on paper – Democrats like Warren who say they favor strong anti-trust action.  What makes Warren’s plan more compelling than many is that she argues there is no new legislation needed.

If you are a Democrat, or lean Democratic, consider her fascinating case, presented here.

 

 

Industry Takeaways?

The ways that information can be weaponized are legion. It is why critical thinking is useful for managers, investors, and business leaders.  Just because someone postures being a friend, are they in fact a foe? 

Consider the troubling case of Regional Enterprises, reported below.  Per sources, they were treated as a top independent, until they weren’t. Friendly for years – then in one day, foes the next?

 

“Mobile Home Militia,” Retail/Production Sources, Sound Alarm Against Clayton Homes, CMH, New “Anti-Competitive Practices” Allegation

MHProNews has spotlighted numerous times purported examples of misinformation or the weaponization of information. Some are linked herein or further below. Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson sums it up well.

Follow the money. Follow the evidence. Think objectively for yourself.  Or as President Ronald Reagan periodically said, “Trust, but verify.” 

That’s tonight’s MH “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use© where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senator Elizabeth Warren, 2020 Presidential Prospect, Threatens Wave of New Regulations

June 6th, 2018 Comments off

SenatorElizabethWarrenThreatensWaveNewRegulations

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), blasted the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda Tuesday.   The progressive firebrand defended the post-2008 crisis reforms she helped implement, announcing legislation to end “corporate capture of the regulatory process,” per American Banker.

 

Her speech will accelerate speculation that she will be one of dozens of Democrats pondering a presidential run in 2020.

Warren said she plans to introduce bills to “padlock the revolving door between government and industry,” stop government officials from making policy decisions that personally benefit them, and empower government agencies to pass strong regulations to keep corporate influence out of the process.

Senator Warren “framed the Trump administration’s recent policies, including efforts to roll back Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules,” per AB, as a “war on regulations,” she said.

The so-called war on regulations isn’t about freedom,” Warren expressed during her speech at Georgetown University Law School. “The war on regulations is waged on behalf of giant companies that don’t want to follow any rules. So let’s call it what it really is — a war on public health, a war on public safety, a war on truly free and competitive markets, a war on American workers, a war on American consumers.”

That’s a clear challenge to the rising tide of some 2 out of 3 Americans who pollsters say believe that under President Donald J. Trump’s leadership, the economy is improving.

The answer is pretty simple — corruption,” Warren said. “Giant corporations and wealthy individuals are working in the shadows to make sure that government works for them, not for the people.”

Warren has blasted monopolistic practices before. But Secretary Hillary Clinton, who she supported in 2016, embraced the very corporate giants that Warren is now verbally blasting.

With recently rising markets suggesting that investors are regaining confidence that the White House could be correct on an array of domestic and foreign policy issues, and with Democrats like Doug Schoen saying that their party is locked in their own civil war between moderates and de facto socialists, the senator the president has dubbed “Pocahontas” will be one to watch.

With Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) government relations insider, Nathan Smith of SSK Communities, along side Warren Buffett’s well known pro-Democratic leanings, industry members must ask: if the achievements under the Trump Administration will be undone with their tacit or active support if a Warren win became reality? “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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Fed Reports = American Household Net Worth Soar$

 

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Warren Wages War

March 9th, 2018 Comments off

WarrenWagesWarBombersManufacruredHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Investors routinely say that they prefer “certainty.” That’s true for investors in manufactured home communities, stocks, or businesses.

 

The growing economic confidence during the year following the 2016 election witnessed a well-reported rise in stocks.  That was fueled in part by regulatory rollbacks – the “certainty” caused by an easing of business conditions imposed by the federal government.

The run-up and final passage in late 2017 of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act fueled more investor enthusiasm.  Again, ‘certainty’ – plus higher returns on investments – were part of the motivating factors for those who don’t want excessive risk for their capital.

But in the last two months, Wall Street’s equity markets have become choppier.

Among the reasons?

Less certainty over issues like Federal Reserve policies. In the last few weeks anxieties over the looming issue of the Trump Administration’s tough talk on tariffs have emerged.

The headline for this Daily Business News report is an interesting, because there are “two Warrens” that have impacted manufactured housing, and business in general America.

Both Warrens are Democrats.

One is Warren Buffett, and the other is Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Both Warrens are waging wars.

But one Warren has in a sense declared war on the other one.

WarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawaySenElizabethWarrenDMAInquistrTheNationManufacturedHousingIndsutryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Strange Bedfellows, and the Upcoming 2018 Midterm Elections

 Politics makes for strange bedfellows,” said Charles Dudley Warner, per Brainy Quotes. It means “Political interests can bring together people who otherwise have little in common,” says Dictionary.

Elizabeth Warren and President Donald J. Trump can fall into that category, with each trading public barbs on the other.  Yet, on the issue of concerns over monopolistic practices, the two may be become de facto political allies. Both are and have been expressing concerns over monopolies, and how they those monopolies harm competition in the marketplace, the economy, and ultimately, job losses, and wages.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Warren Buffett both supported Secretary Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. In 2020, sources say that the Massachusetts Democrat may be among several hopefuls for her party’s nomination to oppose presumptive GOP favorite, POTUS 45 Trump.

IBTInternationalBusinessTimesWarrenBuffettHillaryClintonDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Senator Warren has been an outspoken supporter of the Dodd-Frank legislation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that bill created under President Barack Obama. She supported Richard Cordray’s handling of the CFPB.

While it reportedly makes Berkshire Hathaway’s 21st Mortgage Corporation President Tim Williams unhappy to have it mentioned, Warren Buffett strongly supported both candidate Barack Obama in each of his presidential election bids, and he backed Secretary Clinton too.

VicePresidentMikePenceWifeKarenHandOverHeartPledgeColts49ersGameWashingtonTimesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Notice. One may agree or disagree with 21st Mortgage CEO and prior MHI Chairman Tim Williams’ presentation, from which the slide above was taken with permission. At the same time, one logically ought to question how Williams was being intellectually at odds with Berkshire Hathaway Chairman, Warren Buffett. Williams full presentation is linked here. http://www.MHProNews.com/industry-news/industry-in-focus/is-tim-williams-21st-mortgage-ceo-mhi-chair-at-odds-with-berkshire-hathaway-chairman-warren-buffett

 

Among the reasons cited by Mr. Buffett? His support for Clinton’s position on the CFPB and Dodd-Frank.

The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is championing the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (H.R.1699, S. 1751) legislation to repeal parts of Dodd-Frank harmful to manufactured home lending, retailers, and selling land-lease communities (a.k.a. ‘parks’).

MHI must ignore the logical disconnect between their then chairman Williams blasting “the progressive agenda,” and Buffett’s very public support for Obama-Clinton support for Dodd-Frank.

The graphic above “Threats and Challenges” is from a power point presented by Williams to MHI members.  It was provided to MHProNews by a source with ties to 21st and MHI. Again, note the obvious contradictions?

Is Williams seriously opposed to his boss Buffett?

After all, Buffett says he supports progressive causes, and Democratic candidates.

Or is it, as industry insiders say, a form of shadow boxing – political play-acting – made to appear like an effort to help retailers and communities is underway?  When in fact Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman openly supported Clinton’s support, which included her support for Dodd-Frank?

The contradictions are too great to ignore.  Nor will MHI, or the Berkshire Hathaway brands in manufactured housing explain it, as repeated opportunities to do so have been offered by MHProNews.

 

Some Things Defy Logic…

Clinton Delivers DoddFrank Defense to Wall Street. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett will fundraise with Hillary Clinton,” reported Bloomberg in December 2015.

Yet just days before, Secretary Clinton wrote in a New York Times op-ed that, “As president, I would not only veto any legislation that would weaken financial reform, but I would also fight for tough new rules, stronger enforcement and more accountability that go well beyond Dodd-Frank.”

Why did Wall Street and Buffett support Clinton?  Because the big banks have grown under Dodd-Frank, as even Senator Warren admits.

It’s the smaller banks and lending institutions that have suffered.

If it seems confusing, it is simple once one thinks as Warren Buffett does – long-term, and per the thesis of the Nation’s recent series on monopolies – in terms of crushing the competition.

How handy is it from Mr. Buffett when the federal regulators – in this case, the CFPB – are the ones doing the crushing for the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway?

It’s “Fair Warning,” not “I Told You So”

 

Warren vs. Warren, Strange Bedfellows, and Manufactured Housing

Sen. Warren opposes S 2155, which is currently the hot topic for MHI on Capital Hill. She opposes Preserving Access too. MHI’s prior chairman has reportedly given Democrat Sherrod Brown campaign contributions. Interesting, because Brown has also come out against S. 2155, as the Daily Business News recently reported.

Brown and former MHI Chair Nathan Smith, of SSK Communities, are said to be chummy. Cincinnati reported that Smith’s cell had Sen Brown’s personal number, and Open Secrets also reported his support for Democratic candidates, including Barack Obama and Secretary Clinton.

Senators Warren and Brown have both blasted S 2155.

Senator Warren has also stated her concerns over monopolistic practices and how that hurts the economy, workers and smaller business.  Warren’s House colleagues have specifically called out Warren Buffett on Preserving Access and the troubling business practices.

An Elizabeth Warren video is predominately promoted by Americans for Financial Reform, which boasts 50 organizations opposing Preserving Access, with several manufactured home owner groups named among them.

Perhaps it is that strong opposition that has been factored in by GovTrack and Skopos Labs, which give S. 1751 only a 3 percent chance of passage in the Senate.

 

SkoposGovTrack2018-03-09_1219PreservingAccessManufacturedHousingActDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act’s sad odds of passage that the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is unlikely to publicly admit to, are at 3 percent. Why spend millions on a plan that has such low odds? This report and the details linked help shed light on that question.

 

Following the Money, and MHI Disconnects

The rather public disconnects between MHI’s stated positions and what key people at or behind MHI has been reported more widely in the past eighteen months on the Daily Business News.

MHI has literally written checks to candidates who support or even co-sponsored Dodd-Frank and the Safe Act. Berkshire’s Buffett, former MHI Chairman Nathan Smith of SSK communities and others supported Secretary Clinton, who opposed Dodd-Frank changes.

NathanSmithSSKCommunitiesFormerManufacturedHousingIndustryMHIChairmanDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews2018-03-09_1245NathanSmithOpenSecretsContributionsDailybuinssnewsMHProNews1

NathanSmithHillaryClintonSSKcommunitiesDailyBusinessNewsOpenSecretsMHproNews2018-03-09_1243

Let’s be clear. Nathan Smith, Warren Buffett, or anyone else, can support whomever they want to. That’s not the issue. The controversy here is that Smith is a leader at MHI, was the Chairman, is on the MHI PAC and GR committees, and yet was supporting those who opposed Preserving Access. It’s the contradiction of saying one thing, and doing another. That’s the issue that MH investors, professionals, and MHI members must focus on. Where is the logic?  The solution to that is spelled out in this and linked reports.

As MHI asks the rank and file of the industry to support this or that cause, bill, or candidate, each industry member may be tempted to give the benefit of the doubt to the national association.

As one community-retail operation president told MHProNews, most people are too busy trying do their day-by-day operations to pay much attention to what may look complex.  So, they often work on trust, and that is an advantage that Warren Buffett and others apparently count on (see the resource links, after this article for quotes and more details).

So perhaps not enough industry pros are looking at the actual track record of MHI?

Because bills MHI claim to support, or positions they advocated for, have often proven to enrich or benefit a few, while harming or cutting off opportunities for the many.

Discovering that MHI track record of legislative failures doesn’t take much research.  Preserving Access is just one example of the disconnects between what MHI claims to want to do, and what leaders like Buffett, Smith and others actually are doing.

SupporterdByMHIVotedForDoddFrankSafeActDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It’s like supporting politicos with donations that have taken positions that the association claims to be against.  See the above.

While other’s in America are concerned about monopolies and how they harm different industries, by contrast, MHI prefers to deny it.

100YearsAgoTodayNationMonopoliesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Manufactured housing isn’t alone. But other industries are bucking up in their respective industries.  Why isn’t MHI doing the same as MHARR, which has sounded this alarm? See concentration in manufactured housing in the pie shaped graphic, further below.

 

Warren’s War on Monopolies, Like Buffett’s

Senator Warren’s theme that antitrust can be used to protect small businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators, workers and just about everyone else from the ‘rich and powerful,’” averred the National Law Review, “shows that increasing antitrust enforcement has become a key party line for the upcoming” midterms, said the right-of-center New American.

I was very pleased that the entire Democratic caucus signed onto a statement of principle that urged stronger enforcement of antitrust laws as one of our promises to the American people.” Elizabeth Warren, The Nation.

In recent years,” according to the Democratic “Better Deal” platform, “antitrust regulators have been unable or unwilling to pursue complaints about anticompetitive conduct.”

It was a rare rebuke to Obama’s record, reflecting a shift in Democratic thinking on monopolization,” says the Nation, which cited Presidents Obama and Bush 43 as both being weak on antitrust (anti-monopoly) enforcement actions.

I believe in markets,” Senator Warren said. “But markets work only when everyone gets a fair opportunity to compete.”

Just look at the numbers: 

 

  • Four airlines control over 80 percent of domestic airline seats. 
  • Five health-insurance giants control over 80 percent of the health-insurance market. 
  • Three drugstore chains have 99 percent of the industry’s revenues.
  • Four companies control over 85 percent of America’s beef market.
  • Two giants sell over 70 percent of all beer in America.

That’s a big problem. It’s a problem because, when a few big players control an entire industry, it has devastating impacts on both the economy and our political system,” Senator Warren said.

Left, right, or center, those facts are hard to argue.

She didn’t say so, but using MHI’s own data:Warren Wages War, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Manufactured Housing Institute, MHI, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, VMF, Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, prior, former, MHI Chairman,

  • 3 companies control some 70 percent of manufactured housing.
  • If the Skyline – Champion deal goes through as expected, that will become some 75 percent market concentration in 3 companies.

Isn’t that the same pattern Senator Warren and others are expressing concerns about?

ManufacturedHomesMarketShareMHIMembersClaytonCavcoChampionDaiyBusinessNewsMHProNews

But it’s not just small-business owners who are forced to play a rigged game. When big companies control concentrated industries, as Bryce Covert makes clear in “Monopolies Harm Workers Too,” they can pay their employees less, because there aren’t other businesses around to make better offers,” said an editorial in the Nation, which cited Warren Buffett and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and others among the new breed of modern monopolists they are concerned about.

The big fight now is to make the Justice Department and the [Federal Trade Commission] and other agencies use the tools they already have to protect competition. I’ll give you three steps that the federal government can take to revive competition: Block anticompetitive mergers; stop anticompetitive conduct; and prioritize protecting competition,” Senator Warren said.

Progressive “Nation” Reports on Monopolies Cites Buffett, Clayton, Others – MH Industry Impact?

 

Summing Up…

Senator Warren has declared war on those who are monopolists and who support changes to Dodd-Frank. She has also prepared for battle on S 2155, or any other attempts to roll back Dodd-Frank.

Warren Buffett has, per the Nation, declared a different kind of war to take dominate certain sectors, and that includes manufactured housing. “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning,” said Warren Buffett, per Good Reads.

Kevin Clayton, Warren Buffett’s CEO over Clayton Homes jokes about Buffett’s hating two kinds of competition, foreign and domestic.

The Atlantic predicted years ago what has been coming to pass in terms of Clayton/Berkshire dominance over manufactured housing. Clayton freely says in the video linked among the resources below that Buffett wants the moat expanded.  Clayton said Buffett is willing to lose money (they haven’t, but would he said) for 5 years, so long as the moat kept expanding.

Isn’t that a classic anti-competition statement? One Kevin Clayton made on camera, in a video?

The logic of this is simple, once you understand the Buffet/Clayton/MHI moat concepts.

So long as competition is being harmed, passing Preserving Access or not means little to Warren Buffett/Berkshire/Clayton; so long as the moat is growing.

MHI has been dominated for years by Clayton dues, and Berkshire Hathaway brands holding 2 of the 4 key board positions on their executive committee.

That’s also obvious from quotes above about Buffett’s support of Secretary Clinton and President Obama, not to mention the linked information below.

Eric Belsky at Harvard believed manufactured housing could dominate home building by the end of 2010; but what he apparently didn’t count on was Buffett and their “Moat,” and how those sharks in the water work.

So, what is Preserving Access all about?  Insider sources say, it is a distraction.  It postures an effort, which win, lose or draw, benefits Berkshire Hathaway’s ‘the moat’ strategy.

There are reasons why a number of state associations quit MHI.

Others that haven’t quit are sticking in, some sources have told MHProNews, because of the power of 21st over independents (see report, linked below).

21st sources have told MHProNews, that they do business with those guys (Rolfe’s RV Horizons, MHU et al), and late last year, Rolfe announced he would not comment any more on such industry issues.

But if Rolfe never said another word, or if he completely shifted his tune, what he’s already said about MHI, their failure to defend the industry from outside attacks, and their doomed to ail Preserving Access plan were and are devastating. What more needs be said?

 

Independents, Defense and Offense

There are perhaps steps that could be taken by individual retailers and communities.  It could logicaly start with something as easy as no longer supporting MHI.

But survival strategies must begin with an understanding and acceptance of the painful reality that the industry’s largest association – MHI – is, as the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) said, working for the interests of a few conglomerates.

Independents, small to mid-sized players take note.  Once mighty Fleetwood retail finally failed, about the time that 21st sent out their ‘smoking gun’ letters (see resources, below).  The Fleetwood of today, and the Champion of today are rebirths of once giant companies that were bankrupted by forces that arguably included the Berkshire Hathaway onslaught.

With Buffett’s manufactured housing industry connected brands,

  • moves on subjects such as DTS,
  • their control or influence over much of the lending (21st, Vanderbilt Mortgage (VMF) and Wells Fargo,
  • their financial and political clout,

…the threat to independents must be seen as serious.

Even in the stable manufactured home community sector, if capital and lending are cut, the value of properties drops dramatically.

Consolidation has increased, according to MHI’s own data.  Forces across the left-right political divide are pointing to monopolistic practices, as key causes.

Will Democrats and some in the GOP, including President Trump and his administration work together to solve the crisis caused by what the Nation has called modern monopolistic forces?

That legal battle is one that manufactured home investors and professionals should consider. Because as this and other analysis have alleged and outlined, whatever happens on Preserving Access or other regulatory forces benefit Buffett’s brands, no matter what happens.

A growing chorus of voices from inside and outside of manufactured housing are saying that smaller businesses, workers, and Americans are paying the price for that kind of market power.

The Warrens have both declared war. Buffett on industry’s he seeks to dominate. Independents, workers and Americans are caught up in the smoke of war, in what Senator Warren, the 45th president, and others have called “a rigged system.” ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Related:

Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Asks Industry Members to Ask Senators to Support S 2155, Behind the Scenes Details

Maxine Waters Statement, Preserving Access Manufactured Housing Act 2017, Warren Buffett, Clayton Homes

Frank Rolfe: Pressured into Silence? Manufactured Housing Industry, and Journalism

Warren Buffett’s Annual Report to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders, Clayton Homes and Manufactured Housing

Kevin Clayton Interview-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes CEO

Federal Manufactured Housing Program Review Comments Due Next Week, 2.26.2018

Urban Institute Ask for Correction in Analysis of their Manufactured Housing Research, “Follow the Facts,” “Follow the Money”

Warren Buffett, “the Moat,” Manufactured Housing, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt, Wells Fargo, NAI…

State Associations, Companies Quit Membership in Manufactured Housing Institute, (MHI), One Explains in Writing, ‘Why?’

MultipleReasonsExpectManufacturedHousingDoBetterThanSiteBuiltHousingEricBelskyEecDirJointCenterHousingStudiesHarvardUnivDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

At the time Belsky made this prediction, manufactured homes were selling over 250,000 new units per year. This year, MH won’t reach 40,000 of that total. What happened?

Lawsuits for Triple Damages – Anti-Trust, Anti-Monopoly Law, Manufactured Housing, and You

Killing Off 100s of Independent Manufactured Home Retailers, Production Companies – Tim Williams/21st Mortgage “Smoking Gun” Document 2

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

GSE’s Duty to Serve MH Rigged, Benefits 21st, VMF, Clayton, Buffett’s Berkshire, Harming Consumers & Independents, per MH CEO, Calls for Congressional Investigation

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Whistleblower Spotlights Tech Giants Threat to American Business, Left & Right Politicos React

September 4th, 2017 Comments off
GoogleDontBeEvilCreditEwoowDailyBusinessNews

Featured image credit, Ewoow.

Google, Amazon and Facebook were platforms that could become tools “to snuff out competition,” Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) warned during a keynote speech at a New America Foundation, Open Markets event in 2016.

Voices on the political and economic left and right share her concerns.

Anyone who loves markets knows that for markets to work, there has to be competition. But today, in America, competition is dying. Consolidation and concentration are on the rise in sector after sector. Concentration threatens our markets, threatens our economy, and threatens our democracy.”

Every one of those bullets in her speech have been spotlighted in recent weeks on the Daily Business News, though not always in ways that the senator may have had in mind. Warren’s full speech is available here for download.

Along with the rest of the population, tens of thousands of manufactured housing professionals use Google.  Many industry pros use their pay-per-click, and other marketing and tech services too.  Google’s dominance in search is an issue that touches almost everyone who is “wired.”

Threat Perceived by Both Political Left and Right 

That warning from Senator Warren’s speech was made a year ago, per Business Insider.

Now, the realities behind her warning may becoming more obvious to citizens and leaders across the spectrum, as will be reflected in this report.

Google’s Massive Anti-Trust Fine

SenatorElizabethWarrenonMonopoliesCreditNewAmericaDailyBusinessNews

Image credit, New America Foundation. Warren’s full speech is available here for download.

In June, Google was fined a record-breaking $2.7 billion in a European Union (EU) anti-trust ruling that determined that they unfairly favored their own products over their rivals, per the New York Times.

In Europe, companies must compete on the merits regardless if they are European or not,” Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s antitrust chief said recently. “What Google has done is illegal under E.U. antitrust rules.”

Hours later, an article appeared on the New America Foundation’s website, praising the EU for standing up to Google on this matter.

The New America Foundation is a public policy think-tank. It has received over $21 million from Google, Eric Schmidt – the executive chairman of Alphabet, parent company of Google – and the Schmidt family foundation, since 1999.

Until 2016, Schmidt was also the chairman of New America Foundation.

EricSchmidtGoogleCreditMarketingDirectoDailyBusinessNews

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. Image credit, Marketing Directo.

Not long after the article was posted, New America heard from Schmidt.  He told the group’s president, Ann-Marie Slaughter, that he disagreed with the article.

For a brief time, the article was removed from the organization’s website.

However, it was back up only hours later. New America says it was due to “an unintentional internal issue,” not because of the disagreement with Google’s Schmidt.

Just How Much Can Tech Giants Like Google Influence?

I’ve been there for 15 years,” Barry Lynn told the Guardian. “And for 14 everything was great. In the last year or so it has got more difficult. And from every piece of evidence that we are seeing that has to do with pressure from Google.”

Until recently, Lynn ran Open Markets, which was a New America Foundation initiative.  That Open Markets’ research has led to liberal, moderates and conservative criticism of tech giants – like Google – who are dominating their respect parts of a given market.

That research may have cost Lynn – and the entire Open Markets team, consisting of both full-time employees and volunteers – their place at New America.

I criticized Google. It got me fired. That’s how corporate power works,” Lynn titled an article he contributed to the Washington Post.

Does that kind of corporate power reveal itself in manufactured housing? Certainly, it does from the prism of Google, Facebook and social media.  But are there other ways that such corporate power is revealed?  A previous Regulation Nation Daily Business News report explored that question.

RegulationNationMHYouManufacturedHousingInduistryResearchReportsDataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

New America

AnnMarieSlaughterCreditNewAmericaDailyBusinessNews

Anne-Marie Slaughter, president of New America Foundation. Image credit, New America Foundation.

Days after Anne-Marie Slaughter, president of New America Foundation, got complaints from Schmidt, she wrote “the time has come for Open Markets and New America to part ways,” in an e-mail to Lynn, per the New York Times.

She also made a point to state that the decision was “in no way based on the content of your work.”  But Lynn believes otherwise.

We are in the process of trying to expand our relationship with Google on some absolutely key points,” Ms. Slaughter wrote in email to Mr. Lynn, urging him to “just THINK about how you are imperiling funding for others.”

The official reason for parting ways with Open Markets, is because of “imperiling the institution as a whole.”

Lynn believes that New America was afraid of losing the funding from Google, one of their biggest backers.

Google is very aggressive in throwing its money around Washington and Brussels, and then pulling the strings,” Lynn said. “People are so afraid of Google now.”

Google is a very sophisticated team of people. They know how to spend their money and wield their influence in ways that usually get them what they want,” Lynn said.

In terms of researchers, the danger is that research and work writing about Google, about platform monopoly in general, work that should be be doing for the good of the American public will not be done.”

Google’s Influence Over Public Opinion, and ELS’ Sam Zell’s ‘Math’

The Daily Business News recently reported on how ways that companies like Google, Facebook and Apple – among others – can influence public opinion.

But also important to manufactured housing professionals are how allegedly monopolistic corporate power exerts influence over the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and through that body, to almost every facet of the industry.

SamZellEquityLifestylePropertiesChairmanRegulationsHarmSmallerBusinessResultConsolidationMHProNews

In a previous, and regulation/monopoly related Daily Business News report, ELS’ same Zell laid out the facts how regulations harm smaller businesses, which results in consolidation. Consolidation leads to monopoly. To see that report, click the image above or the link here.

 

  • ELS Chair Sam Zell,
  • MHI Vice President Jenny Hodge
  • and others inside and outside of manufactured housing have made written allegations and/or video statements that lead some to a compelling and troubling conclusion. Heavy regulations force small businesses, out of business, and into the hands of consolidators.

Over time, those consolidators can become monopolies. Consider the graphic further below, produced by Cavco Industries.

Cavco is lead by Joe Stegmayer.  A 2003 article in Forbes revealed concerns by some Clayton Homes stockholders over the then pending acquisition by Buffett is this quote. “I’m perplexed,” said Stegmayer, a former Clayton division president. “Jim Clayton is not one to be scared by down cycles.” 

Consider too this quote from the same Forbes article, 

The mobile home [sic] industry has been in a four-year funk following a period of irrational exuberance and overexpansion in the 1990s. The business seems to be bottoming out. Why sell out now? Even with the merger premium, Clayton shares would be fetching 60% of what they traded at a year ago.”  Why, indeed?

DefiningSICinJournalismDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-comAnd this too from that Forbes report in 2003, If Buffett captures Clayton, it will be his second dip into the [manufactured housing industry] business. He soon will be the largest shareholder in Oakwood Homes, thanks to special bankruptcy loans that moved his claim on assets ahead of other creditors’ claims.”  Those were the steps that lead to Clayton’s dominance in manufactured housing today, as is reflected by Cavco’s graphic, below. 

IndustryMarketShareClaytonCavco63%ManufacturedHousingIndustryDataResearchMarketStockReportsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Clayton and Cavco, per the chart above, are now some 62% of the industry’s total production. Between the two largest firms, they control 3 out of the 4 seats on the Manufactured Housing Institute’s all-powerful executive committee. To see the Cavco report this chart comes from, click here.

Another report last week revealed Democratic lawmakers and others who are concerned over what they called a “near monopoly” of manufactured housing

So Google and tech giants are just the tip issue that policy advocates are concerned about.

Back to Google and New America’s Denials of Their Influence

TyraMarianiCreditNewAmericaDailyBusinessNews

Tyra Mariani, Vice President of New America Foundation. Image credit, New America Foundation.

New America financial supporters have no influence or control over the research design, methodology, analysis or findings of New America research projects, nor do they have influence or control over the content of educational programs and communications efforts,” said Tyra Mariani, Executive Vice President of New America Foundation.

Further, a press release from New America Foundation in response to the New York Times article states that the separation from Open Markets is something that has been in the works for months.

For the past two months, we have been working with Barry Lynn to spin out Open Markets as an independent program, as we have done with other programs, to preserve his leadership, keep the program together, and maintain a strong relationship with New America,” the press release reads.

New America holds itself to high standards of transparency, diversity, and independence. We are proud of the work we do and the values we uphold.”

NewAmericaFoundationCreditLinkTankDailyBusinessNews

New America Foundation logo. Image credit, LinkTank.

New America Foundation also made the e-mails to Lynn available to the public for transparency – but only Slaughter’s end of the conversation was provided. The e-mails are available for download here.

Google has also released a statement on the matter, per the New York Times article.

We don’t agree with every group 100 percent of the time, and while we sometimes respectfully disagree, we respect each group’s independence, personnel decisions and policy perspectives,” said Riva Sciuto, a Google spokeswoman.

How Big of a Threat do these Tech Giants Pose?

The claims that Lynn is making against New America Foundation, and Google are ominous. They aren’t to be ignored, say policy advocates on the left, center and the right.  For an example beyond Senator Warren’s concerns that those giants could crush competition from smaller businesses, was a more recent voice from the right that raise the same issue of monopoly.

Now former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon proposed that companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon should all be treated and regulated as monopolies.

WhiteHouseChiefStrategistSteveBannonWantsGoogleFacebookTreatedLikeMonopolies

Image credits are as shown, text and collage credits, MHProNews.com.  Note our recent report that Harvard/MIT has after extensive study determined that Bannon and Breitbart are not racist or “alt right.” See that report, linked here.

Open Markets and Lynn are exposing these issues through their research and publicized claims.

Google, and Other Monopolies Impact on Manufactured Housing

There are two ways that the challenge of monopoly being raised impacts almost everyone in manufactured housing.

The first is that Google is picking winners and losers billions of times daily in their search results.

While SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was and is important, many are ‘buying their way’ to the top of page on results.  That creates more revenue for Google, and tilts the playing field towards those who pay more money to Google. In an industry such as manufactured housing, that means that the larger the company, the more likely they are to be buying traffic, through Google, Facebook or others.

The second impact is perhaps only modestly more subtle.

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIMapArlingtonVA1655NFortMyerDr#200ArlingtonVAAcrossWashingtonDCDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

MHI’s location at 1655 N Fort Myer Dr. #200, Arlington, VA 22209 – across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

MHI claims to represent all aspects of manufactured housing, as the collage graphic from their website below demonstrates.  So when MHI addresses – or fails to address – an issue, it can tend to spillover onto smaller entities that may not have the same ability to reply to public concerns. 

That pattern has been demonstrated many times in recent years.  Some examples are: 

For independent companies in the manufactured home industry, such patterns can lead to the “worst of all worlds,” as MHARR said recently in a report.  MHProNews has published that organization’s concerns for several years, as MHARR spotlights ways MHI agenda impacts independent businesses.  

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHILogoMissionStatementSelfDescriptionUmbrellaAssociationDailyBusinessNewsIndustryNewsResearchDataCommentaryMHProNews

So be it Google, tech giants, MH industry lending or other forces within manufactured housing itself, professionals experience the various ways potential monopolies can impact smaller businesses.

CampaignForAccountabiltyClaytonHomesLogoBerkshireHathawayVanderbiltMortgageRacismSteeringPredatoryLendingDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews720x403

Several left-of-center news media, Democratic lawmakers and non-profit groups are apparently converging around a narrative that Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage, and 21st Mortgage are exercising monopolistic influence over the industry, through their domination of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). See that report linked here, or by clicking the image above. George Allen, a generally right of center blogger and part-time defender of MHI, has called MHI an “oligarchy,” which he defined as power in the hands of the few. Find Allen’s and other industry professional’s comments, linked here.

As the recent report – found in the linked image above – documents how Democratic lawmakers and others are accusing Berkshire-Hathaway and their units of being a “near monopoly.”  The Daily Business News has tracked the steady pattern of industry “consolidation” by Clayton, and to a lesser extent, number two producer, Cavco Industries. But that consolidation is happening beyond production, to other parts of the industry too. 

WarrenBuffettBerkshireHathawayClaytonHomesLogoDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchReportsMarketsMHProNews

Under-reported until last week is the true extent of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway’s divisions lending domination. Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, and 21st Mortgage and Finance are all well known.

But Wells Fargo is a top 5 manufactured home industry lender too, which Buffett’s Berkshire has a large stake.

So Berkshire’s brands dominance in manufactured home lending is larger than many may have previously believed.  Did their dominance influence how MHI approached the Duty to Serve issue?

DougRyanAmericanBankerManufacturedHousingMonopoly-postedDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryProNews-575x237

While MHI’s SVP Lesli Gooch has denied the charge, Doug Ryan at CFED, and long time MHI member, George Allen, are among those who’ve raised the issue of monopolistic practices by MHI. Soheyla Kovach approaches this from a fresh and unique perspective, as her report and analysis linked below proves.

Lesli Gooch, Sr. VP at MHI pushed back against CFED/Prosperity Now manufactured housing pointman Doug Ryan’s claim that MHI’s Berkshire units are a monopoly.  While a legal determination would be needed for that allegation, the quiet – or periodically vocal and visible – debate on MH Industry concerns over monopoly and how it impacts independent businesses in manufactured housing will rage on.

Back To Google…and “Citizens Against Monopoly”

BarryLynnCreditProMarketDailyBusinessNews

Image credit, Pro Market.

These effects are in so many corners of the political economy,” said Lynn.

The Open Markets team will stay together and continue to research and report on the growing threat of monopoly by tech giants under a new name, that has yet to be determined.

In the meantime, they have launched a website called Citizens Against Monopoly, which accuses Google of “trying to censor journalists and researchers who fight dangerous monopolies.”

This concentration affects our economic well-being.  It’s what explains why, for example, the percentage of Americans who own their own businesses has been falling for the last generation.  As more and more of the economy become sown up by monopolistic corporations, there are fewer and fewer opportunities for entrepreneurship,” Lynn wrote in his Washington Times article. ## (News, analysis.)

(Editor’s note: The EU has already decided that Google has violated their anti-trust laws. The concerns and allegations noted above in Julia Granowicz thoughtful report spotlights a variety of voices, which span the political and economic spectrum.  They serve as a reminder to this question.  Does MHI/key members of theirs violate RICO, or anti-trust policies? “We Provide, You Decide.”   ©

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RICO Act graphic, credit YouTube.  Click here or the image above to see that special report.

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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.

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

 

“Game on, MotherF—kers,” Kid Rock’s Non-Profit, Explores Senate Run w/MH Video

July 28th, 2017 2 comments

GameOnMotherF---kersKidRockSenateBidDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAre you scared?” – asks, Kid Rock, near the end of his “Greatest Show On Earth” video.

It’s one of the two that the country-rock former rap star has released since floating that he will run for the U.S. Senate in his home state of Michigan.  The star’s second home is a camo multi-sectional manufactured home, see that recent report and video, linked here.

If Kid Rock runs for the U.S. Senate, “he’ll win,” said Tom Shillue, on Fox Business’ Mornings with Maria.  

Democrat celebrities “don’t have the pulse of the people,” says Shillue, “but Kid Rock?  I’m mean, He’s America.”

Kid Rock, like President Donald J. Trump, has the advantage of celebrity – opined Shillue.

The currency is celebrity. You need money to get into politics…The celebrities cut out the middle man.”

Notice: Videos With Salty, Salty Language & Images


Kid Rock, who’s real name is Robert James Richie, put up the website KidRockforSenate.com after he found out his name was being thrown around for the 2018 run for Senate. What he modestly says he didn’t expect was the support received.

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Image credits are as shown.

He’d be running against Democratic Senator, Debbie Stabenow.

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I was beyond overwhelmed with the response I received from community leaders, D.C. pundits, and blue-collar folks that are just simply tired of the extreme left and right bulls**t,” the singer said.

While some doubt the run is real, others say it’s in-your-face obvious, the same as Kid Rock himself is.

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Either way, for now he’s only officially planning to create a non-profit organization that would encourage people to register to vote.

The one thing I’ve seen over and over is that although people are unhappy with the government, too few are even registered to vote or do anything about it. We have over a year left until an actual election, so my first order of business is to get people engaged and registered to vote while continuing to put out my ideas on ways to help working class people in Michigan and America all while still calling out these jackass lawyers who call themselves politicians.”

 

During this time while exploring my candidacy for U.S. Senate, I am creating a 501©(4)— a nonprofit organization for the promotion of voter registration. Not only can I raise money for this critical cause, but I can help get people registered to vote at my shows,” Kid Rock said in an announcement.

Former New York Governor George Pataki called Kid Rock “exactly the kind of candidate the GOP needs right now.”

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Kid Rock backed Romney in 2012. YouTube Video Still.

Senator Elizabeth Warren was also quoted in an interview as stating, “Well, maybe this is all a joke — but we all thought Donald Trump was joking when he rode down the escalator at Trump Tower and announced his campaign, too. And sure, maybe this is just a marketing gimmick for a new album or tour — but we all thought Donald Trump was just promoting his reality TV show, too.”


Rock pushed back on Warren’s comments, which may also be a sign of what’s to come for Democrats.

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See that report, linked here.

The Daily Business News recently featured Kid Rock’s manufactured homes-image laced other music video, see that report, linked here.

We will be scheduling a press conference in the next 6 weeks or so to address this issue amongst others, and if I decide to throw my hat in the ring for US Senate, believe me…it’s game on motherf—kers.” — Kid Rock # #

(Programing note: Readers should keep an eye out for a the upcoming MHLivingNews story that features Kid Rock and his camo-manufactured home in Nashville, TN.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-com Submitted by Julia Granowicz for Daily Business News on MHProNews.

Senator Elizabeth Warren Raises Concerns over non-bank Mortgage Servicers

October 29th, 2014 Comments off

mortgage    andyenstallblog  creditInstrumental in the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and a strong proponent of financial reform, U. S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), noting the rise in non-bank mortgage servicers, is asking the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the risks to consumers.

A report by the Federal Housing Finance Administration-Office of the Inspector General says,The nonbank special servicers do not have the same capital requirements as a bank, which means they are more susceptible to economic downturns. Such downturns could substantially increase nonperforming loans that require servicer loss mitigation while at the same time impact the ability of the servicer to perform.”

According to housingwire, in a letter to the GAO, along with Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), they say,We are writing to request a study of the vulnerability of nonbank mortgage servicers to economic downturns given the lack of capital requirements applicable to these servicers and of the risks posed to consumers by continued growth in nonbank specialty mortgage servicing.”

A recent report from Fitch Ratings says of all private-label securities by loan count, nonbanks now service 74 percent, an increase from 48 percent in 2004, and nearly all of the 74 percent is in the hands of the top five nonbank servicers. Ocwen Loan Servicing, Nationstar, Select Portfolio Servicing, Green Tree Servicing and PHH Mortgage Corp. hold 64 percent of all non-agency servicing. Fitch Managing Director Roelof Slump said, “Nonbank servicers have grown significantly through the sale and transfer of difficult-to-service loans from large banking institutions.

New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky says Ocwen backdated letters to possibly hundreds of thousands of borrowers. “In many cases, borrowers received a letter denying a mortgage loan modification, and the letter was dated more than 30 days prior to the date that Ocwen mailed the letter,Lawsky writes.These borrowers were given 30 days from the date of the denial letter to appeal that denial, but those 30 days had already elapsed by the time they received the backdated letter.”

Ocwen apologized for the errors in their correspondence system, saying of the 283 borrowers in New York who received letters with incorrect dates, 281 continue to be borrowers. However, Moody’s, Bank of America and Evercore Partners downgraded Ocwen’s ratings, and company stock fell 20 percent. As MHProNews has learned, the stock remains 20 below the initial reading one week later. ##

(Image credit: andyenstallblog)

(matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comSubmitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews)