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Posts Tagged ‘Warren Buffett’

Clayton Homes, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, New Online Ad Campaigns Revealed

July 3rd, 2019 Comments off

 

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Examples of the truth hiding in plain sight?

Examples of two of Clayton Homes and their lending arm, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), online ads are shown below.

 

In the light of their new ad campaign it may now seem counterintuitive – or deceptive? – for Berkshire Hathaway owned Clayton Homes to be telling the professionals in the manufactured home industry that it seeks to elevate the image of manufactured housing. 

Why?

Because recent ads on the Bing browser are featuring Clayton Homes advertising their housing products as “Mobile Homes” [sic].  Here is one of Clayton Homes new online ads, from a screen capture earlier this week.

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SICSicutJournalismDefintionSocietyProfessionalJournalismDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

DefinitionsTerminologyFactoryBuiltHomesMobileHomesModularHomesManufacturedHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Clayton’s captive lender, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), is doing something similar.  They are using a nicer looking model home, but that may or may not make it better than the Clayton ad, above.

 

VanderbuiltMortgageFinanceVMFBingAdsOnlineDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews2019-07-03_1037 

 

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Media Outlets

It is worth Noting that Bing is part of the Microsoft family of brands, per their own website.

Bill Gates is the famous principle founder of Microsoft. 

 

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Warren Buffett Donates Billions More, Behind the Curtain Impact on Manufactured Housing

Warren Buffett recently donated over a billion dollars in additional Berkshire Hathaway stock to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett is a lifetime trustee of the nonprofit.

Manufactured housing has sought for years to shed the “trailer house” and “mobile home” image. 

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. Despite the example of Clayton Homes and VMF, strive to make it a habit of using the correct terminology. Encourage your team to do the same.  It can and does pay off in your local market.

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

But for whatever reason, these new online ads with Clayton’s name and logo suggest that the Knoxville, TN metro-based firm is doing other than what ads like the prior report on their video image campaign below claim. Their online ‘image’ video ad, approaching 2 years online, has only had a few thousand views.  Doesn’t it look like posturing to the industry more than a serious effort to change the image, especially in the light of their new online Bing campaign?

 

2019-07-03_1028ClaytonHmesHaveItMadeImageVideoDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

To see the report and video shown in this still image, see the report linked below.

Clayton Homes “New” Image Campaign, Surprising Facts Behind Have it Made Stigma Attacking Video

 

Is it any surprise that with this kind of marketing, and the problematic support by Buffett through nonprofits of MHAction, that manufactured housing is now into 9 months of year-over-year declines? Are they being ‘crazy like a fox?’

 

 

 

That’s today’s latest installment of the industry’s most-read trade publication, the original and still #1 home of manufactured home industry “News Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. ## (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.)

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Submitted 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.

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

Clayton Homes Owned Sales Centers Reveal Surprising Trend

Insights on Manufactured Housing From Obama White House Federal Archives

“Incestuous” Lobbying? Kings of K Street, Revolving Door, Big Tech, Berkshire Hathaway – Follow the Money

 

America – the Story of US – Declaration of Independence

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warren Buffett Donates Billions More, Behind the Curtain Impact on Manufactured Housing

July 3rd, 2019 Comments off

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CNBC recently reported that Warren Buffett has donated billions more in Berkshire Stock to 5 ‘charities.’ 

  

In an exclusive ‘deeper dive’ report on MHLivingNews, there are facts laid out including how many billions and to what causes they were given. That includes several quotes from Kevin Clayton and others.  Those quotes, facts, and more that are presented shed light on vexing manufactured housing industry issues. 

We’ll likely know later today from official sources if the 8-month year-over-year decline in manufactured housing has continued. 

Either way, up or down, some of the reasons the industry is snoring instead of soaring are laid out in that new analysis.

To see that penetrating report of importance to professionals, investors, advocates, manufactured home owners, home seekers, and public officials, click the linked text/image box below.

 

 

That’s today’s predawn installment of “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. ## (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.)

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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.

1) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Resources

Submitted 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.

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

Insights on Manufactured Housing From Obama White House Federal Archives

“Incestuous” Lobbying? Kings of K Street, Revolving Door, Big Tech, Berkshire Hathaway – Follow the Money

 

America – the Story of US – Declaration of Independence

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to Say Goodbye, Lessons Learned, What’s Next

June 12th, 2019 Comments off
TimeToSayGoodbyeLessonsLearnedWhatsNextSarahBrightmanAndreaBoeceliManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Still from the video, further below.

People invest in, open or maintain a business with certain goals in mind. Among them is to serve a slice of the public, and for ‘white hat’ operations, to earn a profit honorably in some form or fashion.

 

 

The ways that honest profit can be earned are as many and varied as the imaginations of millions of people in America make possible. Which is why, to a certain extent, the notion of ‘one size fits all’ is an illusion.

It is axiomatic that there are no too people exactly alike. The country singer John Rich posted earlier this week on the Daily Business News on MHProNews will appeal to thousands of readers here, but to some more than others. This duet of Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli, singing their classic “Time to Say Goodbye” (1997) will move some to tears from just listening to it — even if you or they don’t grasp the meaning of the words so passionately performed.

On the time played this morning, about 5:49 AM ET, the video duet has had 44,864,417 views, some 229k ‘thumbs up,’ and only 10k ‘thumbs down.’  

Think about it. Over 44 million views. More on that another time too.

While each of those data points regarding Time to Say Goodbye” has significance, it clearly reflects that far more people are moved by this musical performance than those who are turned off by it. What about you?

What does this have to do with manufactured housing? Nothing; and everything. More on that further below too.

First, listen to and watch if you can this video. Then, following the lyrics, we will do some industry professional related commentary.

 

 

 

 

Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli – Time to Say Goodbye (1997)

According to the YouTube page of axedagobert22, the video posted above was published on Oct 18, 2012. 

The axedagobert22 post explains that “In November 1996, Andrea and Sarah Brightman were invited to perform the duet ‘Time To Say Goodbye (Con Te Partirò)’ at the farewell contest of the German World Light-Heavyweight boxing champion, Henry Maske. A national hero held in unrivaled esteem, he is known for his love of selecting entrance themes to his bouts.  

Sarah Brightman, the internationally renowned soprano and friend of Henry Maske heard ‘Con Te Partirò‘ in a restaurant while dining with her friends. Entranced by the singer and the song, Brightman made contact with Andrea. Andrea and Brightman re-recorded ‘Con Te Partirò‘ as the duet ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ with members of the London Symphony Orchestra.  

This live version is from Brightman’s first full concert recording, “Sarah Brightman: In Concert”, from London’s Royal Albert Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Paul Bateman. Guest artists include Andrew Lloyd Webber, Adam Clark and Andrea Bocelli. The concert was released to video in 1998.

The concert was directed by David Mallet.”

 

The YouTube page doesn’t have the lyrics. But as regular readers know, we strive to provide a complete picture, so we did some digging – curation – and those lyrics are provided below.  The English version is on top, the original Italian is below. 

To better appreciate the richness and meaning, Classic FM provided this insight: In summary: they’re saying goodbye to countries they never saw or shared with each other, but now they are in fact going to go to those countries… except they’re traveling there on ships which don’t exist anymore… so it’s time to say goodbye again.

Hmm. Maybe the lyrics are better appreciated in Italian.”

Here are those lyrics, per the source cited below. 

 

Time To Say Goodbye

 

Time To Say Goodbye

When I am alone

Quando sono solo

 

Dream on the horizon

Sogno all’orizzonte

 

And the words are missing

E mancan le parole

 

Yes I know there is no light

Sì lo so che non c’è luce

 

In a room when the sun is missing

In una stanza quando manca il sole

 

If you’re not with me, with me

Se non ci sei tu con me, con me

 

On the windows

Su le finestre

 

Show everyone my heart

Mostra a tutti il mio cuore

 

That you turned on

Che hai acceso

 

Close inside me

Chiudi dentro me

 

The light that

La luce che

 

You met on the street

Hai incontrato per strada

Time to say goodbye

Time to say goodbye

 

Countries that I never

Paesi che non ho mai

 

Saw and shared with you

Veduto e vissuto con te

 

Now I’ll live them

Adesso si li vivrò

 

I’ll go with you

Con te partirò

 

On ships over seas

Su navi per mari

 

That I know it

Che, io lo so

 

No no they do not exist anymore

No, no, non esistono più

 

It’s time to say goodbye

It’s time to say goodbye

when you are distant

Quando sei lontana

 

Dream on the horizon

Sogno all’orizzonte

 

And the words are missing

E mancan le parole

 

And I do, I know

E io sì, lo so

 

That you are with me, with me

Che sei con me, con me

 

You my moon, you are here with me

Tu mia luna, tu sei qui con me

 

My sun, you are here with me

Mio sole, tu sei qui con me

 

With me, with me, with me

Con me, con me, con me

Time to say goodbye

Time to say goodbye

 

Countries that I never

Paesi che non ho mai

 

Saw and shared with you

Veduto e vissuto con te

 

Now I will live them

Adesso sì li vivrò

 

I’ll go with you

Con te partirò

 

On ships over seas

Su navi per mari

 

That I know it

Che io lo so

 

No no they do not exist anymore

No, no, non esistono più

 

I will relive them with you

Con te io li rivivrò

 

I’ll go with you

Con te partirò

 

On ships over seas

Su navi per mari

 

That I know it

Che, io lo so

 

No no they do not exist anymore

No, no, non esistono più

 

I will relive them with you

Con te io li rivivrò

 

I’ll go with you

Con te partirò

 

Me with you

Io con te

 

Songwriters: Francesco Sartori / Frank Peterson / Lucio Quarantotto

Time To Say Goodbye lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Peermusic Publishing, Sugarmusic s.p.a.

—- End of lyrics, credits. —-

 

For those willing to step outside of the box, many things are possible, but none are accomplished without risk, effort, or struggle.

When you entered this field of endeavor, you too had some expectation or vision.  Perhaps that has been encouraged, perhaps it has been dashed, derailed, or shunted down an unexpected track.  You can cry about it, laugh, or dig in and do your best to figure it all out.

Our publisher likes to reflect on the occasion when the late Howard Walker, JD, longtime assistant chairman for Sam Zell’s Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), approached him at an MHI meeting, saying with feigned outrage, ‘How dare you bring culture to a manufactured housing industry event?

Those who knew Walker will get it. Those who never met him, might get a glimpse into the man from those few words.

First on MHLivingNews, but later posted on MHProNews, is a very different type of infographic than the one produced by MHI.

Why is it so different? Because one cannot reduce the manufactured housing industry’s varied customers and members without reflecting in some manner the broad range of people who have found appeal in the homes our industry has and continues to produce.

 

UltimateManufacturedHomeHousingInfographicNotMobileHomeTrailerHouseFactoryBuiltHomeIndustryDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews-600

 

Among the manufactured housing retailing firms that Clayton Homes has purchased are those which did factory built as well as on-site built housing. That no doubt fit a broader agenda.

This website isn’t about us, it is about professionals like yourself. Some love rock, others rap. Your customers may listen to music in in their pickup or car that is Spanish or English. Depending on your market, you may have people who speak Farsi at home walking into your establishment.  Or you may have those who speak Mandarin, French, Greek, or a Slavic tongue.  Down under, they may speak English, but their accent is different than ours here in the Colonies.

It pays to have some cultural appreciation and awareness.

It pays to be able to think outside of the box.

Easy doesn’t pay well,” observed John Bostick, Chairman of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR), and President and CEO of Sunshine Homes.

Some things can’t be hurried, said Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. On that point, using the principle of separating wheat from chaff, we concur with the man who has hung his hat in Omaha.

 

WarrenBuffettQuoteNowMatterHowGreatTheTalentOrEffortsomeThingsJustTakeTimeYouCantProduceABabyInOneMOthByGettingNineWomenPregnantMHProNews

Colorful? No doubt. One must separate wheat from chaff, with all people, organizations, and things.

 

What music plays in your office? Do you use headsets? Or is it playing audibly, in a manner that others might hear it too?

Does that music connect – or separate – you from others?

The methods of connecting with people are varied. Here or MHProNews, we illustrate and provided content in a full range of ways, because there is a full scope of experiences and potential for connecting.

 

One of our earlier
Inside MH videos…

…still a very relevant interview.

 

Out industry is underperforming. It is almost guaranteed that your location(s) are too.  To some, that is an ‘inexplicable’ downturn, given the affordable housing crisis. But to be honest, figuring out why that downturn exists isn’t too hard for those willing to step outside their comfort zone and seek the truth.

Let’s be clear.  Even our fans or sponsors of MHProNews and MHLivingNews don’t always feel comfortable with something we publish.  That is especially so for those who read here, but aren’t fans of ours at all.  Part of the job of authentic media – be it mainstream or trade journalism – is to challenge people, especially when circumstances demand it.  You can find syrupy cheerleading somewhere else only, but you better take toothpaste, an electric tooth brush, and some dental floss with you.  Because after reading some competing voices for too long, their content might rot your teeth – or turn your mind into mush.

To get beyond underperformance, one logically must begins with understanding. After understanding begins, then one must move on to action plan and begin to execute the necessary steps. In an housing industry that does north of 1.5 trillion dollars a year in sales, there is simply no excuse for doing under $8 billion dollars in total retail last year.  That’s embarrassing. But that means there is tremendous upside. 

 

Time to Say Goodbye…

We are soon going to say goodbye to this version of our MHProNews website. The new version is approaching. There will be road bumps. C’est la vie! That’s life!

Once the new version is up, and the inevitable bugs are tweaked, there will be new manufactured home industry initiatives launched as well as fostered.

Our parent company – LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC – are planning for the brighter future for the white hats of our industry, because we are true believers.

 

HowardWalkerPhotoELSViceChairmanManufacturedHomeCOmmunitiesManufacturedHousingInstituteExecCommitteeMemberQuoteTransparencyMHProNews

Thoughtful words, worth pondering.

 

There is a need for new events, new business alliances, and new visions that can be achieved instead of the sweet-sounding words found elsewhere, which they write while the industry is shrinking and consolidating during an affordable housing crisis.  Common sense alone tells the doers in our industry that it isn’t weather, or inventory adjustments, or tariffs, or whatever other excuses some peddle.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson has made certain things possible in his efforts before and during the Innovative Housing Showcase (IHS). He’s built on the efforts of other who came before him, but he has also led the way in several laudable efforts.  More on that in the linked related reports, below the byline and notices.

But much more needs to be done, because the HUD Code manufactured home industry is in a downturn during an affordable housing crisis. One might aptly think of this as a ‘manufactured crisis.’

Because a handful of people could snap their fingers, and the manufactured home shipment decline would reverse. Never, ever forget that point.

That point means that those who are scratching their heads must study, understand, plan, and then act.

 

JohnPaulJonesIHaveNotYetBegunToFightWeveOnlyBegunToFightWikiManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

Together with people of good will, we plan to take the Time to Say Goodbye, but do so in a manner befitting this classic and moving duet.

More later. Thanks for checking in. Sign up for our industry leading 2x weekly emailed news updates at the link above or below.

 

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Because for some, the best is yet to come. For others, it’s time to say goodbye to the limited vision, and time to sing a new song of opportunities fraught with the internal and external challenges that lie ahead. That’s what the words carpe diem are for, it is time to seize the day. 

 

WarrenBuffettQuoteIfYouCannotControlYourEmotionsYouCannotControlYourMoneyManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

Does this fit the theme of this post? As they say in Wisconsin, youbetcha.

 

That’s this edition of News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

Related Reports:

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HUD Secretary Ben Carson Address to Innovative Housing Showcase, Complete Official Speech Text

Secretary Ben Carson’s, Julian Castro’s Manufactured Housing, “Trailer,” “Mobile Home” Revelations, 2020 Battles Ahead

“Cribs with Carson,” Tiny House, Manufactured Homes, Innovative Housing Showcase, National Mall, Washington, D.C. Video Report

George Orwell, All Issues Are Political Issues, Manufactured Housing Challenges, and You

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brief History and Objectives of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR)

June 1st, 2019 Comments off

 

BriefHistoryObjectivesofManufacturedHousingAssociationForRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeNews

It’s the start of home ownership month. The White House said in a statement to the Daily Business News on MHProNews the following.

 

National Homeownership Month, we acknowledge the benefits of sustainable homeownership. Homeownership continues to be an important option for many Americans to invest in their communities, build wealth, and achieve the American Dream.”

During a recent discussion, the topic of the history of the trade association that is based in the nation’s capital arose.  MHProNews obtained the following history directly from that trade group, which will be followed by some commentary.

 

“The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) was established on July 3, 1985 as the “Association for Regulatory Reform” (ARR). The Association changed to its current name in the summer of 1997.

Based in Washington D.C. since its founding, MHARR was formed to represent the views and interests of producers of manufactured housing. A major source of the nation’s supply of non-subsidized affordable homes, the manufactured housing industry is federally regulated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) — the only segment of the housing industry to be regulated at the federal level. MHARR is dedicated to maintaining a regulatory framework which promotes both the availability and affordability of manufactured housing — an objective now enshrined in federal law thanks to the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, which MHARR successfully sought, promoted and advanced to enactment. Its primary and enduring mission is to protect, defend and advance the interests of its members and the manufactured housing lifestyle for American consumers of affordable housing.

Since MHARR’s establishment, the production of manufactured housing has become increasingly competitive and complex. As the industry has matured, numerous state and federal agencies have sought to impose rules and regulations that could significantly impact its cost and availability as a prime non-subsidized housing resource for Americans at every rung of the financial ladder.

Within the industry, the voice of manufacturers — the segment of the industry most directly affected by federal regulation — has tended to be merged with that of other segments of the industry, including retailers, suppliers, finance companies and community developers. Each such segment has its own specific interests and perspective, but unless manufacturers’ views can be articulated, published and advocated independently, the representation of those views is unavoidably weakened by being merged into an “umbrella” representation, which necessarily must be the lowest common denominator among various diverse segments of the industry.

The industry has also witnessed the emergence of a new type of manufacturer with large retailer and financing affiliates. That segment of the industry may also have different needs than smaller and medium-sized independent manufactures. Consequently, the primary objective of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform is to enunciate the consensus view of manufacturers, so that their experience, understanding and approach will be considered in the formulation of any law, rule standard or regulation that is imposed on the industry.

Necessarily, though, the interests of manufacturers – and consumers – are unavoidably impacted by activity and developments affecting the post-production sector of the industry (i.e., activity and developments affecting manufactured homes and consumers once such homes leave the factory). Such activity – by government or quasi-governmental actors – can negatively impact both the utilization and availability of manufactured homes for large segments of the public and can significantly constrain that availability, to the extreme detriment of all concerned.  Current examples of this phenomenon include the failure of the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) to provide securitization and secondary market support for manufactured home loans in accordance with existing law and discriminatory and exclusionary zoning and placement restrictions on manufactured homes in many more densely-populated areas of the United States.  Because of this indisputable reality and the fact that the long-term absence of any type of independent, dedicated national representation for the industry’s post-production sector has allowed such problems to multiply and fester, MHARR has taken (and will continue to take) the lead on these matters as well.

Ultimately, though, it is axiomatic that there is no regulation without economic cost — particularly for a federally regulated industry. That cost, inevitably, will be passed on to the purchaser. Overall, therefore, MHARR seeks an improved environment for the growth of the industry and for the availability of affordable manufactured housing to American consumers through fair, reasonable and cost-effective federal regulation. Furthermore, the Association is dedicated to reassessing all existing regulations periodically to determine their cost, merit and relevance, and to measuring each new law and regulation against the same criteria, with the principal objective of protecting manufactured housing consumers while simultaneously ensuring the continuing availability of safe, affordable, non-subsidized manufactured homes.” ##

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEODannyGhorbaniPhotoManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReformLogoDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

There is evidence that MHARR punches above its weight class, as this report outlines. They do so without a PAC.

 

It should be noted that the above lines up with their often mentioned self-description, “The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform – MHARR – is a Washington, D.C.-based national trade association representing the views and interests of independent producers of federally-regulated manufactured housing.”

It is self-evident that MHARR is an advertiser, as has been the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), based in Arlington, VA. It should be further noted that a number of state manufactured housing associations have been clients of MHProNews.

With those disclosures noted, let’s add a few of our own observations to what MHARR said.

MHARR has at times worked directly with consumer groups, such as the National Manufactured Home Owners Association (NMHOA).  Sources in each group have indicated that the efforts have proven to be mutually beneficial on certain regulatory efforts.

By contrast, Berkshire Hathaway’s Chairman Warren Buffett’s donations have been made to the NoVo Foundation, which in turn donated to the controversial, left-leaning Tides nonprofit, which in turn has given to MHAction. Since MHProNews reported that, MHAction changed the footer on their website to more clearly disclose their relationship to the left-of-center Tides. See the composite image below.

 

MHActionLogoWarrenBuffettGeorgeSorosPhotoTidesFoundationLogoDailyBusinessNewManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProsNews

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

 

As thousands of manufactured home industry professionals have learned on MHProNews, Buffett has de facto funded a key source of information cited by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver episode errantly dubbed “Mobile Homes.”  More can be learned at the hotlinked text-image box above, as well as from the link to Oliver’s video and MHLivingNews’ analysis of that viral hit.

Arguably the strongest backer of the Arlington, VA based MHI is the Omaha based Berkshire Hathaway brands, such as Knoxville metro-based Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).

Note that when MHARR gets mentioned by the mainstream media, it is because they’ve helped de-throne Pam Danner from her role at Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Manufactured Housing Program (OHMP), per the Washington Post.

Or it was when MHARR helped stop the destructive energy standards plan that MHI was initially pushing, until MHARR lined up allies to put a halt to a scheme that would have reportedly raised prices by thousands of dollars per unit, and would not have been recovered during the normal timeframe that a resident stays in their home. Consumers already have the option to buy Energy Star rated manufactured homes, and some frankly need a lower price point in order to own a home.

Rephrased, on issue after issue, MHARR has for decades fought MHI on items that were already or could have harmed the industry.  HUD Secretary Ben Carson famously told Senator Thom Tillis that the regulations he reviewed during Danner’s tenure where “ridiculous.”

It should also be noted that Buffett’s ‘dark money’ backing of MHAction via the NoVo Foundation and the Tides nonprofits arguably helped make possible the disruptive protest of HUD Secretary Carson’s address at MHI’s own meeting last year.

 

 

It is MHARR that is pushing for the full implementation of “enhanced preemption” under the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, which could open up numerous markets nationally for manufactured homes.

 

EnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReform4-26-2019ManufacturedHomesMHProNews

 

By contrast, “enhanced preemption” is not even a phrase which is not even found on MHI’s website. Why not?

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIwebsiteEnhancedPreemptionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews2019-06-01_0437

MHI’s outside counsel, John Greiner at Graydon law has informed MHProNews that they monitor our content. We’ve also asked MHI, Clayton, 21st, and other Berkshire brands to respond to such allegations. They’ve ducked each time for months.

RevDonaldTyeJrManufacturedHousingAdvocateQuickestWayWealthIndustryVoicesMHProNews500

Put differently, MHARR shoots straight.  They mean what they say and do what they say. By contrast, past and current members of MHI have said that the trade group works like a secret society that favors a few ‘big boys’ while ignoring the interests of the few.

 

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

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

So, yes, while MHARR advertises with MHProNews, we spotlighted their work for several years prior to receiving the first relatively modest ad payments.

MHIMHECMHARRlogosWeProvideYouDecideManufacturedHOusingMHProNews487

 

By contrast, we were critiquing the handling by MHI of issues, such as Preserving Access, which we in principle supported, but learned painfully later that MHI and their powers that be apparently never intended for it to pass.

 

Rope-a-Dope – Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, Mom, Dad, & You

 

There is purported evidence:

 

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

 

With affordable housing and antitrust allegedly predatory behavior by several big boy members of MHI already hot topics in Washington, the next obvious step is for the House and the Senate to open public investigations, and call Berkshire Hathaway, their manufactured housing brands, and MHI in to testify under oath about issues that this publication and MHLivingNews have been reporting on for some years.

 

Senate Democrats – Including 2020 Presidential Contenders – Ask CFPB Protect Consumers Against Predatory Lenders — Point Finger at Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Lending

It is national home ownership month. There are two metro Washington trade associations at work, one for the interests of independents and by extension, consumers, and that is MHARR.

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

3ErasMobileHomesManufacturedHomesManufacturedHousingImprovementActEraSkylineChampionShipmentProductionGraphicMHProNews

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

 

Then there is another one – MHI – that has allegedly worked against the interests of independent businesses, as well as against the interests of millions of consumers.

 

Manufactured Home Communities’ Dodd-Frank Moment Looms, Senator Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Several Manufactured Housing Institute Community Members

 

The powers that be can’t duck the fact that we are the runaway most read in our industry, precisely because we take on the topics that other trade media in MHVille won’t touch.

 

DearTonySoheylaNoGreaterResourceSpeakstoIssuesOpportunitiesWeFaceAsIndependentRetailersGusRodriguezTejasHomesTX

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

TomFathCreatedAnIndustryUnderAssaultQuoteWeSucceedWhenCustomersAreHappyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEwsTonyGetsItAlColeOxfordBankTrustManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

CaseyMackLegacyHousingManufacturedTinyHomesKudosMHProNews

HowardWalkerJDELSViceChairmanPhotoManufacturedHouisngInstituteMHIExecuitiveCommitteeBoardMemberDailyBUisnessNewsMHProNews

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

TimWilliams21stMortgagePublicationDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNews

 

 

There is no escaping the fact that this publication has been pro-consumer, and pro-ethical, sustainable growth from the outset. Once the evidence began to mount that MHI could not be so inept as to make all the mistakes it has, that begged the question.  Did they have a hidden agenda?

Mark Weiss didn’t answer that directly, but he did say that there was an “Illusion of Motion” present at MHI.

 

DannyGhorbaniFormerMHIVpQuoteFoundingMHARRPresidentQuoteDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Now you know the rest of the MHARR efforts vs. the mounting allegations against MHI story.

 

Ross Kinzler Confirms Allegations, MHEC Peer Claims “Association Malpractice;” Member Backstab, MHI Failure Concerns

 

There must be a reason why MHI has failed to promote HUD Secretary Carson’s fine support for manufactured housing.

HUDSecretaryBenCarsonManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoMHISiteSearchMHProNews

The same was true early this morning. Do you think they will update it during this weekend? Add the Carson speech next week? Ever? If not, why not?

Saturday’s look at manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

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

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues, May Updates

 

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Senate Democrats – Including 2020 Presidential Contenders – Ask CFPB Protect Consumers Against Predatory Lenders — Point Finger at Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Lending

May 28th, 2019 Comments off

SenateDems2020ContendersAskCFPBProtectconsumersAgainstPredatorLendersClaytonHomes21stVanderbiltWarrenBuffettLogophotosManufacturedHomeMHProNews

U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) led a group of eight other Democratic Senators in calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to improve transparency around manufactured home financing, according to a release from the office of Senator Cortez.

 

Senator Cortez was joined in the letter signed “by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.),” said the statement informing the Daily Business News on MHProNews.

The letter, found at the link here, was dated May 9, 2019.  To date, there is no known response found in an online search on this topic made by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, or Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF).

Specifically, the letter from Senate Democrats did not name a company, which is potentially more problematic for independents.  However, it did link to the Seattle Times/Center for Public Integrity report found at this link here.  That report specifically names Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway’s manufactured home lenders, and Warren Buffett.

It begins with this paragraph, “Billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett controls a mobile-home empire that promises low-income borrowers affordable houses. But all too often, it traps those owners in high-interest loans and rapidly depreciating homes.” For new readers, note that MHProNews often turns quoted text brown and bold to make it ‘pop,’ but otherwise the words are as in the original.

The original letter from the Democratic Senators is linked as a download here, and said in part “We urge the CFPB to work with consumer advocates to design and implement an appropriate disclosure form that ensures manufactured home buyers understand their options and are not steered into high-cost loans.”

Their provided copy of the letter is not scannable, so MHProNews recreated a scannable (readable) version for online researchers, which is found as a download linked here.  Thus far, no one in the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis have published a response to this Democratic initiative.  Why not?

SenateDemocratsSignLetterCFPBManufacturedHousingPredatoryLendingMHProNews2019-05-27_2024

There are times that MHProNews waits to see what response, if any, Omaha based Berkshire, Knoxville metro based Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage, and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, or the Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) makes. Recall Nathan Smith’s pledge that MHI should become more pro-active? Where is the evidence for that in this report? Are we to think that the manufactured housing’s powers that be don’t know about this Democratic call to action?

 

What to Expect?

Should Democrats retake the Senate and White House and hold the House of Representatives in 2020, expect this document to be a harbinger of what’s to come. Recall the deep dive on the Masthead, linked here.

That’s this morning 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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Shocking, True State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, plus Solutions for Profitable, Sustainable Growth – May 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

May 27th, 2019 Comments off

 

shockingTrueStateofManufacturedHousingINdustryPlusSolutionsProfitableSustainableGrowthMay2019

For busy professionals, holidays often provide a good time to review facts, themes, issues, and trends to gain useful perspectives.

 

Let’s begin this review of the true state of the manufactured housing industry with a litany of facts and their source relative to U.S. housing, affordable housing, and manufactured homes.

 

 

manufacturedhomefiredeaths-2013nfpareport-citation-postedmanufacturedhomelivingnews-janhollingsworth

HUD Code manufactured homes – per the NFPA Fire Analysis and Research Report has such a low fire incidence, that they expressed surprise, as the last sentence above reveals.  But it is their own study.

AreMobileHomeFiresBurningtheIndustrycreditNFPA2-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Here is another reason why definitions and proper terminology matters.

 

ManufacturedHomeNotMotorHomeNotTrailerOftenCalledMobileHomeNotThatEitherNFPAFireAnalysisManufacturedHousingIndustryResearchDataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Rephrased, manufactured homes are far safer than is generally believed, as safer or perhaps marginally safer then more expensive conventional housing, and are a widely misunderstood solution to the affordable housing crisis.

 

UltimateManufacturedHomeHousingInfographicNotMobileHomeTrailerHouseFactoryBuiltHomeIndustryDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews-600

 

On Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) we made the point years ago, apparently picked up by some in the mainstream media, that manufactured homes are a solution to the affordable housing crisis that is hiding in plain sight.

 

SolutionToUSAffordableHousingCrisisHidingInPlainSight-660x329

Click image above or the link here to see report and related video. 

 

That report linked above featured the following video, which is every bit as relevant today as it was the day it was first published.

 

 

We’ve mentioned before the quote from Terry Decio.  Decio’s comment resonated with thousands of manufactured home industry professionals.

 

TerryDecioSkylineChampionHomesPhotoQuoteImTiredofManufacturedHousingbeingBestKeptSecretReadyHelpHouseAmericaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

So, all of the above begs the question: why are manufactured homes selling at a lower national annual pace in 2018 – or year to date in 2019 – than the year that Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway entered the industry with its acquisition of Clayton Homes in 2003?

 

SkylineChampionInvestorRelationsProductionGraphicDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

 

How is that possible?

But the above in a nutshell is the true state of the manufactured housing industry. The facts are what they are, and in some 550 words, the above sums it up.

 

Causes, Opportunities in Disguise, and Solutions?

We’ll take the above subheading in bite size subtopics.

Now what has caused this scenario? Objectively examined, several factors are contributing to this troubling trend.

On Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) and here on MHProNews, we’ve built step-by-step a case that reveals the following evidence, concerns, trends, and allegations. Let’s note that what follows references sources inside and outside of the manufactured housing industry.

Some of our reporting have been exclusives, publishing documents, quotes, videos, and details found literally nowhere else in manufactured housing today.  The documentation is provided at the report 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. 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/

 

The screen capture below is evidence of that prior claim that others have not yet published the same level of documentation as the report linked above has.

 

21stMortgageCorpLetterTimWilliamsDailyBusienssNewsMHProNews2019-05-26_1620

 

It isn’t that there has never been concerns raised by others, there have.

  • The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has made the ‘post production sector’ – which are often their code-words for the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) – a significant issue for no less than a decade, because since we’ve been publishing, they’ve periodically raised that concern. They did so previously in the now defunct Journal of Manufactured Housing.
  • Controversial speaker and writer George F. Allen in his blog, and at other times more privately, has raised this issue of the monopolization and consolidation of manufactured housing, and the purported failures of MHI.
  • Another source raised a similar issue, which has not yet been previously examined here in depth, and we plan to do so in the days ahead.

 

1)    Defenders of Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton, 21st, MHI et al have said words to the effect that MHProNews has MHARR as a sponsor.  That’s true and is out in the open.  There is no hidden agenda. It should be noted that our fact-checks and analysis predates any advertising relationship with MHARR.

2)    Furthermore, that same point could be made that MHI, Clayton, and 21st Mortgage Corporation, which for years were sponsors of MHProNews.  Our fact-checks and related reports that led to our current understanding of the state of the manufactured housing industry began while those organizations were our sponsors. Meaning, we began our fact-checks and analysis that led us to this point while MHI and some Berkshire brands and their allies were among our sponsors.

3)    So, to a fair, informed, and objective-minded reader, it should be clear that MHProNews is not ‘pulling an Allen’ — who purportedly flips and flops according to who he thinks is or may benefit him at that time.  Note too that Allen’s flip-flops should not be construed to diminish the value of some of his prior critiques of MHI, Clayton, and their Berkshire Hathaway related business units in manufactured housing. That falls within the principle of separating the wheat from the chaff with all people and organizations. Nobody is perfect, neither are any organizations or companies. That includes this writer and this publication. But in keeping with Society of Professional Journalism Code of Ethical Conduct standards, we hold the powerful to account, and we have been revealing of prior incomplete understandings that explained more fully why manufactured housing wasn’t progressing as it should.

Doug Ryan with the nonprofit CFED, now known as Prosperity Now, has likewise alleged that Clayton and their related lenders were monopolizing in the industry.

 

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.

 

Trade and Mainstream Media Summary

So, there are several sources within manufactured housing that have made similar claims and allegations to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews, although they have routinely not provided the level of documents, direct quotes, graphics, and videos that provide evidence that our industry-leading trade publications have.

There are voices across the left-right media divide that have raised the issue of monopolization in general.  An example of that is a New York Times column, linked here.

There are more specific reports about manufactured housing that pointed a finger at Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, Clayton Homes, and their manufactured housing related lenders of 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF). Examples of those are linked below.

 

 

There are numerous others, but that’s sufficient to make the point.

This publication and this writer have reached out numerous times to Clayton, 21st, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and their attorneys for comments or reactions to the allegations that purportedly demonstrate antitrust violations. They have routinely declined commenting, either in writing, or live at industry events.

 

RickRobinsonManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

 

But Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison – president and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has himself said that the industry could be doing 500,000 new home shipments. Which begs the question, during an affordable housing crisis, after decades of positive, third-party research praising manufactured homes, why isn’t the industry at record highs?

 

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

But what is arguably the definitive report ‘making the case’ for behavior that violates antitrust laws is linked here.  The Arlington, VA based Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is arguably not only ‘failing’ to be effective, but is arguably behaving in ways that de facto foster consolidation, which benefits Berkshire Hathaway and other ‘big boy’ companies.

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

 

The Seattle Times, MHProNews, and even Clayton Homes’ local hometown media have each reported that federal investigators are digging into a variety of allegations involving manufactured housing brands connected to Warren Buffett led Berkshire Hathaway.

 

 

 

It should also be noted that each of the most recent MHI Chairman have been involved in some kind of scandalous allegations or legal issues.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHIBoardOfDirectorsLogoMHIExecutiveCommittee

Joe Stegmayer/Cavco Industries, Nathan Smith/SSK Communities, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp — the MHI executive committee reflects that 4 of the 5 named above arguably have ‘black hat’ style scandals associated with themselves and/or their respective firm.

 

A report that covers some of the same issues in more depth is found in the report linked from the text-image box below.

 

 

What thus far has been reported only by MHProNews and our sister site in trade or mainstream media are the dark money connections between Buffett’s donations which flowed to nonprofit groups that in turn often attacked manufactured housing in some form or fashion.

 

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

 

Rephrased, Buffett and Berkshire money – directly and/or indirectly – has been on both sides of numerous battles in manufactured housing.  The effect has been to cause a steady stream of consolidations.

 

Rope-a-Dope – Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, Mom, Dad, & You

 

The result has been a severe contraction, outlined by the Atlantic, of the number of manufactured home independent businesses.  While routinely those were ‘small businesses,’ they also included the fall of larger organizations, such as Fleetwood Retail during the timeframe since Buffett entered the industry. A number of independent producers of manufactured homes have been lost during those 15 years.

Summed up, what GuruFocus called the unethical strategic moat, and what the Nation called Warren Buffett’s dirty secret, is arguably part of a larger scheme that has harmed access to affordable housing, by hobbling the manufactured home industry when it was most needed.

 

UnderstandingWarrenBuffettCastleMoatMetaphorsQuotesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

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

 

Solutions? Congress, States, Other Investigators

The breadth and number of allegations of wrongdoing, while not proof in an absolute legal sense, are certainly just cause for Congress, state, or other investigators to take up this issue in an investigation.

It would be profitable to the nation at large, and thousands of independent businesses to press for congressional hearings and investigations on this matter.  By laying out in public the kinds of facts that HUD Secretary Carson, or reports like this one, has made about the proven value of manufactured homes, the stranglehold of Berkshire Hathaway could be broken.

Such a Congressional investigation can and should occur as a parallel to investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation for possible violations of the RICO, the U.S. Postal Service for misuse of the mails, the Department of Justice, HUD, and other federal regulatory bodies.

As 2020 is on candidates’ minds, the issues outlined – largely bipartisan or nonpartisan in nature – could be useful in scoring points with voters. That may be especially true for the roughly 111 million renters – per Apartment List – and the approximately 22 million Americans who live in mobiles built before June 15, 1976 and/or the manufactured homes made since.

But once owners of conventional housing and other businesses understand that the lack of affordable housing costs the nation an estimated $2 trillion dollars in lost gross domestic product (GDP) annually, per third-party research, the support for action to break up the monopolistic behavior of Berkshire Hathaway in manufactured home should grow among those too.

ValuePenguinFearManufacturedHomesSolutionAffordableHousingCrisis

https://www.valuepenguin.com/home-insurance/fear-manufactured-homes-affordable-housing-crisis

See reports on that linked above and below.

 

 

But the bottom line is that acting to stop market manipulation is the right thing to do.  This has purportedly harmed thousands of independent businesses, and millions of our fellow Americans.

That’s the snapshot of the true state of the manufactured home industry, and how federal and other legal action could take positive, economically beneficial steps to investigate, and then appropriately punish such arguably treacherous behavior.

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

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

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Are You Customer or Product of Tech Giants? Manufactured Housing Connections and Implications

May 23rd, 2019 Comments off

AreYouCustomerProductTechGiantsManufacturedHousingConnectionsImplicationsMHProNews

There is significant evidence of the monopolization of America.  Perhaps the best-known examples are the tech giants, many of which have come under fire from both sides of the left-right political divides here in the U.S.  The New York Times reported on Mar 20, 2019 “European authorities on Wednesday fined Google 1.5 billion euros,” equal at that time to some $1.7 billion U.S. dollars, for antitrust activity.

 

As CNN pointed out, that was the third in a series of billion-dollar penalties” for Google.

As MHProNews reported, a co-founder of Facebook, along with other former executives, have called for the breakup of Facebook. That report can be accessed below from the hot-linked text-image box.

 

 

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

 

MHProNews has thus far been alone in industry trade media to report that Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway now have roughly a billion dollars in common interests.  Given that Amazon has moved into prefab housing, and Kevin Clayton led Clayton homes is likewise into conventional, prefab, and manufactured housing, it ought to be considered as a rumbling of a potential earthquake in manufactured housing.

 

Amazon-Berkshire Announcement – Emerging Factory-Building Elephant in the Room?

 

The list that follows includes some of the top billionaires in the world.  There have been times that #3 Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, parent company to Clayton Homes and other manufactured housing brands, has reportedly been rivaled briefly by #4, Bernard Arnault, a Frenchman.

 

top10BillionairesinWorldVisualCapitalistManufacturedHousingMHProNews

 

When one grasps the concept of interlocking directorates, and then how nonprofits can be weaponized to expand that reach of these giants even further, the threat to independents in all segments of society – including manufactured home independents – grows.

InterlockingDirectoratesGraphicExampleManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

It is with this backdrop, that Jeff Desjardins Visual Capitalist (VC) infographic comes into focus.

Here is how VC says the tech titans are earning their billions.

 

HowTechGiantsEarnTheirBillionsVisualCapitalistInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

How the Tech Giants Make Their Billions

At a glance, it may seem like the world’s biggest technology companies have a lot in common.

But a closer look, says VC, suggests that there are two broad categories between these firms.  You are the customer, and you are the product.  Here is how they put it.

You are the Customer

In the broadest sense, three of the tech giants make money in the same way: you pay them money, and they give you a product or service.

Apple (Revenue in 2018: $265.6 billion)

  • Apple generates a staggering 62.8% of its revenue from the iPhone
  • The iPad and Mac are good for 7.1% and 9.6% of revenues, respectively
  • All other products and services – including Apple TV, Apple Watch, Beats products, Apple Pay, AppleCare, etc. – combine to just 20.6% of revenues

Amazon (Revenue in 2018: $232.9 billion)

  • Amazon gets the most from its online stores (52.8%) as well as third-party seller services (18.4%)
  • Amazon’s fastest-growing segment is offline sales in physical stores
  • Offline sales generate $17.2 billion in current revenue, growing 197% year-over-year
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) is well-known for being Amazon’s most profitable segment, and it counts for 11.0% of revenue
  • Amazon’s “Other” segment is also rising fast – it mainly includes ad sales

Microsoft (Revenue in 2018: $110.4 billion)

  • Microsoft has the most diversified revenue of any of the tech giants
  • This is part of the reason it currently has the largest market capitalization ($901 billion) of the Big Five
  • Microsoft has eight different segments that generate ~5% or more of revenue
  • The biggest three are “Office products and cloud services” (25.7%), “Server products and cloud services” (23.7%), and Windows (17.7%)

The remaining tech giants charge you nothing as a consumer, so how are they worth so much?

 

You are the Product

Both Alphabet and Facebook also generate billions of dollars of revenue, but they make this money from advertising. Their platforms allow advertisers to target you at scale with incredible precision, which is why they dominate the online ad industry.

Here’s how their revenues break down:

Alphabet (Revenue in 2018: $136.8 billion)

  • Despite having a wider umbrella name, ad revenue (via Google, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Ads, etc.) still drives 85% of revenue for the company
  • Other Google products and services, like Google Play or the Google Pixel phone, help to generate 14.5% of total revenue
  • Other Bets count to 0.4% of revenue – these are Alphabet’s moonshot attempts to find the “next Google” for its shareholders

Facebook (Revenue in 2018: $55.8 billion)

  • Facebook generates almost all revenue (98.5%) from ads
  • Meanwhile, 1.5% comes from payments and other fees
  • Despite Facebook being a free service for users, the company generated more revenue per user than Netflix, which charges for its service
  • In 2018 Q4, for example, Facebook made $35 per user. Netflix made $30.

So while the tech giants may have many similarities, how they generate their billions can vary considerably.  Which is why MHProNews for some years has been spotlighting those professionals who are raising the warning about monopoly in general, often who specific several tech giants.

 

Some are marketing products to you, while others are marketing you as the product.  Odds are excellent that you are engaged using products or services from multiple – if not all – of these giant firms.

The solution? Understand the pattern, and fight back legally and ethically with whit and wisdom.

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

 

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

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

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Inside Scoop on the Manufactured Housing Industry in Memes

May 17th, 2019 Comments off

 

InsideScoopManufacturedHousingInMemes$100MillionCashPalletManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

Some readers have asked the Daily Business News for MHProNews for an executive summary of why manufactured housing is underperforming compared to its historic norms.

 

It has been a while since we’ve done cartoons or memes.  While these are meant to be a bit on the lighter side, the issues they reflect are serious ones.

 

WarrenBuffettKevinClaytonPhotoClaytonHomesModelHomePhotoBerkshireHathawayAnnualEventPhotoMemeCartoonManufacturedHomeIndustryMHProNews

 

While some of the conversations are obviously fictional, as is common with memes or satire, the impacts and nature of the matters described are arguably correct.  Those in Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington or their allies are welcome to formally reply.

In spotlighting the next meme, it should not be construed as partisan. Democrats and Republicans in Minnesota have studied manufactured housing, and agreed in a bipartisan way that that the industry offers an important part of the solution for the affordable housing crisis.  That said, its a real photo, and there is no disputing that Warren Buffett backed candidate and then President Barack Obama, and that he had access – and a Buffett grandson – working in the Obama White House.

 

WarrenBuffettPresidentBarackObamaPhotoMemeManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

To underscore the reasonableness of these themes of these memes, click on the first of several reports linked below the byline and notices.

 

WarrenBuffettPhotoPresidentBarackObamaPhotoMemeCartoonManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

 

We value reader input, as well as news tips. Many of our reports are based on tips from people working in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) orbit.

 

PhotoKevinClaytonWarrenBuffettKeithHoldbrooksClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayClaytonFactoryMemeManufacturedHousingIndustryCartoonProNews

 

Readers are reminded that our publisher was elected by his peers to be on an MHI board.  He has a better than average sense of that trade group than the vast majority of industry professionals who have never been to any or only a few MHI events or meetings, because he was there for years of meetings and first-hand observations.

If this is your first article to read on MHProNews, know that we do mostly serious research, analysis, and fact-checks which have made and kept us the runaway #1 in manufactured housing since our first year. We are now in our 10th year of serving the industry.  But it helps to break up the serious with some periodic satire.

Our evening market report will be posted soon.

That’s our afternoon episode of manufactured housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Amazon-Berkshire Announcement – Emerging Factory-Building Elephant in the Room?

May 15th, 2019 Comments off

 

WarrenBuffettAmazonBerkshireAnnouncementEmergingFactoryBuildingElephantRoomManufacturedHomeMHProNews

There was no mention this evening of factory-home building when CNBC or some other mainstream business media reported that Berkshire Hathaway has taken a position valued at some $904 million dollars as of the close of the market on 5.15.2019.  But then most others aren’t as keen on factory-built housing, or as in tune with what an announcement like this might suggest for our industry.

 

First, let’s start with some pull quotes from left-of-center CNBC, plus their video.

  • Berkshire’s stake in Amazon was 483,300 shares at the end of the quarter ended March 31, according to a filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • The value of that stake is $904 million by the closing bell Wednesday.
  • Buffett first disclosed the new investment in Amazon to CNBC on May 2, though the size of the position was not previously reported to the public.

 

 

Buffett told CNBC on May 2, One of the fellows in the office that manage money … bought some Amazon, so it will show up in the 13F.”  Chairman Buffett was likely referring to lieutenants, Todd Combs or Ted Weschler, who each manage portfolios of more than $13 billion in equities for Berkshire.

Yeah, I’ve been a fan, and I’ve been an idiot for not buying” Amazon shares, Buffett said at the time. “But I want you to know it’s no personality changes taking place.”

Berkshire Hathaway’s report revealed an 18% increase in its J.P. Morgan Chase stake to 59.5 million shares, underscoring the Oracle of Omaha’s love of big financial institutions.

If one goes back to the announcement made the morning of President Donald J. Trump’s 2018 State of the Union (SOTU), Buffett, Amazon’s/Washington Post’s Jeff Bezos, and Chase’s Jaime Dimon’s healthcare initiative sent those stocks south.  There was speculation that the timing was in part a move to embarrass POTUS Trump, who had been bragging about the rising stock markets.

Buffett has long been a Trump critic, even before Mr. Trump’s 2015 announcement of what became a successful White House campaign.

Be that as it may, Amazon’s Alexa Fund invested in 2018 in Plant Prefab, a factory housing builder. With Berkshire’s Clayton Homes dominating HUD Code manufactured homes, and announcing even more prefabricated construction plans on their conventional housing side, there are reasons to be watchful how these developments play out over time.

 

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

 

We’ll track these developments and report as warranted.

 

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 15th, 2019 Comments off

 

AntiTrustHeatsUpWithNewSupremeCourtRulingMonopolizatioLegalExertsWeighInClaytonRelatedCommentsConnection

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

SmokingGunEvidenceOfAntiTrustMonopolisticCollusionMoatClaytonHomesKevinClayton21stMortgageTimWilliamsWarrenBuffettMHLivingNewsMHProNews

In a series of direct quotes in context, a document from 21st Mortgage signed by Tim Williams, Warren Buffett’s annual letter, and video recorded comments by Kevin Clayton, these all line up to demonstrate how independent retailers, communities, and producers – among others – where purportedly harmed by action that could be deemed an antitrust violation.  They were being excluded from 21st lending, per Williams’ letter, based upon a retailers purchase of Clayton Homes inventory, or not. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/bridging-gap-affordable-housing-solution-yields-higher-pay-more-wealth-but-corrupt-rigged-billionaires-moat-is-barrier/

 

New Kevin Clayton Video Interview

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

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

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

Clayton’s response was interesting too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

Excluding Competitors? Back to Possible Antitrust Angles

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

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

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

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

EnhancedPreemptionMHIWebsiteSearch

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

ManufacturedHousingAssociationRegulatoryReformMHARREnhancedPreemptionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

EnhancedPreemptionManufacturedHomeDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews2019-03-05_1404

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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