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$7M deal opens door for 300 apartments in Johnston County community

The 15-acre land purchase will pave the way for a new apartment complex within Flowers Plantation......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 14th, 2022

NYCHA inks another private developer repair deal for 42 Harlem buildings

Genesis Companies and Lemor Development Group announced that they will work with the city’s public housing agency to bring repairs to the Frederick E. Samuel Apartments (pictured top) and its more than 1,300 residents. The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) designated both Genesis Companies and Lemor Development as new... The post NYCHA inks another private developer repair deal for 42 Harlem buildings appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Genesis Companies and Lemor Development Group announced that they will work with the city’s public housing agency to bring repairs to the Frederick E. Samuel Apartments (pictured top) and its more than 1,300 residents. The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) designated both Genesis Companies and Lemor Development as new partners through the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program. Together, both minority-owned firms with long ties to the Harlem community will oversee the repairs and serve as the new on-site property manager for Samuel Apartments residents. “As 100 percent black-owned firms with deep roots in the Harlem community, NYCHA’s selection of Genesis Companies and Lemor Development Group to repair and enhance the Frederick Samuel Apartments marks an important moment for us, NYCHA and the community,” said Karim Hutson, Founder and Managing Member of Genesis Companies. “Genesis has a long track record of successfully turning around some of the City’s most troubled portfolios, particularly in the Harlem community where we live and work. We look forward to partnering with Samuel Apartments tenants to create the high-quality housing they deserve.” “We are extremely proud to play such a significant role in providing long-term stabilized housing for the Sam City residents,” said Kenneth Morrison, Co-Managing Member of Lemor Development Group. “As a second-generation real estate professional, it was my father’s vision to develop in the Central Harlem community he grew up in. With an office located in close proximity to the Sam City residents, it is a dream to enhance the living conditions for our Sam City neighbors. We are extremely humbled and honored to play such a pivotal role.” Through the PACT partnership, residents will undergo a series of conversations with the developers to tailor properties to their community’s needs. Those conversations will also be informed by a survey of residents already conducted by NYCHA. Residents have already engaged with the public housing authority at a series of meetings and were an active part of the partner selection process. The announcement follows a rush of similar deals NYCHA has hashed out with developers in recent weeks as it works to climb out of is massive backlog of renovations. Initially viewed as a back door to privatization, PACT is being embraced in New York as a way to funds renovations desperately needed within NYCHA’s 179,000 apartments spread across 302 developments. To date, some 9,500 NYCHA apartments have been moved to the PACT system and are privately managed under RAD. Another 11,800 units are expected to be transferred to the program by year’s end. At the Samuel Apartments, improvements across the buildings will include repairs to individual units as well as shared common areas, building systems, and the development’s grounds.  Both Genesis Companies and Lemor Development Group have deep ties to the Harlem community. Genesis was founded in 2004 as a full-service real estate development firm. Its current portfolio in Harlem includes 49 buildings with an average age of 101 years. Lemor Development Group has focused on affordable and workforce housing in New York City since it launched in Harlem in 2014. “As president of the Fred Samuel Resident Association, I’m excited about the transition in the time of Harlem’s Renaissance,” said Diana Blackwell, Resident Association President of the Samuel Apartments. “Our board took pride in selecting our partners Genesis and Lemor and believe that they are the best choice to meet the rehabilitation needs for the apartments and bring the essential services for the residents to improve their quality of life.” “Like so many public housing residents, the people who live in Samuel Apartments give so much to Harlem and New York City,” said Kathy James, a resident of the Samuel Apartments. “I am excited to see what the future holds for our community under this new management with Genesis and Lemor so that residents get the repairs they deserve.” “The Authority is dedicated to enlisting the input of our tenant leadership and resident associations because they are best-positioned to weigh in on the improvements they would like to see,” said NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “The tireless passion they exhibit in envisioning the future of their homes is an indispensable resource that we will continue to leverage, and today’s PACT designation at Frederick E. Samuel apartments is indicative of this approach.” “NYCHA residents are the backbone of our campuses, and when we facilitate collaborative working relationships between them and our partners — we can deliver holistic upgrades that conform to the needs of a specific community,” said NYCHA Executive Vice President for Real Estate Development Jonathan Gouveia.  The Frederick Samuel Apartments stretch from West 139th Street to West 147th Street, between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Lenox Avenue. Opened by NYCHA in 1993, the Samuel Apartment portfolio includes 664 units home to approximately 1,379 residents across 42 buildings, many of which are more than 100 years old. The post NYCHA inks another private developer repair deal for 42 Harlem buildings appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyDec 17th, 2021

Related Companies strikes historic deal with NYCHA

Related Companies and the minority-owned Essence Development are about to make history with NYCHA. The powerhouse global developer behind projects including the new Hudson Yards, and the Minority Business Enterprise founded by former Related vice president and NFL player Jamar Adams, will take over the running of the 2,054 NYCHA... The post Related Companies strikes historic deal with NYCHA appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Related Companies and the minority-owned Essence Development are about to make history with NYCHA. The powerhouse global developer behind projects including the new Hudson Yards, and the Minority Business Enterprise founded by former Related vice president and NFL player Jamar Adams, will take over the running of the 2,054 NYCHA apartments in Manhattan and complete $366 million in renovations as part of a historic deal struck with the city and the people who live there. For the first time ever, the tenants have led both the review and developer selection process for the multi-million-dollar campaign at Fulton, Chelsea, Chelsea Addition and Elliott Houses. Now, two years after the city first floated a plan to raze the properties, Related and Essence will instead renovate 18 buildings inside and out, create new community spaces, health centers and gardens area. Once the work is done to the tenants’ satisfaction, the developers will get to build a new 100-unit apartment building on West 27th Street, half of which will be permanently affordable at rents recommended by the Fulton-Chelsea tenants. JESSICA KATZ “This is a historic moment for NYCHA residents that demonstrates the power of leveraging residents’ expertise alongside the resources of the affordable housing industry,” said Jessica Katz, executive director of Citizens Housing & Planning Council. “These are the kinds of decisions that directly impact their livelihoods, and it is absolutely critical that we continue to follow this model, elevate tenant voices and give everyone a seat at the table.” The selection of the two developers follows months of often contentious debate over the future of the properties, which have fallen into disrepair under cash strapped NYCHA. After tenants balked at the plan to demolish the worst of the buildings, the city formed the Chelsea Working Group, made up of residents, elected officials, community representatives, and housing and legal organizations. The Chelsea Working Group recommended that the Fulton and Elliott-Chelsea developments be included in NYCHA’s Permanent Affordability Commitment Together Program, or PACT, and devised the plan that will modernize 18 of the buildings and give the developers “appropriate locations” for new, ground-up buildings on land within their boundaries. While today’s announcement only confirmed one new ground-up building that will rise on 27th Street, NYCHA has said in the past that potential new developments could add up to 700 units to the four sites that make up the complexes, half of which, under the deal, would be income-restricted affordable housing. According to NYCHA, those new buildings would only generate about a fifth of the $366 million needed to pay for the repairs to Fulton and Chelsea-Elliott and, by moving the projects into the PACT program, the city has leverage to raise the rest of the money. New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), the local housing finance agency, will assemble the financing and provide asset management and compliance for the PACT transactions. The balance of the repair bill will come via PACT through the federal government’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program, or RAD, an Obama-era program that allows private companies to manage public housing, giving them responsibility for maintenance, repairs and rent collection. The PACT program will grant Essence and Related Companies access to the money to fund the work while maintaining permanent affordability and residents’ rights. NYCHA retains ownership and oversight of the development but shifts day-to-day management to the PACT partner through a ground lease. Residents of PACT converted buildings continue to pay 30 percent of their adjusted gross household income towards rent and reserve the right to organize. Residents have the right to remain in their apartments through the duration of construction and can apply for job opportunities associated with the conversion. Residents also reserve the right to renew or add relatives to their lease, and residents who receive Earned Income Disregard will continue to receive it. Initially viewed as a back door to privatization, PACT is being embraced in New York as a way to funds a massive backlog of renovations desperately needed within NYCHA’s 179,000 apartments spread across 302 developments. To date, some 9,500 NYCHA apartments have been moved to the PACT system and are privately managed under RAD. Another 11,800 units are expected to be transferred to the program by year’s end. VICKI BEEN “PACT is a critical component of the City’s strategy for fundamentally improving the quality of life for public housing residents,” said New York City Deputy Mayor Vicki Been. “Today’s announcement is the culmination of an innovative and extensive collaborative process of working together with residents and other stakeholders to craft a plan to achieve beautifully renovated homes in a safe and welcoming development, and to address residents’ concerns about the changes necessary to both secure these renovations and ensure that their homes are permanently affordable, and well managed and maintained.” Darlene Waters, president of the Elliott-Chelsea Houses Tenant Association who was part of the Chelsea Working Group that developed the plan, was among the first to celebrate the announcement today. “I am incredibly proud of the Chelsea Working Group for our collaboration and determination to identify a partner that will most effectively meet our communities’ needs and improve our lives,” said Waters. “Our voices have guided the conversation throughout the entire recommendations and RFP processes. Bringing NYCHA residents to the table to make decisions gives us dignity, the power of choice and autonomy over our homes.” Fulton Houses Tenant Association president Miguel Acevedo, added, “Residents should remain central to every decision that NYCHA makes for its properties, and today we are honored to be part of a group that drove each step of the decision-making process to make a substantial, lasting impact on our communities. “We look forward to partnering with Essence Development and Related Companies to address urgent concerns, long overdue repairs and critical infrastructure upgrades for our homes.” BRUCE BEAL “Fulton & Elliott-Chelsea Houses have been waiting for, and deserve, the critical repairs and upgrades needed in their homes,” said Bruce Beal Jr., president of Related Companies. “Through our partnership with Essence Development, we will address not just the physical needs, but also complete a suite of community enhancements to ensure this comprehensive rehabilitation will deliver quality homes for residents.” JAMAR ADAMS Added Adams, “We are honored to be a part of this historic project, driven by dedicated and passionate residents. We look forward to working alongside the Working Group, NYCHA and Related to undertake this massive rehabilitation project, and help create a more stable future for the community.” Among the New York politicians backing the PACT plan as a way forward today were Congressman Jerrold Nadler, who called the tenant working group process a model for other NYCHA developments; State Senator Brad Hoylman; and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. The post Related Companies strikes historic deal with NYCHA appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyDec 1st, 2021

Babies are increasingly dying of syphilis in the US - but it"s 100% preventable

Babies with syphilis may have deformed bones, damaged brains, and struggle to hear, see, or breathe. A newborn baby rests at the Ana Betancourt de Mora Hospital in Camaguey, Cuba, on June 19, 2015. Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters The number of US babies born with syphilis quadrupled from 2015 to 2019. Babies with syphilis may have deformed bones, damaged brains, and struggle to hear, see, or breathe. Routine testing and penicillin shots for pregnant women could prevent these cases. This story was originally published by ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom, in collaboration with NPR News. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.When Mai Yang is looking for a patient, she travels light. She dresses deliberately - not too formal, so she won't be mistaken for a police officer; not too casual, so people will look past her tiny 4-foot-10 stature and youthful face and trust her with sensitive health information. Always, she wears closed-toed shoes, "just in case I need to run."Yang carries a stack of cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that show what happens when the Treponema pallidum bacteria invades a patient's body. There's a photo of an angry red sore on a penis. There's one of a tongue, marred by mucus-lined lesions. And there's one of a newborn baby, its belly, torso and thighs dotted in a rash, its mouth open, as if caught midcry.It was because of the prospect of one such baby that Yang found herself walking through a homeless encampment on a blazing July day in Huron, California, an hour's drive southwest of her office at the Fresno County Department of Public Health. She was looking for a pregnant woman named Angelica, whose visit to a community clinic had triggered a report to the health department's sexually transmitted disease program. Angelica had tested positive for syphilis. If she was not treated, her baby could end up like the one in the picture or worse - there was a 40% chance the baby would die.Yang knew, though, that if she helped Angelica get treated with three weekly shots of penicillin at least 30 days before she gave birth, it was likely that the infection would be wiped out and her baby would be born without any symptoms at all. Every case of congenital syphilis, when a baby is born with the disease, is avoidable. Each is considered a "sentinel event," a warning that the public health system is failing.The alarms are now clamoring. In the United States, more than 129,800 syphilis cases were recorded in 2019, double the case count of five years prior. In the same time period, cases of congenital syphilis quadrupled: 1,870 babies were born with the disease; 128 died. Case counts from 2020 are still being finalized, but the CDC has said that reported cases of congenital syphilis have already exceeded the prior year. Black, Hispanic, and Native American babies are disproportionately at risk.There was a time, not too long ago, when CDC officials thought they could eliminate the centuries-old scourge from the United States, for adults and babies. But the effort lost steam and cases soon crept up again. Syphilis is not an outlier. The United States goes through what former CDC director Tom Frieden calls "a deadly cycle of panic and neglect" in which emergencies propel officials to scramble and throw money at a problem - whether that's Ebola, Zika, or COVID-19. Then, as fear ebbs, so does the attention and motivation to finish the task.The last fraction of cases can be the hardest to solve, whether that's eradicating a bug or getting vaccines into arms, yet too often, that's exactly when political attention gets diverted to the next alarm. The result: The hardest to reach and most vulnerable populations are the ones left suffering, after everyone else looks away.Yang first received Angelica's lab report on June 17. The address listed was a P.O. box, and the phone number belonged to her sister, who said Angelica was living in Huron. That was a piece of luck: Huron is tiny; the city spans just 1.6 square miles. On her first visit, a worker at the Alamo Motel said she knew Angelica and directed Yang to a nearby homeless encampment. Angelica wasn't there, so Yang returned a second time, bringing one of the health department nurses who could serve as an interpreter.They made their way to the barren patch of land behind Huron Valley Foods, the local grocery store, where people took shelter in makeshift lean-tos composed of cardboard boxes, scrap wood, and scavenged furniture, draped with sheets that served as ceilings and curtains. Yang stopped outside one of the structures, calling a greeting."Hi, I'm from the health department, I'm looking for Angelica."The nurse echoed her in Spanish.Angelica emerged, squinting in the sunlight. Yang couldn't tell if she was visibly pregnant yet, as her body was obscured by an oversized shirt. The two women were about the same age: Yang 26 and Angelica 27. Yang led her away from the tent, so they could speak privately. Angelica seemed reticent, surprised by the sudden appearance of the two health officers. "You're not in trouble," Yang said, before revealing the results of her blood test.Angelica had never heard of syphilis."Have you been to prenatal care?"Angelica shook her head. The local clinic had referred her to an obstetrician in Hanford, a 30-minute drive away. She had no car. She also mentioned that she didn't intend to raise her baby; her two oldest children lived with her mother, and this one likely would, too.Yang pulled out the CDC cards, showing them to Angelica and asking if she had experienced any of the symptoms illustrated. No, Angelica said, her lips pursed with disgust."Right now you still feel healthy, but this bacteria is still in your body," Yang pressed. "You need to get the infection treated to prevent further health complications to yourself and your baby."The community clinic was just across the street. "Can we walk you over to the clinic and make sure you get seen so we can get this taken care of?"Angelica demurred. She said she hadn't showered for a week and wanted to wash up first. She said she'd go later.Yang tried once more to extract a promise: "What time do you think you'll go?""Today, for sure."The CDC tried and failed to eradicate syphilis - twiceSyphilis is called The Great Imitator: It can look like any number of diseases. In its first stage, the only evidence of infection is a painless sore at the bacteria's point of entry. Weeks later, as the bacteria multiplies, skin rashes bloom on the palms of the hands and bottoms of the feet. Other traits of this stage include fever, headaches, muscle aches, sore throat, and fatigue. These symptoms eventually disappear and the patient progresses into the latent phase, which betrays no external signs. But if left untreated, after a decade or more, syphilis will reemerge in up to 30% of patients, capable of wreaking horror on a wide range of organ systems. Marion Sims, president of the American Medical Association in 1876, called it a "terrible scourge, which begins with lamb-like mildness and ends with lion-like rage that ruthlessly destroys everything in its way."The corkscrew-shaped bacteria can infiltrate the nervous system at any stage of the infection. Yang is haunted by her memory of interviewing a young man whose dementia was so severe that he didn't know why he was in the hospital or how old he was. And regardless of symptoms or stage, the bacteria can penetrate the placenta to infect a fetus. Even in these cases the infection is unpredictable: Many babies are born with normal physical features, but others can have deformed bones or damaged brains, and they can struggle to hear, see, or breathe.From its earliest days, syphilis has been shrouded in stigma. The first recorded outbreak was in the late 15th century, when Charles VIII led the French army to invade Naples. Italian physicians described French soldiers covered with pustules, dying from a sexually transmitted disease. As the affliction spread, Italians called it the French Disease. The French blamed the Neopolitans. It was also called the German, Polish, or Spanish disease, depending on which neighbor one wanted to blame. Even its name bears the taint of divine judgement: It comes from a 16th-century poem that tells of a shepherd, Syphilus, who offended the god Apollo and was punished with a hideous disease.By 1937 in America, when former Surgeon General Thomas Parran wrote the book "Shadow on the Land," he estimated some 680,000 people were under treatment for syphilis; about 60,000 babies were being born annually with congenital syphilis. There was no cure, and the stigma was so strong that public-health officials feared even properly documenting cases.Thanks to Parran's ardent advocacy, Congress in 1938 passed the National Venereal Disease Control Act, which created grants for states to set up clinics and support testing and treatment. Other than a short-lived funding effort during World War I, this was the first coordinated federal push to respond to the disease.Around the same time, the Public Health Service launched an effort to record the natural history of syphilis. Situated in Tuskegee, Alabama, the infamous study recruited 600 black men. By the early 1940s, penicillin became widely available and was found to be a reliable cure, but the treatment was withheld from the study participants. Outrage over the ethical violations would cast a stain across syphilis research for decades to come and fuel generations of mistrust in the medical system among Black Americans that continues to this day. People attend a ceremony near Tuskegee, Alabama, on April 3, 2017, to commemorate the roughly 600 men who were subjects in the Tuskegee syphilis study. Jay Reeves/AP Photo With the introduction of penicillin, cases began to plummet. Twice, the CDC has announced efforts to wipe out the disease - once in the 1960s and again in 1999.In the latest effort, the CDC announced that the United States had "a unique opportunity to eliminate syphilis within its borders," thanks to historically low rates, with 80% of counties reporting zero cases. The concentration of cases in the South "identifies communities in which there is a fundamental failure of public health capacity," the agency noted, adding that elimination - which it defined as fewer than 1,000 cases a year - would "decrease one of our most glaring racial disparities in health."Two years after the campaign began, cases started climbing, first among gay men and, later, heterosexuals. Cases in women started accelerating in 2013, followed shortly by increasing numbers of babies born with syphilis. The reasons for failure are complex: People relaxed safer sex practices after the advent of potent HIV combination therapies, increased methamphetamine use drove riskier behavior, and an explosion of online dating made it hard to track and test sexual partners, according to Ina Park, medical director of the California Prevention Training Center at the University of California San Francisco.But federal and state public-health efforts were hamstrung from the get-go. In 1999, the CDC said it would need about $35 million to $39 million in new federal funds annually for at least five years to eliminate syphilis. The agency got less than half of what it asked for, according to Jo Valentine, former program coordinator of the CDC's Syphilis Elimination Effort. As cases rose, the CDC modified its goals in 2006 from 0.4 primary and secondary syphilis cases per 100,000 in population to 2.2 cases per 100,000. By 2013, as elimination seemed less and less viable, the CDC changed its focus to ending congenital syphilis only.Since then, funding has remained anemic. From 2015 to 2020, the CDC's budget for preventing sexually transmitted infections grew by 2.2%. Taking inflation into account, that's a 7.4% reduction in purchasing power. In the same period, cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia - the three STDs that have federally funded control programs - increased by nearly 30%."We have a long history of nearly eradicating something, then changing our attention, and seeing a resurgence in numbers," David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, said. "We have more congenital syphilis cases today in America than we ever had pediatric AIDS at the height of the AIDS epidemic. It's heartbreaking."Adriane Casalotti, chief of government and public affairs at the National Association of County and City Health Officials, warns that the US should not be surprised to see case counts continue to climb."The bugs don't go away," she said. "They're just waiting for the next opportunity, when you're not paying attention."Syphilis has fewer poster children than HIV or cancerYang waited until the end of the day, then called the clinic to see if Angelica had gone for her shot. She had not. Yang would have to block off another half day to visit Huron again, but she had three dozen other cases to deal with.States in the South and West have seen the highest syphilis rates in recent years. In 2017, 64 babies in Fresno County were born with syphilis at a rate of 440 babies per 100,000 live births - about 19 times the national rate. While the county had managed to lower case counts in the two years that followed, the pandemic threatened to unravel that progress, forcing STD staffers to do COVID-19 contact tracing, pausing field visits to find infected people, and scaring patients from seeking care. Yang's colleague handled three cases of stillbirth in 2020; in each, the woman was never diagnosed with syphilis because she feared catching the coronavirus and skipped prenatal care.Yang, whose caseload peaked at 70 during a COVID-19 surge, knew she would not be able handle them all as thoroughly as she'd like to."When I was being mentored by another investigator, he said: 'You're not a superhero. You can't save everybody,'" she said.She prioritizes men who have sex with men, because there's a higher prevalence of syphilis in that population, and pregnant people, because of the horrific consequences for babies.The job of a disease intervention specialist isn't for everyone: It means meeting patients whenever and wherever they are available - in the mop closet of a bus station, in a quiet parking lot - to inform them about the disease, to extract names of sex partners, and to encourage treatment. Patients are often reluctant to talk. They can get belligerent, upset that "the government" has their personal information, or shattered at the thought that a partner is likely cheating on them. Salaries typically start in the low $40,000s.Jena Adams, Yang's supervisor, has eight investigators working on HIV and syphilis. In the middle of 2020, she lost two and replaced them only recently."It's been exhausting," Adams said.She has only one specialist who is trained to take blood samples in the field, crucial for guaranteeing that the partners of those who test positive for syphilis also get tested. Adams wants to get phlebotomy training for the rest of her staff, but it's $2,000 per person. The department also doesn't have anyone who can administer penicillin injections in the field; that would have been key when Yang met Angelica. For a while, a nurse who worked in the tuberculosis program would ride along to give penicillin shots on a volunteer basis. Then he, too, left the health department.Much of the resources in public health trickle down from the CDC, which distributes money to states, which then parcel it out to counties. The CDC gets its budget from Congress, which tells the agency, by line item, exactly how much money it can spend to fight a disease or virus, in an uncommonly specific manner not seen in many other agencies. The decisions are often politically driven and can be detached from actual health needs.When the House and Senate appropriations committees meet to decide how much the CDC will get for each line item, they are barraged by lobbyists for individual disease interests. Stephanie Arnold Pang, senior director of policy and government relations at the National Coalition of STD Directors, can pick out the groups by sight: breast cancer wears pink, Alzheimer's goes in purple, multiple sclerosis comes in orange, HIV in red. STD prevention advocates, like herself, don a green ribbon, but they're far outnumbered.And unlike diseases that might already be familiar to lawmakers, or have patient and family spokespeople who can tell their own powerful stories, syphilis doesn't have many willing poster children. Breast Cancer survivors hold up a check for the amount raised at The Congressional Womens Softball Game at Watkins Recreation Center in Capitol Hill on June 20, 2018. Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call "Congressmen don't wake up one day and say, 'Oh hey, there's congenital syphilis in my jurisdiction.' You have to raise awareness," Arnold Pang said. It can be hard jockeying for a meeting. "Some offices might say, 'I don't have time for you because we've just seen HIV.' ... Sometimes, it feels like you're talking into a void."The consequences of the political nature of public-health funding have become more obvious during the coronavirus pandemic. The 2014 Ebola epidemic was seen as a "global wakeup call" that the world wasn't prepared for a major pandemic, yet in 2018, the CDC scaled back its epidemic prevention work as money ran out."If you've got to choose between Alzheimer's research and stopping an outbreak that may not happen? Stopping an outbreak that might not happen doesn't do well," Frieden, the former CDC director, said. "The CDC needs to have more money and more flexible money. Otherwise, we're going to be in this situation long term."In May 2021, President Joe Biden's administration announced it would set aside $7.4 billion over the next five years to hire and train public health workers, including $1.1 billion for more disease intervention specialists like Yang. Public health officials are thrilled to have the chance to expand their workforce, but some worry the time horizon may be too short."We've seen this movie before, right?" Frieden said. "Everyone gets concerned when there's an outbreak, and when that outbreak stops, the headlines stop, and an economic downturn happens, the budget gets cut."Fresno's STD clinic was shuttered in 2010 amid the Great Recession. Many others have vanished since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.Health leaders thought "by magically beefing up the primary care system, that we would do a better job of catching STIs and treating them," Harvey, the executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, said.That hasn't worked out; people want access to anonymous services, and primary care doctors often don't have STDs top of mind. The coalition is lobbying Congress for funding to support STD clinical services, proposing a three-year demonstration project funded at $600 million.It's one of Adams' dreams to see Fresno's STD clinic restored as it was."You could come in for an HIV test and get other STDs checked," she said. "And if a patient is positive, you can give a first injection on the spot."'I've seen people's families ripped apart and I've seen beautiful babies die'On August 12, Yang set out for Huron again, speeding past groves of almond trees and fields of grapes in the department's white Chevy Cruze. She brought along a colleague, Jorge Sevilla, who had recently transferred to the STD program from COVID-19 contact tracing. Yang was anxious to find Angelica again."She's probably in her second trimester now," she said.They found her outside of a pale yellow house a few blocks from the homeless encampment; the owner was letting her stay in a shed tucked in the corner of the dirt yard. This time, it was evident that she was pregnant. Yang noted that Angelica was wearing a wig; hair loss is a symptom of syphilis."Do you remember me?" Yang asked.Angelica nodded. She didn't seem surprised to see Yang again. (I came along, and Sevilla explained who I was and that I was writing about syphilis and the people affected by it. Angelica signed a release for me to report about her case, and she said she had no problem with me writing about her or even using her full name. ProPublica chose to only print her first name.)"How are you doing? How's the baby?""Bien.""So the last time we talked, we were going to have you go to United Healthcare Center to get treatment. Have you gone since?"Angelica shook her head."We brought some gift cards..." Sevilla started in Spanish. The department uses them as incentives for completing injections. But Angelica was already shaking her head. The nearest Walmart was the next town over.Yang turned to her partner. "Tell her: So the reason why we're coming out here again is because we really need her to go in for treatment. [...] We really are concerned for the baby's health especially since she's had the infection for quite a while."Angelica listened while Sevilla interpreted, her eyes on the ground. Then she looked up. "Orita?" she asked. Right now?"I'll walk with you," Yang offered. Angelica shook her head."She said she wants to shower first before she goes over there," Sevilla said.Yang made a face. "She said that to me last time." Yang offered to wait, but Angelica didn't want the health officers to linger by the house. She said she would meet them by the clinic in 15 minutes.Yang was reluctant to let her go but again had no other option. She and Sevilla drove to the clinic, then stood on the corner of the parking lot, staring down the road.Talk to the pediatricians, obstetricians, and families on the front lines of the congenital syphilis surge and it becomes clear why Yang and others are trying so desperately to prevent cases. J.B. Cantey, associate professor in pediatrics at UT Health San Antonio, remembers a baby girl born at 25 weeks gestation who weighed a pound and a half. Syphilis had spread through her bones and lungs. She spent five months in the neonatal intensive care unit, breathing through a ventilator, and was still eating through a tube when she was discharged.Then, there are the miscarriages, the stillbirths, and the inconsolable parents. Irene Stafford, an associate professor and maternal-fetal medicine specialist at UT Health in Houston, cannot forget a patient who came in at 36 weeks for a routine checkup, pregnant with her first child. Stafford realized that there was no heartbeat."She could see on my face that something was really wrong," Stafford recalled. She had to let the patient know that syphilis had killed her baby."She was hysterical, just bawling," Stafford said. "I've seen people's families ripped apart and I've seen beautiful babies die." Fewer than 10% of patients who experience a stillbirth are tested for syphilis, suggesting that cases are underdiagnosed.A Texas grandmother named Solidad Odunuga offers a glimpse into what the future could hold for Angelica's mother, who may wind up raising her baby.In February of last year, Odunuga got a call from the Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston. A nurse told her that her daughter was about to give birth and that child protective services had been called. Odunuga had lost contact with her daughter, who struggled with homelessness and substance abuse. She arrived in time to see her grandson delivered, premature at 30 weeks old, weighing 2.7 pounds. He tested positive for syphilis.When a child protective worker asked Odunuga to take custody of the infant, she felt a wave of dread."I was in denial," she recalled. "I did not plan to be a mom again." The baby's medical problems were daunting: "Global developmental delays [...] concerns for visual impairments [...] high risk of cerebral palsy," read a note from the doctor at the time.Still, Odunuga visited her grandson every day for three months, driving to the NICU from her job at the University of Houston. "I'd put him in my shirt to keep him warm and hold him there." She fell in love. She named him Emmanuel.Once Emmanuel was discharged, Odunuga realized she had no choice but to quit her job. While Medicaid covered the costs of Emmanuel's treatment, it was on her to care for him. From infancy, Emmanuel's life has been a whirlwind of constant therapy. Today, at 20 months old, Odunuga brings him to physical, occupational, speech, and developmental therapy, each a different appointment on a different day of the week.Emmanuel has thrived beyond what his doctors predicted, toddling so fast that Odunuga can't look away for a minute and beaming as he waves his favorite toy phone. Yet he still suffers from gagging issues, which means Odunuga can't feed him any solid foods. Liquid gets into his lungs when he aspirates; it has led to pneumonia three times. Emmanuel has a special stroller that helps keep his head in a position that won't aggravate his persistent reflux, but Odunuga said she still has to pull over on the side of the road sometimes when she hears him projectile vomiting from the backseat.The days are endless. Once she puts Emmanuel to bed, Odunuga starts planning the next day's appointments."I've had to cry alone, scream out alone," she said. "Sometimes I wake up and think, 'Is this real?' And then I hear him in the next room."There's no vaccine for syphilis A health worker tests a migrant from Haiti for HIV and syphilis to in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, on September 25, 2021. Daniel Becerril/Reuters Putting aside the challenge of eliminating syphilis entirely, everyone agrees it's both doable and necessary to prevent newborn cases."There was a crisis in perinatal HIV almost 30 years ago and people stood up and said this is not OK - it's not acceptable for babies to be born in that condition. [...We] brought it down from 1,700 babies born each year with perinatal HIV to less than 40 per year today," Virginia Bowen, an epidemiologist at the CDC, said. "Now here we are with a slightly different condition. We can also stand up and say, 'This is not acceptable.'" Belarus, Bermuda, Cuba, Malaysia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka are among countries recognized by the World Health Organization for eliminating congenital syphilis.Success starts with filling gaps across the health care system.For almost a century, public health experts have advocated for testing pregnant patients more than once for syphilis in order to catch the infection. But policies nationwide still don't reflect this best practice. Six states have no prenatal screening requirement at all. Even in states that require three tests, public-health officials say that many physicians aren't aware of the requirements. Stafford, the maternal-fetal medicine specialist in Houston, says she's tired of hearing her own peers in medicine tell her, "Oh, syphilis is a problem?"It costs public health departments less than 25 cents a dose to buy penicillin, but for a private practice, it's more than $1,000, according to Park of the University of California San Francisco."There's no incentive for a private physician to stock a dose that could expire before it's used, so they often don't have it," she said. "So a woman comes in, they say, 'We'll send you to the emergency department or health department to get it,' then [the patients] don't show up."A vaccine would be invaluable for preventing spread among people at high risk for reinfection. But there is none. Scientists only recently figured out how to grow the bacteria in the lab, prompting grants from the National Institutes of Health to fund research into a vaccine. Justin Radolf, a researcher at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, said he hopes his team will have a vaccine candidate by the end of its five-year grant. But it'll likely take years more to find a manufacturer and run human trials.Public-health agencies also need to recognize that many of the hurdles to getting pregnant people treated involve access to care, economic stability, safe housing, and transportation. In Fresno, Adams has been working on ways her department can collaborate with mental health services. Recently, one of her disease intervention specialists managed to get a pregnant woman treated with penicillin shots and, at the patient's request, connected her with an addiction treatment center.Gaining a patient's cooperation means seeing them as complex humans instead of just a case to solve."There may be past traumas with the healthcare system," Cynthia Deverson, project manager of the Houston Fetal Infant Morbidity Review, said. "There's the fear of being discovered if she's doing something illegal to survive. [...] She may need to be in a certain place at a certain time so she can get something to eat, or maybe it's the only time of the day that's safe for her to sleep. They're not going to tell you that. Yes, they understand there's a problem, but it's not an immediate threat, maybe they don't feel bad yet, so obviously this is not urgent.""What helps to gain trust is consistency," she added. "Literally, it's seeing that [disease specialist] constantly, daily. [...] The woman can see that you're not going to harm her, you're saying, 'I'm here at this time if you need me.'"Yang stood outside the clinic, waiting for Angelica to show up, baking in the 90-degree heat. Her feelings ranged from irritation - Why didn't she just go? I'd have more energy for other cases - to an appreciation for the parts of Angelica's story that she didn't know - She's in survival mode. I need to be more patient.Fifteen minutes ticked by, then 20."OK," Yang announced. "We're going back."She asked Sevilla if he would be OK if they drove Angelica to the clinic; they technically weren't supposed to because of coronavirus precautions, but Yang wasn't sure she could convince Angelica to walk. Sevilla gave her the thumbs up.When they pulled up, they saw Angelica sitting in the backyard, chatting with a friend. She now wore a fresh T-shirt and had shoes on her feet. Angelica sat silently in the back seat as Yang drove to the clinic. A few minutes later, they pulled up to the parking lot.Finally, Yang thought. We got her here.The clinic was packed with people waiting for COVID-19 tests and vaccinations. A worker there had previously told Yang that a walk-in would be fine, but a receptionist now said they were too busy to treat Angelica. She would have to return.Yang felt a surge of frustration, sensing that her hard-fought opportunity was slipping away. She tried to talk to the nurse supervisor, but he wasn't available. She tried to leave the gift cards at the office to reward Angelica if she came, but the receptionist said she couldn't hold them. While Yang negotiated, Sevilla sat with Angelica in the car, waiting.Finally, Yang accepted this was yet another thing she couldn't control.She drove Angelica back to the yellow house. As they arrived, she tried once more to impress on her just how important it was to get treated, asking Sevilla to interpret. "We don't want it to get any more serious, because she can go blind, she could go deaf, she could lose her baby."Angelica already had the door halfway open."So on a scale from one to 10, how important is this to get treated?" Yang asked."Ten," Angelica said. Yang reminded her of the appointment that afternoon. Then Angelica stepped out and returned to the dusty yard.Yang lingered for a moment, watching Angelica go. Then she turned the car back onto the highway and set off toward Fresno, knowing, already, that she'd be back.Postscript: A reporter visited Huron twice more in the months that followed, including once independently to try to interview Angelica, but she wasn't in town. Yang has visited Huron twice more as well - six times in total thus far. In October, a couple of men at the yellow house said Angelica was still in town, still pregnant. Yang and Sevilla spent an hour driving around, talking to residents, hoping to catch Angelica. But she was nowhere to be found.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 2nd, 2021

Futures Rise Ahead Of Deluge Of Big Tech Earnings

Futures Rise Ahead Of Deluge Of Big Tech Earnings One day after Goldman doubled down on its call for a market meltup into year-end, futures on the Nasdaq 100 edged higher, while contracts on the S&P 500 were modestly higher on Monday, approaching record highs again as investors braced for a flood of earnings (164 of 500 S&P companies report this week) while weighing rising inflation concerns, Covid-19 risks and China’s deteriorating outlook (Goldman slashed China's 2022 GDP to 5.2% from 5.6% overnight). The FOMC enters quiet period ahead of next week's FOMC meeting, which means no Fed speakers as attention shifts to economic data and corporate earnings. At 745 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 3 points, or 0.01%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 4.25 points, or 0.1%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 36.25 points, or 0.25%. Bitcoin bounced back over $63,000 after sliding below $60,000 over the weekend, the 10-year US Treasury yield rose and the dollar also rose after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell flagged that inflation could stay higher for longer, fueling investor concern that sticky price increases may force policy makers to raise borrowing costs. Global markets have remained resilient despite risks from price pressures stoked by supply-chain bottlenecks and higher energy costs. On Sunday, Janet Yellen was among those counseling the inflation situation reflects temporary pain that will ease in the second half of 2022 even as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey warned hyperinflation is coming. Investors are wary that tighter monetary policy to keep inflation in check will stir volatility “Inflation concerns will continue to dominate markets this year as the price of crude oil remains elevated,” while “the pandemic remains a central concern,” said Siobhan Redford, an analyst at FirstRand Bank Ltd. in Johannesburg. “This will add further complexity to the already difficult decisions facing policy makers around the world.” All of FAAMG - Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet and Amazon.com - are set to report their results later this week. The companies shares, which collectively account for over 22% of the weighting in the S&P 500, were mixed in trading before the bell. Facebook shares fell in premarket trading, extending six weeks of declines, after Bloomberg reported that the social-media company is struggling to attract younger users and that employees are concerned over the spread of misinformation and hate speech on its platform. The company is scheduled to report quarterly results after the market closes. “After Snap got an Apple caught in its throat, markets will have an itchy trigger finger over the sell button if the social network says the same,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA. “Additionally, this week, it is a FAANG-sters paradise ... that decides whether the U.S. earnings season party continues, before the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) reasserts its dominance next week.” PayPal jumped 6.4% as the company said it wasn’t currently pursuing an acquisition of Pinterest, ending days of speculation over a potential $45 billion deal. Shares of Pinterest plunged 12.5%. Tesla gained 2.2% in premarket trading after Morgan Stanley raised its price target for the stock by a third, citing “extraordinary” sales growth. The stock then surged to new all time highs after Bloomberg reported that Hertz placed an order for 100,000 Teslas in the first step of an ambitious plan to electrify its rental-car fleet. Oil firms including Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil rose about 0.5% each, tracking Brent crude prices to three-year high. Cryptocurrency-exposed stocks gain in premarket trading as Bitcoin climbs back above the $63,000 per token level after slipping from its record high last week. Crypto-linked stocks that are climbing in premarket include Bakkt +6.6%, Hive Blockchain +3.9%, Hut 8 Mining +2.8%, Riot Blockchain +2.2%, MicroStrategy +2.3%, Marathon Digital +2.8%, Coinbase +1.9%, Silvergate +1.8%, Bit Digital +1.2% and Mogo +0.8% Strong earnings reports helped lift the S&P 500 and the Dow to record highs last week, with the benchmark index rising 5.5% so far in October to recoup all of the losses suffered last month.  However, market participants are looking beyond the impressive earnings numbers with a focus on how companies mitigate supply chain bottlenecks, labor shortages and inflationary pressures to sustain growth. Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to grow 34.8% year-on-year for the third quarter, according to data from Refinitiv. On the economic data front, readings on U.S. third-quarter GDP - the Federal Reserve’s favored inflation gauge, the core PCE price index and consumer confidence data will be released later this week. In Europe, mining companies and banks gained but the telecommunications and industrial goods and services sectors declined, leaving the Stoxx 600 index little changed. Banks rose on HSBC’s bright outlook. Spain’s Banco de Sabadell SA jumped more than 5% after rejecting an offer for its U.K. unit. Telecoms and industrials were the biggest losers. Volvo Car slashed its initial public offering by a fifth, making it the latest in a string of European companies to pull back from equity markets roiled by soaring energy costs and persistent supply chain delay. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Banca Monte dei Paschi slides as much as 9.5% after the Italian government and UniCredit ended talks over the sale of the lender. Exor shares gain as much as 5.6% in Milan trading to the highest level on record after a report that the Agnelli family’s holding co. revived talks with Covea for the sale of Exor’s reinsurance unit PartnerRe. Banco Sabadell jumps as much as 5.6% after it said it rejected an offer for its TSB Bank unit in the U.K. from Co-operative Bank. SSAB rises as much as 5.2% after the Swedish steelmaker posted 3Q earnings well above analysts expectations. Handelsbanken analyst Gustaf Schwerin said the figures were “very strong.” Weir Group rises as much as 3.7% after Exane BNP Paribas raised the stock to outperform. Analyst Bruno Gjani says the stock’s underperformance YTD provides a “compelling entry opportunity.” Darktrace drops as much as 26% after Peel Hunt initiated coverage of the cybersecurity firm with a sell rating and 473p price target that implies about 50% downside to Friday’s close. Nordic Semiconductor declines as much as 8.8% after ABG Sundal Collier downgraded to hold. German business morale deteriorated for the fourth month running in October as supply bottlenecks in manufacturing, a spike in energy prices and rising COVID-19 infections are slowing the pace of recovery in Europe’s largest economy from the pandemic. The Ifo institute said on Monday that its business climate index fell to 97.7 from an upwardly revised 98.9 in September. This was the lowest reading since April and undershot the 97.9 consensus forecast in a Reuters poll. “Supply problems are giving businesses headaches,” Ifo President Clemens Fuest said, adding that capacity utilisation in manufacturing was falling. “Sand in the wheels of the German economy is hampering recovery.” The weaker-than-expected business sentiment survey was followed by a grim outlook from Germany’s central bank, which said in its monthly report that economic growth was likely to slow sharply in the fourth quarter. The Bundesbank added that full-year growth was now likely to be “significantly” below its 3.7% prediction made in June. Earlier in Asia, stocks dipped in Japan and were mixed in China, where the central bank boosted a daily liquidity injection and officials expanded a property-tax trial. Signs that it would take at least five years before authorities impose any nationwide property tax bolstered some industrial metals.  Asia-Pac equities kicked off the week with a downside bias as the region adopted a similar lead from Friday’s Wall Street session, although sentiment marginally improved. The ASX 200 (+0.3%) was kept afloat by its energy sector as oil prices drifted higher, whilst index heavyweight Telstra was boosted after partnering with the Australian government to acquire Digicel Pacific in USD 1.6bln deal - for which Telstra contributed only USD 270mln. The Nikkei 225 (-0.7%) opened lower by around 1% with Softbank and Fast Retailing the biggest losers, although the index initially trimmed losses as the JPY remained on the backfoot. The Hang Seng (+0.1%) and Shanghai Comp (+0.8%) were mixed at the open, with the latter supported by a net PBoC injection of CNY 190bln, while the Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index (-2.9%) was pressured by reports China's State Council is to expand the property-tax reform trials to more areas. On the flip side, China Evergrande and Evergrande New Energy Vehicle opened higher after the chairman said the group is to complete its transition to the NEV industry from real estate within 10 years. Finally, 10yr JGBs trade subdued and in contrast to its US and German counterparts. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after earlier inching lower to touch the weakest level since Sept. 27; the greenback was mixed against its Group-of-10 peers with commodity currencies performing best, led by the Australian dollar and Norwegian krone. The euro hovered around $1.1650 even as German business confidence took another hit in October as global supply logjams damp momentum in the manufacturing-heavy economy. Ifo business confidence fell to 97.7 in October, from 98.9 in the prior month. The pound inched up, rising alongside other risk- sensitive Group-of-10 currencies, having trailed all its peers on Friday after Brexit risks reared their head late in the London session. A quiet week for U.K. data turns focus to the upcoming government budget. The Australian dollar rose against all its Group-of-10 peers, tracking commodity gains, with market sentiment also boosted by the People’s Bank of China’s move to inject additional cash into the banking system. The yen declined after rising for three consecutive days; Economists expect the BoJ to keep its policy rate unchanged Thursday. Turkey’s lira fell to a record low as the country’s latest diplomatic spat gave traders another reason to sell the struggling currency. Day traders in Japan have started trimming their bullish wagers on the Turkish lira, with forced liquidation a growing threat as the currency tumbles. In rates, Treasuries were under pressure again, with the yield curve steeper as US trading begins Monday. They’re retracing a portion of Friday’s swift flattening, which occurred after Fed Chair Powell said rising inflation rates would draw a response from the central bank. 5s30s curve is back to ~89bp vs Friday’s low 85bp, within half a basis point of the lowest level in more than a year. Long-end yields are higher by as much as 3bp, 10-year by 2.7bp at 1.66%, widening vs most developed-market yields; yields across the curve remain inside Friday’s ranges, which included higher 2- and 5-year yields since 1Q 2020. Curve-steepening advanced after an apparent wager via futures blocks. In commodities, Brent oil rallied above $86 a barrel after Saudi Arabia urged caution in boosting supply. Gold rose for a fifth day, the longest run of gains since July, as risks around higher-for-longer inflation bolstered the metal’s appeal. Facebook will report its third quarter results after the market today, followed by Alphabet, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon later in the week.  On the economic data front, readings on U.S. third-quarter GDP - the Federal Reserve’s favored inflation gauge, the core PCE price index and consumer confidence data will be released later this week. Top Overnight News from Bloomberg S&P 500 futures up 0.1% to 4,542.25 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 472.03 MXAP little changed at 200.13 MXAPJ up 0.1% to 661.46 Nikkei down 0.7% to 28,600.41 Topix down 0.3% to 1,995.42 Hang Seng Index little changed at 26,132.03 Shanghai Composite up 0.8% to 3,609.86 Sensex up 0.4% to 61,038.76 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.3% to 7,441.00 Kospi up 0.5% to 3,020.54 Brent Futures up 0.7% to $86.14/bbl Gold spot up 0.4% to $1,800.45 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.10% to 93.55 Euro up 0.1% to $1.1655 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen defended Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s record on regulating the financial system, which has been a target of criticism from progressive Democrats arguing he shouldn’t get a new term. Yellen said she expects price increases to remain high through the first half of 2022, but rejected criticism that the U.S. risks losing control of inflation. Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened the door to Democrats using a special budget tool to raise the U.S. debt ceiling without the support of Senate Republicans, whose votes would otherwise be needed to end a filibuster on the increase. President Joe Biden and fellow Democrats are racing to reach agreement on a scaled-back version of his economic agenda, with a self-imposed deadline and his departure later this week for summits in Europe intensifying pressure on negotiations. Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann’s surprise announcement last week that he will leave on Dec. 31 has hit Berlin at a sensitive time, with Chancellor Angela Merkel currently running only a caretaker administration in the aftermath of an election whose outcome is likely to remove her CDU party from power. Some holders of an Evergrande bond on which the embattled developer had missed a coupon deadline last month received the interest before the end of a grace period Saturday, according to people familiar with the matter. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac equities kicked off the week with a downside bias as the region adopted a similar lead from Friday’s Wall Street session, although sentiment marginally improved with the region now mixed heading into the European open. US equity futures overnight opened trade with a mild negative tilt before drifting higher, with a broad-based performance experienced across the Stateside contracts, whilst European equity contracts are marginally firmer. Back to APAC, the ASX 200 (+0.3%) was kept afloat by its energy sector as oil prices drifted higher, whilst index heavyweight Telstra was boosted after partnering with the Australian government to acquire Digicel Pacific in USD 1.6bln deal - for which Telstra contributed only USD 270mln. The Nikkei 225 (-0.7%) opened lower by around 1% with Softbank and Fast Retailing the biggest losers, although the index initially trimmed losses as the JPY remained on the backfoot. The Hang Seng (+0.1%) and Shanghai Comp (+0.8%) were mixed at the open, with the latter supported by a net PBoC injection of CNY 190bln, whilst the Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index (-2.9%) was pressured by reports China's State Council is to expand the property-tax reform trials to more areas. On the flip side, China Evergrande and Evergrande New Energy Vehicle opened higher after the chairman said the group is to complete its transition to the NEV industry from real estate within 10 years. Finally, 10yr JGBs trade subdued and in contrast to its US and German counterparts. Top Asian News Xi Takes Veiled Swipe at U.S. as China Marks 50 Years at UN Hong Kong Convicts Second Person Under National Security Law Gold Extends Gain as Inflation Risks and Virus Concerns Persist Amnesty to Quit Hong Kong Citing Fears Under Security Law A tentative start to the week for European equities (Stoxx 600 U/C) as stocks struggle to find direction. On the macro front, the latest IFO report from Germany was mixed, with commentary from IFO downbeat, noting that Germany's economy faces an uncomfortable autumn as supply chain problems were causing trouble for companies, and production capacities were falling. The overnight session was a mixed bag with the Shanghai Composite (+0.8%) supported by a liquidity injection from the PBoC whilst the Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index (-2.9%) was pressured by reports China's State Council is to expand the property-tax reform trials to more areas. Stateside, US futures are marginally firmer with newsflow in the US in part, focused on events on Capitol Hill with CNN reporting that the goal among Democratic leaders is to have a vote Wednesday or Thursday on the infrastructure package. Note, the Fed is currently observing its blackout period ahead of the November meeting. From an earnings perspective, large-cap tech earnings dominate the slate for the week with the likes of Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT) and Amazon (AMZN) all due to report. Back to Europe, sectors are somewhat mixed as Basic Resources is the marked outperformer amid upside in underlying commodity prices. It’s been a busy morning for the Banking sector as HSBC (+1%) reported a 74% increase in Q3 earnings, whilst Credit Suisse (+0.7%) is reportedly mulling the sale of its asset management unit. Less encouragingly for the sector, UniCredit (-0.5%) and BMPS (-3.2%) shares are lower after negations on a rescue plan for BMPS have ended without an agreement. Finally, Airbus (-1.2%) and Safran (-2.3%) sit at the foot of the CAC after reports suggesting that the CEO's of Avolon and AerCap have, in recent weeks, written to the Airbus CEO expressing their concerns that the market will not support Airbus' aggressive plans to increase the pace of production; subsequently, Airbus has rejected their proposal, according to sources. Top European News The Man Behind Erdogan’s Worst Spat With the West: QuickTake Weidmann Succession Suspense May Last for Weeks on Berlin Talks Cat Rock Capital Urges Just Eat Takeaway to Sell GrubHub European Gas Jumps Most in a Week as Russian Supplies Slump In FX, the Dollar is somewhat mixed vs major counterparts and the index is jobbing around 93.500 as a result in rather aimless fashion at the start of a typically quiet start to the new week awaiting fresh impetus or clearer direction that is highly unlikely to come from September’s national activity index or October’s Dallas Fed business survey. Instead, the Greenback appears to be reliant on overall risk sentiment, US Treasury yields on an outright and relative basis along with moves elsewhere and technical impulses as the DXY roams within a 93.775-483 range. TRY - Lira losses continue to stack up, and the latest swoon to circa 9.8545 against the Buck came on the back of Turkish President Erdogan’s decision to declare 10 ambassadors persona non grata status due to their countries’ support for a jailed activist, including diplomats from the US, France and Germany. However, Usd/Try has actually pared some gains irrespective of a deterioration in manufacturing confidence and this may be partly psychological given that 10.0000 is looming with little in the way of chart resistance ahead of the big round number. AUD/NZD - Iron ore prices are helping the Aussie overcome rather mixed news on the COVID-19 front, as the state of Victoria is on course to open up further from Friday, but new cases in NSW rose by almost 300 for the second consecutive day on Sunday. Nevertheless, Aud/Usd has had another look at offers around 0.7500 and Aud/Nzd is approaching 1.0500 even though Westpac sees near term downside prospects for the cross while maintaining its 1.0600 year end projection, as Nzd/Usd continues to encounter resistance and supply into 0.7200. GBP/CAD - Sterling has regrouped after losing some of its hawkish BoE momentum and perhaps the Pound is benefiting from the latest rebound in Brent prices towards Usd 86.50/br on top of reports that the first round of talks between the UK and EU on NI Protocol were constructive, while the Loonie is up alongside WTI that has been adobe Usd 84.50 and awaiting the BoC on Wednesday. Cable is around 1.3750 after fading into 1.3800, Eur/Gbp is hovering above 0.8450 and Usd/Cad is pivoting 1.2350. EUR/JPY/CHF - The Euro has bounced from the lower half of 1.1600-1.1700 parameters and looks enshrined by a key Fib just beyond the current high (1.1670 represents a 38.2% retracement of the reversal from September peak to October trough) and decent option expiry interest under the low (1 bn between 1.1615-00), with little fundamental direction coming from a very inconclusive German Ifo survey - see 9.00BST post on the Headline Feed for the main metrics and accompanying comments from the institute. Elsewhere, the Yen is hedging bets prior to the BoJ within a 113.83-42 band against the Dollar and the Franc seems to have taken heed of another rise in weekly Swiss sight deposits at domestic banks as Usd/Chf climbs from circa 0.9150 towards 0.9200 and Eur/Chf trades nearer the top of a 1.0692-65 corridor. SCANDI/EM/PM - Firm oil prices are also underpinning the Nok, Rub and Mxn to various extents, while the Zar looks content with Gold’s advance on Usd 1800/oz and the Cnh/Cny have derived traction via a firmer onshore PBoC midpoint fix, a net Yuan 190 bn 7 day liquidity injection and the fact that China’s Evergrande has restarted work on more than 10 projects having made more interest payments on bonds in time to meet 30 day grace period deadlines. In commodities, a modestly firmer start to the week for the crude complex though action has been contained and rangebound throughout the European session after a modest grinding bid was seen in APAC hours. Currently, the benchmarks post upside of circa USD 0.30/bbl amid relatively minimal newsflow. The most pertinent update to watch stems from China, where the National Health Commission spokesperson said China's current COVID outbreak covers 11 provinces and expects the number of new cases to keep rising; additionally, the number of affected provinces could increase. Separately, but on COVID, they are some reports that the UK Government is paving the wat for ‘plan B’ measures in England, while this are primarily ‘softer’ restrictions a return of work-from-home guidance could hamper the demand-side of the equation. Note, further reports indicate this is not on the cards for this week and there are some indications that we could see, if necessary, such an announcement after the COP26 summit in Scotland ends on November 12th. Elsewhere, and commentary to keep an eye on for alterations given the above factors, Goldman Sachs writes that the persistence of the global oil demand recovery being on course to hit pre-COVID levels would present an upside risk to its end-2021 USD 90/bbl Brent price target. Moving to metals, spot gold and silver are firmer but reside within tight ranges of just over USD 10/oz in gold, for instance. In a similar vein to crude, newsflow explicitly for metals has been minimal but it is of course attentive to the COVID-19 situation while coal futures were hampered overnight as China’s State Planner announced it is to increase credit supervision in the area. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Sept. Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. 0.20, prior 0.29 10:30am: Oct. Dallas Fed Manf. Activity, est. 6.2, prior 4.6 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Well I saw Frozen twice this weekend. Once in the flesh up in London in the musical version and once on TV on Sunday at the heart of Manchester United’s defence which was breached 5 (five) times by Liverpool without reply. Regular readers can guess which I enjoyed the most. Anyway I’ll let it go for now and prepare myself for a bumper week ahead for markets. This week we have decisions from the ECB and the Bank of Japan (both Thursday) even if the Fed will be on mute as they hit their blackout period ahead of the likely taper decision next week. Inflation will obviously remain in the spotlight too as we get the October flash estimate for the Euro Area (Friday) with some regional numbers like German (Thursday) before. In addition, the Q3 earnings season will ramp up further, with 165 companies in the S&P 500 reporting, including Facebook (today), Microsoft, and Alphabet (both tomorrow), and Apple and Amazon (Thursday). Elsewhere, the UK government will be announcing their latest budget and spending review (Wednesday), Covid will remain in the headlines in light of the growing number of cases in many countries, and we’ll get the first look at Q3 GDP growth in the US (Thursday) and the Euro Area (Friday). Starting with those central bank meetings, we’re about to enter a couple of important weeks with the ECB and BoJ meeting this week, before the Fed and the BoE follow the week after. Market anticipation is much higher for the latter two though. So by comparison, the ECB and the BoJ are likely to be somewhat quieter, and our European economists write in their preview (link here) that this Governing Council meeting is likely to be a staging ground ahead of wide-ranging policy decisions in December, and will therefore be about tone and expectations management. One thing to keep an eye on in particular will be what is said about the recent surge in natural gas prices, as well as if ECB President Lagarde challenges the market pricing on liftoff as inconsistent with their inflation forecasts and new rates guidance. 5yr5yr Euro inflation swaps hit 2% for the first time on Friday so if the market is to be believed the ECB has achieved long-term success in hitting its mandate. With regards to the meeting, we think there’ll be more action in December where our economists’ baseline is that there’ll be confirmation that PEPP purchases will end in March 2022. See the BoJ preview here. Inflation will remain heavily in focus for markets over the week ahead, with recent days having seen investor expectations of future inflation rise to fresh multi-year highs. See the week in review at the end for more details. This week one of the main highlights will be the flash Euro Area CPI reading for October, which is out on Friday. Last month, CPI rose to 3.4%, which is the highest inflation has been since 2008, and this time around our economists are expecting a further increase in the measure to 3.8%. However, their latest forecast update (link here) expects that we’ll see the peak of 3.9% in November, before inflation starts to head back down again. The other main data highlight will come from the Q3 GDP figures, with releases for both the US and the Euro Area. For the US on Thursday the Atlanta Fed tracker has now hit a low of only +0.53%. DB is at 2.3% with consensus at 2.8%. Earnings season really ramps up this week, with the highlights including some of the megacap tech firms, and a total of 165 companies in the S&P 500 will be reporting. Among the firms to watch out for include Facebook and HSBC today. Then tomorrow, we’ll hear from Microsoft, Alphabet, Visa, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Texas Instruments, UPS, General Electric, UBS and Twitter. On Wednesday, releases will include Thermo Fisher Scientific, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Boeing, General Motors, Santander and Ford. Thursday then sees reports from Apple, Amazon, Mastercard, Comcast, Merck, Royal Dutch Shell, Linde, Volkswagen, Starbucks, Sanofi, Caterpillar, Lloyds Banking Group and Samsung. Finally on Friday, we’ll hear from ExxonMobil, Chevron, AbbVie, Charter Communications, Daimler, BNP Paribas, Aon and NatWest Group. Here in the UK, the main highlight next week will be the government’s Autumn Budget on Wednesday, with the Office for Budget Responsibility also set to release their latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook alongside that. In addition to the budget, the government will also be outlining the latest Spending Review, which will cover public spending priorities over the next 3 years. Our UK economists have released a preview of the event (link here), where they write that 2021-22 borrowing is expected to be revised down by £60bn, and they expect day-to-day spending will follow the path set out at the Spring Budget. They’re also expecting Chancellor Sunak will outline new fiscal rules. Finally, the pandemic is gaining increasing attention from investors again, with a number of countries having moved to toughen up restrictions in light of rising cases. This week, something to look out for will be the US FDA’s advisory committee meeting tomorrow, where they’ll be discussing Pfizer’s request for an emergency use authorization for its vaccine on 5-11 year olds. The CDC’s advisory committee is then holding a meeting on November 2 and 3 the following week, and the White House have said that if it’s authorised then the vaccine would be made available at over 25,000 paediatricians’ offices and other primary care sites, as well as in pharmacies, and school and community-based clinics. The full day by day calendar is at the end as usual. Asian markets are mixed this morning so far, as the Shanghai Composite (+0.38%), Hang Seng (+0.09%) and the KOSPI (+0.30%) are edging higher, while the Nikkei (-0.85%) is down. The rise in Chinese markets comes despite the news of 38 new COVID-19 cases as well as an announcement of a lockdown affecting around 35,700 residents of a county in Inner Mongolia. As China is one of the last countries in the world to still adhere to strict containment measures, a major outbreak can deal a fresh blow to the domestic economy and further reinforce global supply chain issues. Elsewhere the Turkish Lira hit fresh record lows, and is down around -1.5% as we type after last week’s surprise interest rate cut and Saturday’s news that ambassadors from 10 countries, including the US, Germany and France, were no longer welcome in the country. S&P 500 futures (+0.06%) are around unchanged and 10yr US Treasury yields are back up c.1bp. Looking back on an eventful week now, and there was a marked increase in inflation expectations, which manifested itself in global breakevens hitting multi-year, if not all-time, highs. Starting with the all-time highs, US 5-year breakevens increased +14.9bps (-1.0bps Friday) to 2.90%, the highest level since 5-year TIPS have started trading, while 10-year breakevens increased +7.5bps (-0.7bps Friday) to 2.64%, their highest readings since 2005. 10-year breakevens in Germany increased +9.5 bps (+3.6bps Friday) to 1.91%, their highest since 2011, while in the UK 10-year breakevens increased +17.1 bps (+4.0bps Friday) to 4.19%, the highest level since 1996. Remarkable as these levels are, 5-year 5-year inflation swaps in the US, UK, and Euro Area finished the week at 2.63%, 4.00%, and 2.00%, multi-year highs for all of these measures. If you never thought you’d see the day that long term inflation expectations in Europe would hit 2% then this is a nice/nasty surprise. Overall, this suggests investors are pricing in the potential for inflation far into the future to be higher, in addition to responding to near-term stimulus and Covid reopening impacts. Crude oil prices also climbed to their highest levels since 2014, with Brent climbing +1.07% (+1.37% Friday) and WTI gaining +2.07% (+1.79% Friday). One area where there was some reprieve was in industrial metals. Copper decreased -4.81% (-1.24% Friday), but at $449.80, remains +10.10% higher month-to-date. Bitcoin also joined the all-time high club intraweek, and finished the week +2.28% higher (-3.08% Friday). It marked a seminal week for the crypto asset, which saw ETFs and options on said ETFs begin trading in the US. The inflationary sentiment coincided with market pricing of central bank rate hikes shifting earlier. 2-year yields in the US, UK, and Germany increased +5.9 bps (+0.1bps Friday), +8.0 bps (-4.7 bps Friday), and +4.0 bps (+0.9bps Friday) respectively. In fact, money markets are now placing slightly-better-than even odds that the MPC will raise Bank Rate as early as next week. Fed and ECB officials offered some push back against the aggressive policy path repricing, but BoE speakers seemed to confirm a hike next week was a legitimate possibility. Rounding out sovereign bonds, nominal 10-year yields increased +6.2 bps (-6.9bps Friday) in the US, +4.0 bps (-5.6bps Friday) in the UK, +6.2 bps (-0.3 bps Friday) in Germany, +6.0 bps (-0.1bpFriday) in France, and +8.1 bps (+0.8bps Friday) in Italy. Inflation expectations didn’t fall with the big rally in the US and U.K. but real rates rallied hard. The S&P 500 increased +1.64% over the week, but ended its 7-day winning streak after retreating on -0.11% Friday. On earnings, 117 S&P 500 companies have now reported third quarter earnings. Roughly 85% of companies have beat earnings expectations compared to the five-year average of 76%, while 74% of reporting companies have beat sales estimates. The aggregate earnings surprise is +13.05%, topping the 5-year average of +8.4%, while the sales surprise is +2.06%. Although a seemingly strong performance on the surface, our equity team, after taking a look under the hood in this note here, points out that a large part of the beats so far is due to loan-loss reserve releases by banks. Excluding those, the aggregate S&P 500 beat is running much closer to historical average, suggesting the headline beats have not been as broad based as they look at first glance. Congressional Democrats spent the week negotiating the next fiscal package, which is set to spend more than $1 trillion on social priorities key to the Biden administration. On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi noted that 90% of the bill is agreed to and would be voted on before October was out. One of the key sticking points has been what offsetting revenue raising measures should be included in the final bill. As those details emerge, it should give us a better picture as to the ultimate additional fiscal impulse the new bill will provide. Finally, global services PMIs out last Friday expanded while manufacturing PMIs lagged. Readings across jurisdictions were consistent with supply chain issues continuing to impact activity. Tyler Durden Mon, 10/25/2021 - 08:09.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 25th, 2021

Mountain Peaks and Tumbleweeds: Real Estate in Frontierland, USA

Editor’s note: Even in an industry where jobs are determined by the disparate geography and composition of their individual communities, there are realms that transcend the real estate firmament, where markets, environments or policy make the experience of buying and selling homes something else entirely. People who embark on careers in these spaces take on […] The post Mountain Peaks and Tumbleweeds: Real Estate in Frontierland, USA appeared first on RISMedia. Editor’s note: Even in an industry where jobs are determined by the disparate geography and composition of their individual communities, there are realms that transcend the real estate firmament, where markets, environments or policy make the experience of buying and selling homes something else entirely. People who embark on careers in these spaces take on a different set of challenges than the vast majority of those in the industry. In RISMedia’s “Real Estate On The Edge” series, we take a look at some of these people and the spaces they work in, highlighting some of the most interesting places and environments to practice real estate. In the far southwest corner of Texas lies Zapata County. Nestled against the U.S./Mexico border, the county—around 1,000 square miles of rocky desert, with a population of around 15,000—is not home to any incorporated municipalities or border crossings. About a third of the population lives in the relatively bustling county seat of Zapata, which offers all the small-town comfort that a few chain restaurants, mom-and-pop bakeries, laundromats and a newly built public playground can provide. A scrubby nine-hole golf course at the edge of town holds regular tournaments and fundraisers, and the local high school football field can accommodate more than half the town’s population for football and other sporting events. The nearest city of any measurable size is Laredo, about an hour’s drive to the north through mostly empty desert, and the nearest metro, San Antonio, lies almost four hours away by car. Liz Mendoza is the broker/owner of Cornerstone Real Estate. She has lived in Zapata her entire life. Most of her family works in education, she says, but since 1996, her passion has been real estate—something that started as a college job but evolved into much more than that as she took over the county’s only real estate brokerage. “I’m the little one from this little, small city but I’m a contender,” she promises. Most homes in Zapata County go for around $100,000, though you can get a fixer-upper for half that. Like Mendoza, many of her clients have deep roots in the small desert community, going back multiple generations. People will inherit land or a home and may want to sell, while others save enough money to upgrade after living in one of the many prefabricated structures or trailers that essentially serve as starter homes. About 15% of Zapata residents work in the oil industry, chasing jobs that have steadily moved out of the area according to Mendoza. In 1954, a dam meant to mitigate flooding issues in the Rio Grande completely destroyed the original settlement, with many property owners forced to flee on short notice, abandoning family homesteads. But many of them chose to remain in the area despite its remote location and challenges. Mendoza describes this attitude in her beloved community as not one of defiance, but persistence. People in Zapata are not staying in spite of the area’s tough history, but because of it, relishing the community and the lifestyle that their ancestors cultivated. “They keep lands in their families for generations,” she says. About 2,000 miles to the north, on the far side of the country, is another place that has historically drawn those who want to embrace a self-sustaining, rugged lifestyle far from the city rat-race. With a population of just over a million people spread out over 150,000 square miles of deeply forested, mountain terrain, Montana is one of the least densely populated states behind only Wyoming and Alaska. Will Friedner is not a native Montanan, he admits. He founded his brokerage, Montana Life Realty, about 15 years ago with his wife after growing up in Minnesota. “The most fulfilling thing is just showing people the state and watching them react,” he says. “It’s still one of the few places left in the lower 48 that is still so wild.” Though it has little else in common superficially with the shale-scattered clay of South Texas, people who choose to live in rural Montana share something very important with the folks of Zapata: pride. Friedner says that people in his state are looking for a lifestyle that is deeply personal and unique, centered on the state’s ability to provide space, and a rugged communion with nature. “I like to joke that you can watch your dog run away for three days, because there’s nothing there,” he says. Further north—much further north, in fact—is a place that most people understand is a frontier. Connie Yoshimura is a broker at Alaska Realty in Anchorage, through Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. She took a road trip up through Canada 40 years ago, she says, and never looked back. Though there is truth to what outsiders imagine when they think of her state—long winters, wildlife, empty space and self-reliance—Alaska is also a place of great diversity, she says, with bustling cultural centers and people living all sorts of lifestyles. “We’re actually a combination of a frontier state and a pretty sophisticated urban environment,” Yoshimura says. Those who are seeking to move there, or move within the state, mostly know what they are doing, she says, and also have in common a tremendous appreciation of what Alaska can offer them and their families. “I personally enjoy working with buyers and sellers and learning what brings them to this particular point in time,” she adds. “Some people come for great adventure.” What these frontier agents all have in common, though, is a deeply personal reason for doing what they do, where they do it—a connection with the people, with the landscape or with the history of these communities. Whether they grew up there or are transplants themselves, each has remained out on the edge, spending decades getting to know all the unique challenges and extraordinary experiences of these places—which in the end, is what the job is all about. What It’s Like Housing is especially unique in Zapata, according to Mendoza, because no developer has ever built speculatively there—every house is either a prefab or a custom design commissioned (or constructed) by the property owner. Because of this, and because she has been essentially the only real estate agent in the county for close to two decades, Mendoza says she has sold some’s homes three or four times. “I know the history of it, and I can tell them that. Some may or may not believe it, but I’ll tell them, ‘Oh I remember when I sold it the first time, and this is what it looked like,'” she laughs. “Limited inventory, you know, so we trade the same house over and over.” One of Mendoza’s properties outside the town of Zapata—a three-bedroom, two-bath ranch listed at $105,000—is described as “secluded…yet property is not isolated.” Among the listing photos is one of a rabbit crouched beside a cactus in the backyard (the property is great for hunting, the listing says). Another listing consists of two prefab structures (one that was formerly used as a beauty shop) connected by a sheet-metal overhang that forms a patio, or carport depending on preference. The lot includes shaded animal pens as well as a lake view, according to the listing. Mendoza says it took a while for the larger REALTOR® organization in Laredo—a relative metropolis with a population of about 100,000—to take her seriously, but she has since proved herself as a scrappy and passionate member of the community, being elected to the Board of Directors in Laredo last year. “There’s other big-time brokers that trade properties left and right, and at first I was kind of being looked down ,” she says. “They’ve learned to respect me, and now they appreciate Zapata because I tell them the good .” At the other extreme in Zapata is the relocation industry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agents are consistently transferred in and out, and oil industry workers—who make up about 15% of Zapata County jobs according to census data—also arrive regularly, many from thousands of miles away and hailing from very different geographic and demographic areas. “We deal a lot with relocation,” she says. “Some people are used to having Walmart a block away. We don’t have that; it’s 45 minutes to the first Walmart. So we kind of explain that to people.” While these kinds of situations—communicating the unique challenges of the area to outsiders—make up a good portion of Mendoza’s business in Zapata, out-of-staters have been Friedner’s bread and butter, at least for the last two years or so. Montana metros were the third-fastest growing in the nation as far as price appreciation this past spring and summer, according to data collected by the National Association of REALTORS®, as many people fled coastal markets looking for space and affordability during the pandemic. With all the transplants, it got to the point where late last summer Friedner filmed a video titled “Living in Montana: Things They Don’t Tell You,” which was meant to address issues most outsiders are not prepared for. That video went viral, garnering almost 2.5 million views as of press time. “Ironically enough, the video that goes viral is the one that’s about why you shouldn’t move to Montana,” he deadpans. He was inspired to make that video, he explains, after driving a couple from Los Angeles hours into the wilderness to see a home they had viewed online, and felt was a sure home-run. “They just had no idea what they were getting into,” he says. “By the time we got to it, their eyes were huge and…obviously weren’t going to live out there once they saw it in person.” Frieder says he now strongly recommends that any out-of-state buyers take a drive through the state before he sends them any specific listing, just so they can get an idea of just how vast and isolated it is—have a chance to spot a bear on the side of the road or experience a few hundred miles of cell-service blackout. If they are still interested after that, he says they can start discussing specific properties or issues, like roads that are only ploughed if you plough them yourself, grizzly bears and wolves encroaching on properties (only an issue in certain parts of the state) and what “off-grid” really means as far as your daily, monthly and yearly investment of time and money. “Some people are scared off a little bit, some people just think it sounds even better,” Friedner laughs. This is in stark contrast to Alaska where Yoshimura says people almost always have a good idea of what to expect if they are planning on moving to the state. “Everybody that’s here enjoys the great outdoors,” she says. Claire James is Alaska Realty’s business development director working with Yoshimura at Berkshire Hathaway. She herself is an avid backpacker and outdoor enthusiast who regularly embarks on weeklong hikes through the Alaskan wilderness. But she says a lot of folks coming up the state end up in relatively standard living arrangements in the cities or suburbs. “Often will say they’re looking for a cabin in the woods,” she says. “But in reality, we live in a major city. We do not live in igloos in Alaska. Once they’re here, they realize they want to live where the work and where the homes are, and maybe in the future they can purchase that second cabin.” That isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of unique aspects to the market. A lot of people who purchase lake homes need to know whether they are able to land or dock small airplanes there, according to Yoshimura, as air travel is extremely common in a state where roads simply do not reach every town or community. Wildlife is also endemic to all parts of the state—not just out in the boonies. “I was out walking my dog last night and I was greeted by a huge bull moose,” James says. People who have lived there a while are not necessarily surprised or in awe of these types of encounters—both black and brown bears, bald eagle and wolves—but instead approach the situation from a practical standpoint. “A lot of times you just think, ‘Okay should I run?'” James laughs. Another unique issue is for people who live in “fly-to” locations outside of the major cities and have to account for the fact that all goods and services have to arrive by plane. The trade-off is of course, access to some of the best fishing, hiking and incredible landscapes in the world. “Those towns are just beautiful,” James says. Generally, Yoshimura says people in Alaska are looking for two things: space and a view. Lake homes are very popular, and anything with mountain or water views will be in high demand. Lake access or really spectacular views can easily drive the price of a property up by six figures, she says. These things are also highly sought after in Montana, according to Friedner, but the vast surge of interest from outsiders has also resulted in a lot of push-back from the folks who have lived there for generations. In the “Living In Montana” viral video, Friedner said that some locals have begun referring to Bozeman—the state’s fourth-largest metro with a population of just over 50,000—as “Boze Angeles” due to the influx of California migrants. But though restaurants might be busier and roads might occasionally get clogged (relatively speaking) around resort areas, Frieder says Montana has plenty of room for newcomers. “As much as the locals don’t want to hear that,” he says, “you can drive ten minutes out of town and you’re in the middle of nowhere. I don’t want to see Montana turn into Southern California, but it’s going to be long after I’m gone before it ever gets to that point.” Why We’re Here In Zapata, welcoming strangers has never been an issue, according to Mendoza—something that can be traced through the area’s history of ranchers and frontiersmen who stuck together through hard times. That includes decades of 19th century outlaws feuding across the almost stateless land, and political upheaval during the short-lived Republic of the Rio Grande uprising in 1840, with the county named after slain revolutionary general Antonio Zapata. But despite its lineage of conflict, Mexican and White Anglo-Europeans in Zapata have almost always gotten along, according to the Texas Historical Society, even as nearby regions saw significant ethnic and racial violence through much of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Mendoza says this spirit of peace and harmony persists today, with the majority-Hispanic population happy to mingle with relocated workers, seasonal vacationers at nearby Falcon Lake and any new neighbors regardless of race or origin. “We’ve learned to mesh well with everyone,” she says. “People here are raised different—we’re raised to respect. Everybody here—in Spanish we say, tio and tia. So everywhere I go, people are my tio and tia, people I don’t even know. That’s the respect we have for people because we were brought up with that kind of morals.” Living in a place where everyone refers to you as an uncle or aunt is part of what has kept Mendoza in Zapata, she says, and part of what makes her work more than a job—makes it a service to every person who wants to share the unique, enduring community she belongs to. “These are people that I live with, these are people that I’m going to see at the store tomorrow,” she says. “I need to make sure that I did a good job for them because I’m going to bump into them every day, and I want to make sure they’re happy with the services that I could provide. So I take a lot of pride in that.” In Montana, there is a very different kind of priority. Many people come to the state and stay there because they would rather not see their neighbors every day, according to Friedner. “Everybody wants to go be a cowboy in Montana,” he said. The peace and opportunity that comes from that amount of space has a growing appeal, he says, with a lot of out-of-state folks explicitly asking for homes that are “off the grid” or properties with no legal restrictions. In his video, Friedner talked about housing covenants, which dictate the kind of activities or uses allowed on a particular lot. A lot of people come to him asking for properties that have no covenants, and because most of rural Montana land is also unzoned, they imagine they can do essentially whatever they want with that kind of property. Though this is often attainable, Friedner warned that there are also drawbacks. A neighbor can park dozens of junk cars haphazardly in their front yard, open a store or start raising livestock next door and there is little recourse for a property owner who is bothered by these things. Because of this need for space, sometimes even acres and acres of distance isn’t enough, Friedner says, as people value their self-reliance, history and privacy in a way that is hard to describe to outsiders. Likewise in Alaska, where James and Yoshimura say that there is an inherent respect earned simply by calling the state home. “Alaskans are really proud to live here,” she says. “There’s just no more beautiful place than Alaska,” Yoshimura affirms. Diversity is more than environment and landscape, she adds. Indigenous people speak almost 150 different languages in local schools, and Anchorage and Juneau boast growing hispanic communities, she says. And though the 18% of the population that identifies as indigenous has faced violence and continues to battle discrimination, several young people have also been able to move into the cities, according to Yoshimura, to attend colleges or elevate employment opportunities. Every individual and family—immigrant or native— bring tremendous and unique individual histories to the state, Yoshimura says, traceable across the vast Alaskan landscape and beyond. And that is the real appeal to being in this part of the world, especially as a real estate agent, she adds. Every place where people live has written its own story, stories that are often as wild and ancient as the rolling tundras, sparkling fjords and soaring mountains that initially draw people to explore Alaska. It is this deeper landscape of community and history that someone like Yoshimura, someone like Friedner, someone like Mendoza gets to explore every day, and the reason why they all have spent decades as real estate agents in the communities that they know—and love—more than anyone. Jesse Williams is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to jwilliams@rismedia.com. The post Mountain Peaks and Tumbleweeds: Real Estate in Frontierland, USA appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaOct 19th, 2021

NYCHA seeking developers to fix 6,000 apartments under PACT deal

The city’s public housing authority, NYCHA, is looking for more private sector developers to help repair thousands of public apartments. NYCHA has released a new Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to attract development partners for projects under its Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program to repair and preserve more... The post NYCHA seeking developers to fix 6,000 apartments under PACT deal appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. The city’s public housing authority, NYCHA, is looking for more private sector developers to help repair thousands of public apartments. NYCHA has released a new Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to attract development partners for projects under its Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program to repair and preserve more than 5,900 units in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan. “The applicants selected through this RFEI announcement will play a crucial role in securing comprehensive capital upgrades to NYCHA properties in dire need of full-scale infrastructural repairs,” said NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “We look forward to weighing the submitted proposals for the care and attention they place on delivering meaningful quality-of-life improvements on behalf of the thousands of residents targeted under this latest iteration.” This is the 11th RFEI the Authority has issued since introducing the PACT program when it was revealed years of neglect and mismanagement had left the nation’s biggest public housing provider with an estimated $40 billion repair bill while juggled a budget deficit all under the watch of a federal monitor. PACT is part of a multi-pronged approach by City Hall to tackle the housing crisis that impacts nearly half-a-million tenants by allowing NYCHA to raise money for repairs through the lease of the land and buildings to private developers. PACT allows NYCHA to completely renovate developments using HUD Section 8 conversion programs, including the Rental Assistance Demonstration program (RAD), Tenant Protection Voucher (TPV) funding, and Part 200 disposition. The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), the local housing finance agency, assembles the financing and provide asset management and compliance for the PACT transactions. Through PACT, developments are included in the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and convert to Project Based Section 8, considered a more stable federally funded program. Once a property is converted to Project-Based Section 8, NYCHA leases the land and buildings to the development partners, who conduct the repairs, serve as the new on-site property manager, and provide social services and community programs. NYCHA continues to own the land and buildings, administer the Section 8 subsidy and waitlist, and monitor conditions at the development. While the process has been plagued by complaints from residents and criticism from those who consider it a back door to privatization, NYCHA’s executive vice president of Real Estate Development, Jonathan Gouveia believes any kinks have been ironed out. “Over the past year, NYCHA’s Real Estate Development Department has worked diligently to revise our PACT requirements in a way that reflects the thoughtful concerns of our residents and stakeholders,” said Gouveia. “We are confident that our approach will yield a host of high-quality rehabilitation proposals capable of improving the health, prosperity, and living conditions of NYCHA residents.” To date, some 9,500 NYCHA apartments have been moved to the PACT system and are privately managed under RAD. Another 11,800 units are expected to be transferred to the program by year’s end. NYCHA’s latest RFEI is for pre-qualified partners – those who’ve already gone through an accreditation process that looks for firms with  diverse partnerships, an ability to provide resident programming and services, green building and resident engagement plans – to repair and renovate nearly 6,000 apartments in Harlem and The Bronx: Boston Secor, Boston Road Plaza & Middletown Plaza (952 units) Jackie Robinson & Harlem Scattered Sites (1,063 units) Manhattanville (1,272 units) Murphy Private (850 units) Northwest Bronx Scattered Sites (1,817 units) Submitted proposals will be reviewed by resident committees formed by the Tenant Association leaders to assist NYCHA in the selection of partners for their respective developments. One a deal is struck, residents can expect to see their buildings, common spaces, and apartments modernized through extensive renovations. According to this newest RFEI, repairs to individual apartments will include comprehensive work on kitchens, bathrooms, windows, and living spaces. Chronic heat and gas outages will be addressed and renovations of interiors and common spaces, as well as elevator repairs, will be completed. Additionally, there will be improvements to building security, including upgraded entry systems and additional security cameras. Partnerships with social service providers have also been established to improve on-site services and programming through input from residents. “Modernizing NYCHA is imperative for the well-being and quality of life of NYCHA residents,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “The city welcomes development partners who are committed to improving living conditions and providing safe, quality housing in a thriving community that meets the needs of NYCHA tenants.” The post NYCHA seeking developers to fix 6,000 apartments under PACT deal appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyOct 8th, 2021

Beijing Initiates "Olympic Bubble" Measures For Pandemic Control

Beijing Initiates "Olympic Bubble" Measures For Pandemic Control Authored by Jenny Li via The Epoch Times, A coronavirus outbreak in Beijing’s neighboring city of Tianjin comes just four weeks before the start of the Winter Olympics in the Chinese capital. This means all 15 million Tianjin residents are barred from entering Beijing which is 100 kilometers away. Meanwhile, Beijing’s so-called “Closed Loop” or “Bubble” measures for the Winter Olympics are now in full swing. The Olympics begin Feb. 4. On Jan. 9, the Jinnan District Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Tianjin reported that 20 more people tested positive through COVID-19 PCR testing, a day after 20 others were found to have the virus. Those infected are linked to educational facilities, and the outbreak has spread to at least three schools. The Tianjin Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted genetic sequencing of the virus in two of the cases and identified the virus at the new Omicron variant. On Jan. 9, the Tianjin municipal government decided to carry out nucleic acid testing on all its staff. Other testing measures for the public are likewise taking place. “People in four districts, Jinan, Dongli, Xiqing, and Nankai are taking nucleic acid testing today,” Mr. Zhang from Nankai District, Tianjin told The Epoch Times on Jan. 9. “The rest will take them tomorrow. Nankai District has notified the closure of the district. People in Jinan District have basically all done nucleic acid yesterday,” he said. “People were still lining up at 3:00 am. At four o’clock in the morning, the inspectors started going door to door to administer nucleic acid [testing] to elderly people who had not taken it.” Meanwhile, the Tianjin Municipal Examination Institute announced that all interviews for a teacher qualification examination scheduled for Jan. 9 had been canceled. “There is a teacher qualification exam these two days,” Zhang said. “I learned online that those who finished the exam on the 8th were required to quarantine, but it was announced at 11.30 p.m. yesterday that the test on the 9th was canceled,” he said. “A lot of people came to Tianjin [for the exam] and live in a hotel. Now they just can’t go back. They may need to quarantine at their own expense. I saw someone saying online that he had no money, no food, and couldn’t go out.” On Jan. 9, Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a notice urging “Beijing residents not to go to Tianjin unless it is necessary, and Tianjin residents do not come to Beijing unless it is necessary.” Officials at the Yingsi checkpoint on the Beijing-Shanghai Expressway told the state-run Beijing News that they had turned back many people and vehicles entering Beijing over the past two days. The official request is understood not to be a “travel advisory” but an executive order. In October 2021, Beijing issued a clear order banning entry into Beijing of the so-called “four categories of people,” including “people in the county with one or more local COVID infection(s) and those with travel history in that county within 14 days”. In other words, as long as there is a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in a county, everyone from that county is not allowed to enter Beijing, including Beijing residents who stayed there within 14 days. Zhang said the authorities are not concerned about the treatment of those who are ill from the virus. “The media and the government have always focused on how many people have been tested positive,” he said. “But how many have been infected, and how many have been isolated, but how are these patients doing? How long does it take to recover? How effective is the treatment? Almost nothing is seen. Why is there no follow-up on concerns about lasting adverse effects from vaccines?” Other than being nervous about the outbreak in Tianjin, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities are further worried that the virus could spread from Xi’an in Shaanxi Province, through similarly named Shanxi Province, plus Henan, and Hebei provinces, and then on to Beijing. The cities of Zhengzhou and Xuchang in Henan Province, south of Beijing, have been hit by the virus. Henan is a major transportation route into Beijing and currently all passengers traveling by train through the province will not be allowed to enter Beijing. Another province joining Shaanxi and Hebei provinces is Shanxi. On Jan. 6, the Shanxi Provincial Office of Epidemic Prevention and Control issued a notice requiring people not to go out of the province unless necessary. The notice also requires people entering or returning to Shanxi to immediately report to their workplaces, communities, or hotels and take nucleic acid tests. On Jan. 9, the Epidemic Prevention and Control Office in Jincheng City, Shanxi Province said that because “the epidemic situation around our city is becoming increasingly severe,” it will be “strictly” tightening controls. Among such measures are prohibiting access to county and village roads in Henan Province to Jincheng and discouraging the return of foreign vehicles and people with a history of travel to Henan Province via high-speed, national, and provincial roads and high-speed trains. With the 2022 Winter Olympics set to kick off in Beijing on Feb. 4, the CCP hopes to demonstrate its “institutional confidence” to the world with its anti-epidemic measures. Beijing has also carried out its “bubble management” in the lead-up to the event to ensure that people associated with the Games, including members of foreign sports teams and Chinese participants, do not come into contact with other “ordinary Chinese.” Given that pandemic data released by the CCP is largely regarded as illogical, it is generally not recognized by the international community. It is incomprehensible for the international community that the city of Xi’an with a population of some 12 million people has been sealed off after less than 100 officially positive infections have been found. Tyler Durden Fri, 01/14/2022 - 19:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 14th, 2022

Looking to Buy a Home With Dogecoin? Washington Developer Will Take Cryptocurrency

(TNS)—A Gig Harbor, Washington-based developer plans to start taking cryptocurrency as payment for its real estate later this month.  Harbor Custom Development, Inc. will accept “digital currencies as payment for its listed land, developed lots, residential homes, condominiums, and apartments in the company’s operating markets in Washington, California, Texas, and Florida beginning Jan. 24, 2022,” […] The post Looking to Buy a Home With Dogecoin? Washington Developer Will Take Cryptocurrency appeared first on RISMedia. (TNS)—A Gig Harbor, Washington-based developer plans to start taking cryptocurrency as payment for its real estate later this month.  Harbor Custom Development, Inc. will accept “digital currencies as payment for its listed land, developed lots, residential homes, condominiums, and apartments in the company’s operating markets in Washington, California, Texas, and Florida beginning Jan. 24, 2022,” it said in a recent news release.  The company plans to take Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD Coin, XRP, Dogecoin, SHIBA INU, Binance USD, Wrapped Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dai, Bitcoin Cash, Pax Dollar & Gemini Dollar.  “Acceptance of digital currencies for our real estate offerings is a logical step for Harbor and demonstrates our flexible business model that separates us from our industry peers,” chief operating officer Jeff Habersetzer said in the release.  Harbor Custom Development operates around Puget Sound, as well as in Sacramento, California; Austin, Texas; and Punta Gorda, Florida.  Its website recently advertised homes in Tacoma, Bremerton, Belfair, Blaine, Texas and California.  “By accepting digital currencies, Harbor not only opens the door to entities with combined market caps exceeding $1 trillion of purchasing power, but places Harbor in a first mover position of adoption,” Sterling Griffin, President and CEO, said in the release. “… Our clear objective is to drive shareholder value while acting as the thought leader within our industry group.”  Harbor Custom Development’s current local projects Soundview Estates, Bremerton: 25 homes Mills Crossing, Bremerton: 36 townhome apartments under construction Pacific Ridge, Tacoma: 80 condominiums under construction Wyndstone, Yelm: 76 apartments units under construction Olympic Sunset View Apartment Project, Belfair: 226 units under construction Tanglewilde, Olympia Apartments: 177 under construction  Harbor Custom Development’s future local projects  Bridgeview Apartments, Port Orchard: 138 units, site construction starts spring 2022 Broadmoor Commons, Bremerton: 32 townhome apartments, construction starts this month Westry Village, Poulsbo: 66 townhomes, spring 2022  (c)2022 The Peninsula Gateway (Gig Harbor, Wash.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. The post Looking to Buy a Home With Dogecoin? Washington Developer Will Take Cryptocurrency appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismediaJan 13th, 2022

China Seals People"s Doors, Xi"an Residents Cry For Food

China Seals People's Doors, Xi'an Residents Cry For Food By Nicole Hao of the Epoch Times, The Chinese regime sealed residents’ homes in Xi’an on Jan. 8, but didn’t arrange for a reliable food supply, residents say. After being locked down for almost three weeks, they are lacking in food and on the edge of mental breakdown. Staff members wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) spray disinfectant outside a shopping mall in Xi'an, China The Chinese regime has claimed the COVID-19 outbreak in Xi’an has been under control since Jan. 5. However, the regime upgraded the control measures and Xi’an residents still can’t leave their homes even on Jan. 11. “I had never been diagnosed with COVID-19. Why did they seal my door?” Cai Jiaying (pseudonym), a resident at Rongshang Compound, Changyanbao Community, Yanta district in Xi’an, told the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times on Jan. 9. “Our residential compound has been locked down for 21 days. … In the beginning [of the lockdown], I consoled myself. I was disappointed days later, and then felt hopeless and despair. This morning, I went crazy.” Cai said that she and her husband had only bought a little food successfully in the past three weeks, and didn’t know when they could buy some more. “I’m worried that we won’t have anything to eat soon. We don’t dare to fill our stomachs. We go to bed after a meal at 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. every afternoon. We sleep more to save food,” Cai said. She said that the family only had a small bowl of rice, 11 pounds of wheat flour, seven cups of instant noodles, one bamboo shoot, and a little bit of meat at home. “The food can feed us for at most one week.” Other Xi’an residents told The Epoch Times similar stories in phone interviews. Staff members wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) spray disinfectant outside a shopping mall in Xi’an, China, on Jan. 11, 2022. Continued Lockdown On Jan. 11, Xi’an authorities announced that nine communities in the city were downgraded to low-risk regions where people have few chances to contact COVID-19 patients, and 44 others still remained high-risk or medium-risk regions. The regime didn’t mention how many communities there were in the city, nor details of the lockdown policies in different risk regions. On Jan. 10, local authorities announced another standard to divide the city, called “Closed Zone,” “Controlled Zone,” and “Prevention Zone.” In general, residents in closed zones aren’t allowed to leave their homes no matter how healthy they are or how urgent their need to go out. The regime said that zones could be downgraded if no resident in the zone was infected with the CCP virus or had contact with COVID-19 patients in the past 14 days, and all residents tested negative within 48 hours. Staff members wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) spray disinfectant outside a shopping mall in Xi’an, China, on Jan. 11, 2022.  Livelihood in Xi’an Being locked down at home or in a dorm, Xi’an residents are suffering. “We don’t know how to obtain food [after the regime sealed our home’s door]. We only have a few cabbage leaves at home,” Xu Qianru (pseudonym), a resident at Changyanbao community in Yanta district told the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times on Jan. 9. “We kept on calling the residential compound’s management company, but nobody answered the phone.” Xu’s apartment was sealed by the management company on the evening of Jan. 8. She learned from her neighbors that all apartments in the compound were sealed. “Several thousand families in our compound are sealed at home like us … Our lives are really difficult,” Xu added. “We had eaten all our stock [in the past weeks during the lockdown], and we can’t buy anything. Do you [Xi’an officials] want the over ten thousand residents [in the compound] to die of starvation?” Yang Hai, a resident of Hengdacheng at Dazhai road, Yanta district, complained in a video posted on social media platforms on Jan. 8. The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, is the virus that causes the disease COVID-19. Yang shared photos of the residential compound, which showed that the regime locked the doors of the residential unit by using iron wires and sealed the apartment doors by using paper. “Do you [officials] treat us, the people, like animals?” Yang criticized. “We can’t receive any materials [food] after the doors are sealed!” College students in Xi’an have been locked down in dorms since late December last year, and aren’t allowed to leave the building, not to mention go home even though some of their homes are in the city. “We have six ladies sharing one room … We stay in our twin-over-twin bunk beds for most of the time during the day,” Fu Hua (pseudonym) told the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times on Jan. 8. “We study different majors and have different class schedules. [Since the lockdown began,] we take online classes at the dorm, and we can’t avoid interfering with each other.” Fu said that she felt frustrated about the lockdown. She would even prefer to be sent to a quarantine center for 14 days if the regime would allow her to go home after the quarantine. Tyler Durden Wed, 01/12/2022 - 23:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 13th, 2022

Innospec (IOSP) Gets China Approval for Sulfate-Free Surfactants

Innospec's (IOSP) technologies, like Iselux, directly deal with increasing long-term consumer demand for clean beauty without compromising product performance. Innospec Inc. IOSP declared that Iselux, its industry-leading sulfate and 1,4-dioxane free surfactant technology, has been cleared for use in China, the world’s second-biggest personal care market.Iselux is a highly versatile, clear, mild and natural surfactant that offers superior lather, skin feel and cleansing performance in more than 3,000 body, hair and other personal care products today. It is available in liquid and solid form. With approval from China, for the first time, Iselux is now accessible for worldwide cosmetic and personal care use by Innospec’s customers.Innospec technologies directly cater to the increasing long-term consumer demand for clean beauty without compromising product performance. The company recently announced plans for more than $70 million of organic growth investments through 2023 to support the higher demand outlook for its premium personal and home care technologies.The company stated that the approval opens the door for Iselux sales for the first time in China and boosts the number of premium formulation alternatives that it can offer in this key market. The company noted that the approval gives its customers the option to standardize their global formulations and simplify their supply-chains around an Iselux chassis in all geographies.Shares of the company have declined 3.6% in the past year against a 7.9% rise of the industry.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchInnospec, in its last earnings call, stated that its medium-term outlook, for its Fuel Specialties unit, for global diesel, jet and sustainable fuel demand suggests growth from 2019 levels. The company also raised its medium-term volume growth outlook from mid-single to high single-digits for the Performance Chemicals unit. In Oilfield Services, IOSP continues to focus on boosting operating income and margin.Zacks Rank & Key PicksInnospec currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).Some better-ranked stocks worth considering in the basic materials space include Albemarle Corporation ALB, Commercial Metals Company CMC and AdvanSix Inc. ASIX.Albemarle, currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), has an expected earnings growth rate of 49.8% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ALB's current-year earnings has been revised 9.2% upward in the past 60 days. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Albemarle beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 22.1%. ALB has rallied around 28.1% in a year.Commercial Metals, flaunting a Zacks Rank #1, has a projected earnings growth rate of 10.5% for the current fiscal year. CMC's consensus estimate for the current fiscal year has been revised 6.6% upward in the past 60 days.Commercial Metals beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in three of the last four quarters while missing once. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of roughly 7.4%, on average. CMC has rallied around 60.7% in a year.AdvanSix has a projected earnings growth rate of 3.9% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ASIX’s earnings for the current year has been revised 1.6% upward in the past 60 days.AdvanSix beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 46.9%. ASIX has rallied 102.6% in a year. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through November, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks gained an impressive +962.5% versus the S&P 500’s +329.4%. Now our Director of Research is combing through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank to handpick the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these stocks when they’re released on January 3.Be First To New Top 10 Stocks >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Albemarle Corporation (ALB): Free Stock Analysis Report Commercial Metals Company (CMC): Free Stock Analysis Report Innospec Inc. (IOSP): Free Stock Analysis Report AdvanSix (ASIX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 6th, 2022

Taibbi: Meet Jed Rakoff, The Judge Who Exposed The "Rigged Game"

Taibbi: Meet Jed Rakoff, The Judge Who Exposed The "Rigged Game" Authored by Matt Taibbi via TK News, On November 27, 2011, a federal judge named Jed Rakoff threw out a $285 million regulatory settlement between Citigroup and the Securities and Exchange Commission, blasting it as “neither fair, nor reasonable, nor adequate, nor in the public interest.” The S.E.C. and Citigroup were stunned. Expecting to see their malodorous deal wrapped up, the parties were instead directed “to be ready to try this case” the following summer. Jed Rakoff Try a case? Was the judge kidding? A pattern had long ago been established in which mega-companies like Citigroup that were implicated in serious offenses would be let off with slaps on the wrist, by soft-touch regulators who expected judges to play ball. These officials in many cases were private sector hotshots doing temporary tours as regulators, denizens of the revolving door biding time before parachuting back into lucrative corporate defense jobs. A judge who refused to sign the settlements such folks engineered was derailing everyone’s gravy train. Citigroup had replicated a scheme employed by numerous big banks of the era, helping construct a “born to lose” portfolio of rotten mortgage securities to be unloaded on customer-dupes, who were unaware the bank intended to bet against them. A similar case involving a Goldman, Sachs deal called “Abacus” had concluded the previous year with a hefty fine, but, infamously, no admission of wrongdoing. In the Citigroup version, the bank earned $160 million in profits, customers lost $700 million, and the S.E.C. wanted to impose a $285 million fine. As noted by papers like the Washington Post at the time, the S.E.C.’s logic was to ask the bank to return the money ($160 million plus interest equaled $190 million) and pay a $95 million civil penalty on top. Citigroup that quarter alone earned $3.8 billion in profits, which meant the S.E.C. proposed to charge the bank — which had been functionally bankrupt in 2008 and was booming again thanks to a massive public bailout, engineered in part by former Citi officials by the way — a fee of 2.5% of its quarterly profits. In a country where an ordinary schlub could get multiple years in prison for something like third-degree attempted theft of a car, seeking no individual penalties and asking shareholders to forego a tiny fraction of earnings as restitution for stealing $160 million was a joke. The fine was “pocket change to any entity as large as Citigroup,” noted Rakoff, in a blistering 15-page opinion. Objecting to the practice of allowing corporate crooks to walk away without admission of wrongdoing, he noted that Citigroup had already begun asserting its right to deny the allegations, both in litigation and to the media. This, he said, left the public despairing “of ever knowing the truth in a matter of obvious public importance.” Such a policy, he concluded, would reduce the court to “a mere handmaiden to a settlement privately negotiated on the basis of unknown facts.” And, well, screw that. There was cheering in the legal community and even in the press (“Judge Jed Rakoff Courageously Rejects SEC-Citigroup Settlement” was the Post headline) for a few minutes. Then came the inevitable plot twist. Citigroup and the S.E.C., robber and cop, joined together to appeal the decision, forcing Rakoff to retain counsel. Before long, Rakoff was overturned. An appeals court judge ruled he had stepped out of bounds by demanding the “truth” behind allegations, saying “consent decrees are primarily about pragmatism.” The original dirty deal was re-routed back to Rakoff, who was then forced by the appeals court to approve it. “That court has now fixed the menu, leaving this court with nothing but sour grapes,” Rakoff wrote in a succinct but seething opinion, adding one parting warning: This court fears that, as a result of the Court of Appeal’s decision, the settlements reached by governmental regulatory bodies and enforced by the judiciary’s contempt powers will in practice be subject to no meaningful oversight whatsoever. The symbolism of the Rakoff episode was striking. Citigroup had been created by something like the ultimate insider deal. The merger of Citicorp and the insurance conglomerate Travelers had been struck in the late nineties despite apparently conflicting with several laws, including the Glass-Steagall Act and the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956. The merger to create the first American “supermarket bank” only happened because a temporary waiver was granted by Alan Greenspan’s Federal Reserve. This held up in time for Bill Clinton to sign a bipartisan piece of legislation called the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, sanctifying the deal after the fact. Former Clinton Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin then skedaddled to a job at the new super-bank that Citi itself described as having “no line responsibilities,” but nonetheless would go on to earn Rubin $115 million, a transaction that grossed out even the Wall Street Journal. Thus the way the S.E.C. and the Appellate Courts essentially joined hands with this particular firm to strike down Rakoff’s ruling was a graphic demonstration of the self-defense capability of what one former Senate aide I know calls “The Blob,” i.e. the matrix of interconnected (and, not infrequently, intermarried) lawyers, lobbyists, politicians, and executives who run the country from the Washington-New York corridor. I don’t think it’s an accident that politicians in both parties, ranging from Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump, began scoring political points by talking about the “rigged game” just after Rakoff’s Capra-esque gesture was overturned. What did Rakoff himself think? Tyler Durden Wed, 01/05/2022 - 20:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 5th, 2022

The story of Richard Marcinko, who was rejected by the Marines, created SEAL Team 6, and spent 15 months in jail

"Whatever his vices, Dick Marcinko left his mark on SEAL history and shaped it like few others," a Navy SEAL told Insider. Richard Marcinko in an undated photo.Facebook Richard Marcinko, founder and first commanding officer of SEAL Team Six, died on Christmas Day. Marcinko had a long and unique career, earning attention for his leadership and unconventional style. Despite the blemishes on his record, Marcinko is remembered by many as a special-operations visionary. As a turbulent year ended, the Navy SEAL community lost one of its most influential and controversial members.Retired Cmdr. Richard "Dick" Marcinko, the founder and first commanding officer of the elite SEAL Team Six, died at 81 on Christmas Day.The famous Navy SEAL's military career got off to a rough start. When a young Marcinko went to his local Marine Corps recruiting office to enlist, he was shown the door for not having a high-school diploma.—Matt Marcinko (@yungspecter) December 26, 2021But the Navy accepted an eager Marcinko as a radioman. Hungry for adventure and hardship, Marcinko volunteered for Naval Special Warfare and graduated from the grueling Underwater Demolition training, getting assigned to Underwater Demolition Team 21.Seeing his natural leadership and promise, his superiors recommended Marcinko for the Navy's Officer Candidate School, and soon he became an officer. He later deployed to Vietnam with SEAL Team Two.Marcinko, then a US Navy commander, in 1978US Navy"Demo Dick," as he became known, was highly decorated, earning the Silver Star, the third-highest award for valor under fire, and four Bronze Stars, as well as the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry during his two combat tours in Vietnam.The North Vietnamese so feared him that they put a bounty on his head.After the Vietnam War, Marcinko was the commanding officer of SEAL Team Two from 1974 to 1976.In that role, he started developing a counterterrorism capability for Naval Special Warfare. At the start, it was only a cell, known as "Mobility 6," within SEAL Team Two.But when the Iranian hostage crisis highlighted the need for a dedicated counterterrorism force, the Navy tasked Marcinko with developing an equivalent to the Army's Delta Force.SEAL Team 6Richard Marcinko.YouTube/AUMAlumniThere were only two SEAL teams at the time, but Marcinko, a natural bluffer, chose to call the new unit SEAL Team Six to fool Soviet intelligence services into thinking there were several teams.When creating SEAL Team Six — later renamed Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) — Marcinko handpicked his operators from the cream of the crop of Naval Special Warfare, choosing SEALs with combat experience. The unit's plank owners included Navy SEAL legends such as Medal of Honor recipient Mike Thornton.During the unit's early days, Marcinko fired one of his junior officers. That's not an uncommon occurrence, but it wasn't the last the SEALs saw of that junior officer, who was named William McRaven.McRaven bounced back from what could have been a career-ending development and went on to lead US Special Operations Command and its subcommand, Joint Special Operations Command, both of which oversee SEAL Team Six. McRaven also commanded Operation Neptune Spear, the SEAL Team Six mission that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in 2011.Marcinko was successful in establishing the Navy's counterterrorism unit, but his controversial ways soon clashed with Navy and SOCOM leadership. SEAL Team Six operators were effective but looked more like pirates than professional troops."Marcinko was really the first famous SEAL. He worked hard and partied hard. He carried his unconventional ways in anything he did, and he was largely successful if you look at it in hindsight," a Navy SEAL operator, who was not authorized to speak to the press, told Insider."Some might say that he 'poisoned' the unit he created, but that was Dick. Whatever his vices, Dick Marcinko left his mark on SEAL history and shaped it like few others," the SEAL said.In 1983, Marcinko relinquished command of his unit and moved onto the "Red Cell," a small unit designed to test and find vulnerabilities in some of the Pentagon's most classified facilities.Marcinko was "a team guy through and through" but earned a mixed reputation, a former Navy SEAL officer said. "On the one hand, he created Development Group [SEAL Team Six], but on the other hand he encouraged the wrong culture. We recently saw the ugly aspects of that culture all over the news."Controversy followed Marcinko out of the service. In 1989, he was accused of receiving $100,000 from an arms dealer in order to secure a contract with the Navy for hand grenades. The former frogman denied the charges but ended up serving 15 months of a 21-month sentence in federal prison.Despite the blemishes on his record, Marcinko left a mark on the US special-operations community and is remembered by many as a visionary who knew how to play the system and deal with red tape."Whatever your opinion of him, the man was a leader, no question about it. He had that leadership aura that moves people to do things, to act. That's natural leadership you can't teach," a former Navy SEAL officer told Insider. "Those few fortunate to have it immediately stand out."Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 5th, 2022

Canadian investor expands Central Texas portfolio with $33M in equity for Larkspur apartments

Trez Capital, which claims to be Canada's largest non-bank commercial mortgage lender, is bullish on the Austin area. The company has invested in multiple projects — its latest deal was tens of millions of dollars in equity funding for a roughly 500-unit apartment community just north of Leander. Click through to read more about the firm's history and strategic vision in Central Texas......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsJan 4th, 2022

Texas Audit Finds Over 11,000 Potential Non-Citizens Registered To Vote, Other Problems

Texas Audit Finds Over 11,000 Potential Non-Citizens Registered To Vote, Other Problems Authored by Darlene McCormick Sanchez via The Epoch Times, Voting irregularities - including potentially thousands of votes cast by non-citizens and the dead - were reported during the first phase of the Texas Secretary of State’s forensic audit of the 2020 general election, but critics deemed it more of a risk-limiting audit at this point. The Texas Secretary of State’s office released its findings on Dec. 31, but the issues found are not enough to significantly impact 2020 election results of the four counties involved in the audit—Collin, Dallas, Harris, and Tarrant counties—which account for about 10 million people, or a third of the Texas population. “Generally speaking, nothing was found on such a large scale that could have altered any election,” said Sam Taylor, assistant secretary of state for communications, in an interview with The Epoch Times. Findings include: Statewide, a total of 11,737 potential non-U.S. citizens were identified as being registered to vote. Of these, 327 records were identified in Collin County, 1,385 in Dallas County, 3,063 in Harris County, and 708 in Tarrant County. So far, Dallas County has canceled 1,193 of these records, with Tarrant County canceling one. Neither Collin nor Harris have canceled any potential non-voting records. Since November 2020, 224,585 deceased voters have been removed from the voter rolls in Texas. Collin County removed 4,889 deceased voters, Dallas County removed 14,926 deceased voters, Harris County removed 23,914 deceased voters, and Tarrant County removed 13,955 deceased voters. Statewide, a total of 67 potential votes cast in the name of deceased people are under investigation. Of those, three were cast in Collin County, nine in Dallas County, four in Harris County, and one in Tarrant County. In a review of each county’s partial manual count report required under Texas law, three of the four counties reported discrepancies between ballots counted electronically versus those counted by hand. The reported reasons for these discrepancies will be investigated and verified during Phase 2 of the audit. Taylor said the state’s audit, currently moving into its second phase, was a first-of-its-kind for Texas. Secretary of State John Scott portrayed the audit as the country’s “most comprehensive forensic audit of the 2020 election,” according to a November press release. He added the audit will use “analytical tools to examine the literal nuts and bolts of election administration to determine if any illegal activity may have occurred.” Voters wait in line to cast their vote in Austin, Texas, on Nov. 3, 2020. (Sergio Flores/AFP via Getty Images) Of the four counties being audited, former President Donald Trump won Collin County, with President Joe Biden taking Dallas and Harris counties. Tarrant County, traditionally a red county, flipped to Biden with a slim 1,826 vote margin. Overall, Trump carried Texas with 52.1 percent of the vote to Biden’s 46.5 percent. The Texas audit was announced soon after Trump wrote a Sept. 23 open letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who Trump endorsed for re-election in 2022, pushing for a more thorough forensic audit of the 2020 election. Trump’s letter asked Abbott to include legislation in the third special session that would allow for more comprehensive forensic audits of the 2020 presidential election in Texas, specifically pointing to House Bill 16 and Senate Bill 97. Those pieces of legislation would have allowed party officials to demand county-level audits in future elections and allowed for a 2020 audit as well. Ultimately SB 97, which had similar language as HB 16, was introduced but did not pass both chambers before the clock ran out on the third and final session this fall. As it stands, the four-county audit is part of Senate Bill 1, a sweeping election bill passed by the Republican-led Legislature in the second special session of 2021, but vehemently opposed by Democrats. Legislators hoping to revive a fourth Legislative session to deal with voting fraud issues say the current audit is limited in scope.   President Donald Trump takes the stage for a rally in support of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, on Oct. 22, 2018. (Loren Elliott/Getty Images) State Rep. Steve Toth, (R) Woodlands, who sponsored HB 16, called the Secretary of State audit more of a risk-limiting audit that won’t adequately address all 2020 election problems. “We know that fraud has been taking place in Texas,” Toth said in an interview with The Epoch Times. “We need a forensic audit.” Sen. Paul Bettencourt, (R) Houston, who introduced SB 97, agreed that Toth had a point. Bettencourt’s bill would have allowed audits to be conducted at the county level across Texas. However, he said the Secretary of State’s audit has the potential to become a forensic audit during phase two if it begins to dig into voting irregularities. “My observation over time is that fraud is used against Democrats in their primaries and against the Republicans in the general election,” Bettencourt said in an interview. He pointed to some 3,000 non-residents potentially voting in Harris County cited by the audit. Bettencourt said as far back as 20 years ago when he was a district voting clerk, he would use jury service data indicating non-citizens to purge them from the rolls. But at this point, he said the county appears to have abandoned such efforts. Bettencourt noted other irregularities not covered by the state’s audit, such as a situation in Wichita Falls, where a single-family residence was home to more than 500 registered voters. Then Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at a community event while campaigning in San Antonio, Texas, on Dec. 13, 2019. (Daniel Carde/Getty Images) While the Texas Attorney General’s office lists only 386 active election fraud investigations, cases of voter fraud have increased in Texas. In a Texan article, Jonathan White, head of the election fraud division in the Texas Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Division said cases were “higher than our historical average by a long shot.” There were 510 offenses pending against 43 defendants at the time, according to the article, with most stemming from mail-in ballots. Taylor said that the Secretary of State’s audit was indeed a forensic audit. During the second phase of the audit, the secretary of state’s Forensic Audit Division will conduct on-site examinations in January and will compare machine tabulations with paper ballots when possible. A poll worker talks to a line of voters on election day in Austin, Texas, on Nov. 3, 2020. (Sergio Flores/AFP via Getty Images) Issues such as how drive-thru voting was conducted in Harris County in 2020, now prohibited by SB 1, will be reviewed, Taylor said, adding there were claims of a 1,800 vote discrepancy between the number of voters checked in and the number of votes cast at drive-thrus. About 127,000 votes were cast in the Houston area this way. But Leah Shah, communications director for Harris County Elections, said the county uses very strict protocol on how ballots are managed and couldn’t confirm a voting discrepancy. “We have heard that number, but we have no idea where that number came from,” she said in an interview. Tyler Durden Sat, 01/01/2022 - 20:50.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 1st, 2022

NYCHA and HDC finalize $1.4B deal for Brooklyn Residents

On Tuesday, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) closed on the financing of three Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) transactions to fund comprehensive renovations for 5,226 apartments across six NYCHA campuses in Brooklyn: Williamsburg Houses, Linden Houses, Penn-Wortman Houses, Boulevard Houses,... The post NYCHA and HDC finalize $1.4B deal for Brooklyn Residents appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. On Tuesday, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) closed on the financing of three Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) transactions to fund comprehensive renovations for 5,226 apartments across six NYCHA campuses in Brooklyn: Williamsburg Houses, Linden Houses, Penn-Wortman Houses, Boulevard Houses, Fiorentino Plaza, and Belmont-Sutter Area. Each closing will enable NYCHA’s PACT partners to begin comprehensive upgrades to apartments and common areas; modernize building facades, elevators, and security and heating systems; abate environmental hazards such as lead-based paint; invest in energy- and sustainability-related improvements across each campus; and address other needs identified by the residents at each development. The rehabilitations are scheduled to begin early next year and are anticipated to be completed between 2024 and 2025. Boulevard Houses With these latest closings, the PACT program has now generated over $3.1 billion in capital funding for more than 14,700 apartments to facilitate comprehensive renovations, in addition to enhanced property management and social services, across New York City. “NYCHA and its partners continue to mark important milestones in service of the families they serve through the PACT program,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “The funding and management resources that they have assembled under the program set the Authority on course to sustainably support the NYCHA residents of these developments well into the future. Kudos to the entire team on another successful closing.” Linden Houses “The PACT program continues to be one of the Authority’s best tools for comprehensively improving NYCHA campuses with significant infrastructure repair needs,” said NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “The collection of experienced partners that have been assembled to provide large-scale rehabilitation work, robust property management, and much-needed social services for these sites will enable NYCHA to maintain our commitment to creating stronger developments for thousands of additional public housing families.” “Today’s announcement marks a tremendous victory for nearly 10,000 residents across six NYCHA campuses in Brooklyn,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “Thanks to the extensive collaboration of our partners and NYCHA residents, we are able to address the need for sweeping repairs, broadened social services, as well as guaranteed affordability and tenant protections through PACT. I’d like to congratulate NYCHA, our partners, and above all the residents and applaud them for their ongoing efforts to bring critical improvements to the City’s public housing stock.” “The public-private partnerships represented in this latest round of PACT projects enable the Authority to raise the funds needed to make capital repairs and drive additional community resources to residents, all while maintaining public control of NYCHA buildings with the support of our tenant leadership,” said NYCHA’s Executive Vice President for Real Estate Development Jonathan Gouveia. “Today’s announcement marks a major milestone in our pledge to deliver desperately needed and long overdue repairs for 62,000 apartments in NYCHA’s portfolio.” Williamsburg Houses Williamsburg Houses will receive $490 million in comprehensive renovations to the 1,621 apartments and 20 residential buildings at the property. The PACT partners at Williamsburg are led by MDG Design and Construction and Wavecrest Management. MDG Design and Construction will perform the rehabilitation work. Wavecrest Management is now responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of the property. Social services are being provided by non-profit partners St. Nicks Alliance and Grand Street Settlement, which both have deep experience serving Williamsburg residents. Linden Houses and Penn-Wortman will receive more than $430 million in comprehensive renovations for the 1,922 apartments and 22 residential buildings across the two properties. The PACT partners for Linden and Penn-Wortman Houses are led by Douglaston Development, L+M Development Partners, Dantes Partners, and SMJ Development. Rehabilitation work will be performed by Levine Builders and L&M Builders Group. Property management and upkeep of the buildings and grounds are being provided by C&C Apartment Management. On-site social services are being led by University Settlement, in addition to existing services from CAMBA and Millennium Club, which are both located at the Penn-Wortman Community Center. Boulevard, Belmont-Sutter Area, and Fiorentino Plaza Houses will receive more than $483 million in comprehensive renovations for the 1,673 apartments and 29 residential buildings across the three properties. The PACT partners are led by Hudson Companies, Property Resources Corporation, and Duvernay + Brooks. Rehabilitation work will be performed by Broadway Builders LLC and Melcara Corporation. Property management is now being provided by Property Resources Corporation and Lisa Management, Inc. On-site social services are being provided by CAMBA. “On behalf of the Williamsburg Houses residents, and the Board members, we are excited for the PACT program to come to Williamsburg Houses,” said Williamsburg Houses Resident Association President Lavonne McLamb. “Our residents are overdue for major improvements to our development. We are looking forward to the transformation to our apartments and being part of the revitalization of our community.” “I’m pleased with how NYCHA, Boulevard Together, and the Resident Association has worked together to make the PACT conversion happen. The Boulevard Together team took special care and time with each resident, giving them one-on-one time, letting them have a chance to ask questions that are personal to their specific needs. They also worked with residents to add family members to their lease who had to return home due to the pandemic,” said Boulevard Resident Association President Clara Woods. “One of the biggest concerns some of our seniors at Boulevard has is right-sizing. But knowing that this process will happen at Boulevard, and that residents won’t be transferred out to another development, is reassuring to the seniors.” “Williamsburg Houses is getting more than physical upgrades, it is getting a dedicated partner to improving the quality of life for residents,” said Chief Operating Officer of Wavecrest Management and Principal of RDC Joseph Camerata. “The closing is actually just the beginning, and we look forward to continued collaboration with residents and our partners at NYCHA and HDC.” “As a former resident of the Linden Houses during a portion of my childh ood, I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to enhance the property for current residents, and to continue our firm’s commitment to high-quality affordable housing in New York,” said Founder & Chairman of Douglaston Development Jeffrey E. Levine. “Douglaston Development is excited to partner with L+M, Dantes, and SMJ on the rehabilitation of the Linden and Penn-Wortman Houses.” “This is about the residents first and foremost. We have engaged in frequent and productive conversations with the residents and their leadership associations, and are thrilled to be providing residents of the Boulevard Houses, Fiorentino Plaza, and Belmont-Sutter Area with fully-renovated apartments with critical upgrades to their buildings,” said Managing Principal of The Hudson Companies Aaron Koffman. “This transformational project will also provide local workforce and educational opportunities while maintaining resident protections and permanent affordability for generations to come. We look forward to working in close coordination with Property Resources Corporation, Duvernay + Brooks, NYCHA, and HDC to bring this vision to reality.” Through PACT, NYCHA uses programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to convert units to the Project-Based Section 8 program and finance comprehensive improvements to its public housing developments, while preserving long-term affordability and ensuring residents have the same basic rights as they possess in the public housing program. NYCHA’s PACT partners assume responsibility for comprehensive repairs and day-to-day operation of the PACT developments. NYCHA continues to own the land and buildings, administer the Section 8 subsidy, set rents (which continue to be capped at 30 percent of household income, in accordance with HUD requirements), manage the waitlist for filling any vacant apartments, and oversee the rehabilitation and conditions at the developments. Today’s announcement is also a significant milestone for the last two developments in NYCHA’s “unfunded” portfolio. The “unfunded” properties were eight public housing developments, including Linden and Boulevard Houses, that were built and originally funded by New York State and New York City but had not received direct City, State, or federal funding since 2003, when they were added to NYCHA’s portfolio. The properties were ineligible for inclusion in HUD’s public housing and capital fund formulas, and NYCHA had to operate the properties by sharing the funds it received for its public housing developments. By including these developments in the PACT program, NYCHA and its partners are finally able to stabilize these properties by placing them on a secure and solid financial footing. The New York City Housing Development Corporation, New York City’s municipal Housing Finance Agency, is the financing partner for PACT. HDC will coordinate or provide loan financing funding by bonds issued through HDC’s Multi-Family Housing Bond Resolution (the “Open Resolution”) or the newly created Housing Impact Bond Resolution (the “Impact Resolution’), a bond resolution created solely to facilitate NYCHA transactions. Since 2016, the PACT program has generated more than $3.1 billion in capital funding for comprehensive apartment renovations and building infrastructure improvements for more than 14,700 households. Approximately $579 million in renovations have already been completed, and $2.2 billion in major upgrades are underway or will begin early next year. An additional 20,400 households are part of active development projects in the process of resident engagement or pre-development. In sum, NYCHA has more than 35,000 apartments completed, in construction, or in a stage of resident engagement or pre-development. More information on NYCHA’s PACT program can be found here. For more information about upcoming PACT meetings, residents can call NYCHA at (212) 306-4036 or email pact@nycha.nyc.gov. The post NYCHA and HDC finalize $1.4B deal for Brooklyn Residents appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyJan 1st, 2022

City green lights Two Trees’ Williamsburg waterfront plan

The New York City Council has approved the revised River Ring proposal for the Williamsburg waterfront, ushering in a mixed-use development that will provide 263 residences for low- and middle-income New Yorkers, out of 1,050 new units, and will be anchored by a waterfront park. The final proposal includes funding the construction... The post City green lights Two Trees’ Williamsburg waterfront plan appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. The New York City Council has approved the revised River Ring proposal for the Williamsburg waterfront, ushering in a mixed-use development that will provide 263 residences for low- and middle-income New Yorkers, out of 1,050 new units, and will be anchored by a waterfront park. The final proposal includes funding the construction of approximately 150 new units in the Williamsburg community designated as affordable homes for senior residents. The Council vote follows three years of community engagement with local residents, business owners and stakeholders across the city, and recent approvals during the land use process by Brooklyn Community Board 1, Borough President Eric Adams, and the New York City Planning Commission. Two Trees Management expects to begin construction in 2024.  Key highlights of Two Trees Management’s final River Ring Waterfront Master Plan include: Significant new affordable housing, including 263 permanently affordable apartments (out of 1050 total on-site homes), which feature the same design and amenities as market rate units, available at an average of 60% AMI with some units as low as 40% AMI. More than 150 new units of affordable housing for seniors, to be built in Community Board 1 on land funded by Two Trees. A 3-acre world-class public park to be financed and maintained by Two Trees Management, plus an additional 3 acres designated for previously unavailable in-water recreational opportunities, including kayaking, marine ecology, education, tidal wetlands and an accessible beach.$100 million investment in resiliency infrastructure and open space also that protects hundreds of properties upland and up-river from River Ring.A state-of-the-art, 50,000 square foot YMCA facility featuring a full-service community swim program that includes free swimming lessons for second grade students in CB1.2,000 construction jobs and more than 500 permanent jobs with a subsidized training program and local hiring, in collaboration with local workforce development partners. $1.75 million in funding for community initiatives, including a new environmental benefits fund to help retrofit neighborhood buildings and a major open space planning study of the community district to connect new and existing parks.Green technology and sustainable design, including a commitment to all-electric buildings and the development of on-site wastewater treatment.Ongoing meaningful dialogue with community partners to bring new access to the waterfront and support environmental justice and education. “After more than two years of conversations with residents, stakeholders and leaders, we’re grateful to Council Member Levin, the Zoning Subcommittee, and the Land Use Committee for their support of a precedent-setting project,” said Jed Walentas, Principal of Two Trees Management.  “River Ring will change how New Yorkers interact with our waterfront while also increasing affordable housing, providing a new model for resiliency, building a new public park and investing in community programs and spaces. We will bring the same commitment and dedication to River Ring that we’ve brought to the Domino redevelopment and Domino Park. Taken together, these two projects will provide approximately 1,000 units of affordable housing integrated within new, world-class buildings. Thanks to Council Member Levin, we have also committed to creating an acquisition fund to support the development of over 150 units of senior housing within Community Board 1. And by connecting River Ring and Domino, we will finally fill the missing link in North Brooklyn’s waterfront greenway.” The River Ring Waterfront Master Plan, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and James Corner Field Operations (Field Operations), will enhance the connectivity of the public waterfront, reinstate natural habitats, elevate the standard for urban waterfront resiliency, and transform the way New Yorkers interact with the East River.  In total, the River Ring Plan will create approximately 3 acres of public open space and another 3 acres of protected in-water access, including natural habitat — far beyond the 0.7 acres required under zoning regulations. Combined with the neighboring Domino Park, Two Trees is poised to deliver more than 8 acres above the required amount of accessible waterfront public space along the East River waterfront in Williamsburg. The site features a pair of mixed-income residential buildings designed by BIG. The project is designed around cutting-edge open space designed by Field Operations (including three acres of protected water for aquatic uses) and ecological infrastructure that will increase resilience for the site and surrounding area. The project’s public and community spaces — which have been tailored through direct community input — will introduce a first-of-its-kind protected public beach and in-water areas for New Yorkers to enjoy an array of aquatic activities including boating, fishing, tide pool exploration and potentially in the future: swimming.  The introduction of a public waterfront park at the former industrial site, directly north of Two Trees’ award-winning Domino development, will help to complete a stretch of continuous waterfront access that will eventually extend from South Williamsburg to Greenpoint.  “The River Ring project is unlike almost any waterfront development proposal, and Two Trees is pioneering how we can build innovative public spaces in a way that directly confronts the impacts of climate change,” said Cortney Koenig Worrall, CEO and President, Waterfront Alliance. “The project promises to transform how New Yorkers relate to water while protecting communities from rising waters using technologies that honor the local habitat, raising the bar for how we as a city can build safety and responsibly along our waterfronts.” “The River Ring proposal creates desperately needed open space for New Yorkers, delivers critical support for the city’s resilience infrastructure, and brings online significant affordable housing. That’s a triple-win for New York City. We thank the City Council for helping to realize this transformative vision which addresses multiple challenges for the city head on while delivering major investments for the local community,” said Adam Ganser, Executive Director, New Yorkers for Parks. “The River Ring project is a prime model for how cities can get transformative projects moving in the right direction,” said Tom Wright, President and CEO of Regional Plan Association. “From the beginning it was informed by local engagement and feedback with resiliency and the community in mind. When it becomes reality, it will create new affordable housing and a three-acre resilient waterfront park in Brooklyn – which will transform the way New Yorkers interact with the water. We look forward to seeing this become reality – and become the standard for addressing communities’ development at the water’s edge.” RESILIENCY AND HABITAT RESTORATION Borrowing from models used in places like the Netherlands that have come to terms with a wetter future, the River Ring plan embraces the river instead of building walls and hard surfaces that accelerate storm surge and push it to adjacent riverfronts. Waterfront infrastructure and open space will feature berms, breakwaters, marshes and wetlands designed to increase resilience by taking the energy out of storm surges, reducing flooding, providing more room to absorb water and slow down its retreat, reducing erosion risk, and better protecting the local waterfront in the face of habitat loss and climate change. The plan also includes a new tidal basin capable of holding four million gallons of water that is designed to flood, mitigating damage from receding waters. Additionally, the development expands the shoreline with various wave breaks, attenuating the impacts from severe storms, sustaining intertidal habitat and creating calmer waters to promote in-water access and nurture habitat. The new waterfront park will enable the restoration of salt marshes, wetlands, oyster beds and tidal flats, enriching wildlife and habitat while creating protected areas that will enable more in-water engagement and recreational uses and provide ecological education to the community.  PARK DESIGN AND COMMUNITY INPUT Designed by Field Operations, the waterfront park features a circular esplanade extending into the East River that promotes access in and around the river, as well as an amphitheater, large sandy beach, tidal pools, salt marsh, and a fishing pier. This ring connects to the park’s breakwaters which provide protection and form a series of nature trails that extend out to the historic concrete caissons. A boating cove at North 1st Street includes a sandy beach for boat access surrounded by wetlands and is adjacent to a series of community kiosks and a children’s natural play area. The community kiosks, totaling approximately 5,000 SF, will be made available to local community partners through a request-for-proposal process. Potential users include kayak rental, educational partners, artist installations and other waterfront related uses. These features were inspired by a series of community charrettes convened by Two Trees Management, where there was a strong consensus for the park to engage the river with places to touch the water, for places of respite and access to nature, and a place that is a model for resiliency. Like Domino Park, the new park will be maintained in perpetuity by Two Trees Management and will operate based on NYC Parks Department rules and regulations. “The past two years have revealed an increased appreciation of parks and public spaces, and hopefully a shift to understanding them as essential infrastructure. River Ring embodies this way of thinking as an adaptive nature-based solution that rethinks regulatory frameworks and design standards,” says Lisa Switkin, Senior Principal at James Corner Field Operations. “The park showcases integrated co-benefits, designed to increase resilience and waterfront access, provide diverse park experiences and recreational opportunities, restore habitat, and change the mindset from living against water to living with water.” MIXED-USE BUILDING PLAN The masterplan includes two Bjarke Ingels Group-designed mixed-use buildings with 1,050 total units of housing, 263 of which will be below-market rate (made available to applicants with low AMIs), a new 50,000-square-foot YMCA, 30,000 square feet of neighborhood retail space and 57,000 square feet for office space. The new YMCA will feature a waterfront aquatic center that will offer subsidized swim lessons for community youth in need. The residential towers are oriented to limit view obstruction from the neighborhood and maximize the Metropolitan Avenue view corridor. Blending the towers with the landscape softens the relationship between building and park, forming a gateway that welcomes the community to the water. “With the River Ring we close one of the last remaining gaps in the continuous transformation of the Williamsburg waterfront into a post-industrial urban park scape. Rather than stopping at the hard edge of the old dock, Metropolitan avenue is split into a pedestrian loop extending all the way into the river, connecting the dots of the concrete caissons to form an urban archipelago of recreative islands while protecting a beach with tidal pools and wetlands,” said Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner & Creative Director. “The radical transformation of Copenhagen’s port into a swimmable extension of the public space that we helped pioneer two decades ago, now seems to be knocking at the door in Williamsburg and the entire East River. The River Ring will be the first of many invitations for New Yorkers to dip their toes in the water.” SITE HISTORY The site was once home to the No. 6 fuel oil storage complex for Con Edison North First Street Terminal. The above ground fuel oil storage tanks were removed when the terminal was decommissioned. The existing site also includes a number of structures seaward of the bulkhead line that extend to the pierhead line, which are in varying states of repair. Two Trees recently purchased the 3.5 acre site from Con Edison in an auction for $150 million.  The post City green lights Two Trees’ Williamsburg waterfront plan appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyDec 20th, 2021

A Populace Of Hostages: Corporate America"s Advancement Of China"s Belt And Road

A Populace Of Hostages: Corporate America's Advancement Of China's Belt And Road Submitted by reader M. Roberts, Many Americans have heard about China’s ambitious global development strategy, known as the Belt and Road Initiative, or BRI. However, an appetite for delving further into the plan’s nuts and bolts seems to be quite scarce, as most Americans are justifiably focused on the country’s domestic economic and political challenges. Xi Jinping, the paramount leader and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CCP), had signaled in 2012 that the BRI would help fulfill the “dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.” On its face, this sounds like another CCP trope commonly messaged to rally ideological support to bolster the party’s legitimacy and monopolization of power, while encouraging mutual cooperation abroad to solidify economic gains. Therefore, why should every American care about China’s own domestic goals and issues when the country is at its own critical juncture? Meanwhile, America’s corporate elite have taken advantage of this gap in public intellectual curiosity to fulfill their own ambitions of wealth and power at the expense of the populace. Simply put, the CCP’s aspirations have always been framed within a zero-sum mentality, meaning China may only rise at the expense of the rest of the globe, a common feature of Marxist-Leninist theory. This has serious consequences for the American way of life and standards of living in the country. The US Government and intelligence community had typically understood Chinese grand strategy as patient and collectively viewed it within the context of former CCP General Secretary Deng Xiaoping’s mantra of “hide your strength, bide your time.” As we have seen in recent years, Xi Jinping seemingly abandoned this notion and forcefully projected China’s aggressiveness within global institutions and international fora. The dividends of cautiously capturing global elites and quietly bringing them into China’s sphere of influence has paid off quite handsomely for the CCP, as Xi believed it was time for China to flex its muscles. In accordance with the party’s Marxist-Leninist ideology, the BRI is the most suitable mechanism to coercively dominate global trade, infrastructure, and culture. The BRI claims to be a global infrastructure investment strategy to connect Asia with Africa and Europe through maritime and overland structures. The CCP overtly messages the BRI’s significance in providing financial assistance, infrastructure, and now digital technologies, to developing countries as a result of the party’s own benevolence and inherent responsibility as the new global leader. However, the reality starkly contrasts with the propaganda the party spews through its vast network of media proxies. We have witnessed the BRI being used as a tool to entrap many states, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and several African nations among others, into unsustainable debt that causes the victims to become ever more dependent on the CCP’s goodwill. The BRI has also elevated China’s ability to expand forced technology transfer and the outright theft of intellectual property from various business and global institutions, costing the world an untold amount in lost revenue. Chinese intelligence services are also utilizing the initiative, predominantly through their co-optees and previously captured elites, to engage in nefarious activities beneficial to China all under the guise of the CCP’s overstated slogan of “win-win competition.” Although the United States has refused to cooperate with China and sign any memorandum of understanding to implement BRI projects, that has not stopped China from altering their strategy to bypass federal-level policy. China is quite adaptable and realized that the co-opting of subnational, local, and state-level elites can yield many of the same benefits that come from national BRI deals. Much like a common thief may reason, they are no longer using the front door and have resorted to breaking in through the back. The party uses its United Front proxies, which are often disguised as peaceful non-governmental organizations or community groups, to lobby local officials to allow bids by Chinese state-owned or affiliated contractors for various infrastructure projects within their districts. Many of these bids have been successful and have even expanded into attempts to bid on federal-level projects. This strategy has allowed China to increase their leverage over American infrastructure, effectively holding American companies and public utilities at ransom over Chinese demands. You can think of it as either a kill-switch or a coercive economic tool. In an act of war, what is stopping China from covertly altering the speed of your subway cars to affect physical harm? They can also utilize the infrastructure projects to halt US exports and goods in the unsuspecting event of a canal or bridge coincidentally not working properly at the right moment. The presence of Chinese digital firms in our society also poses serious risks for data privacy, as we know the CCP exploits data to further their repressive campaigns of wiping out any and all dissent domestically and abroad. All Chinese firms are required to abide by China’s new national security law, which forces companies to hand over data to authorities at any moment, with no course of due process. China has also ingrained in their constitution the policy of civil-military fusion, which requires that specifications for any project, especially physical infrastructure such as ports and bridges, must be aligned with the People’s Liberation Army’s needs. Therefore, we have to realize that we are no longer dealing with the typical trappings of Western investment and development. We are in a new era where the CCP expands their influence and power via the aforementioned zero-sum mentality that they publicly lambast other nations for perpetuating. Alongside increased US Government attention and pushback, corporate America needs to effectively make decisions that are best not only for its shareholders, but for the American people. China’s long-term capture of corporate elites has made this strategy difficult to implement, but it’s necessary. The American worker deserves a whole-of-society approach to ensuring that they are free to do business and keep their intellectual property in safe hands. The CCP has long convinced US businesses to invest in China for its expansive market access. However, that does not mean that the CCP prioritizes pro-business relationships above all, as we have seen with its destructive policies globally. They have provided a “carrot” for short-term gains, and then utilized their nefarious “stick” of economic leverage to fulfill their own geopolitical goals. Above all, Americans must know that the survival of the party is their first and foremost goal. We have seen what the CCP does to its own national champions, such as Alibaba and Tencent, when the party feels as if its grip on power becomes questionable. The old mentality of changing China to become a responsible stakeholder in the global environment was idealistic, yet it has proven to be a false hope. We must deal with the China that is in front of us, and not with the one in which we hope for them to become. Americans must prioritize their own independence by ensuring that our critical technologies and infrastructure are no longer at the risk of being leveraged for our adversaries’ political and economic advantage. This strategy will only work if our country’s increasingly dysfunctional and paid-for legislators mandate that corporate America cannot engage in transactions and investments with Chinese entities which were created to destroy American dominance in the financial and currency markets. Capital market restrictions must be put into place, as we know that a large portion of CCP revenue comes from unwitting pensioners and fund investors. The BRI is, by far, the greatest geopolitical and societal challenge to the American way of life. We no longer have the option of staying silent and praying for a different outcome or a pacified Beijing. The evidence of the CCP’s intentions is laid out among the global catastrophes it has caused; and as we know from the COVID-19 pandemic, global issues eventually come to our doorstep. As a result, corporate America must be forced to take America’s side in this long strategic challenge. Tyler Durden Thu, 12/16/2021 - 21:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 16th, 2021

I look after skaters on the ice at a rink in London. Here"s how training to be a figure skater led me to a job I love.

Molly Lipson trained as a figure skater and appeared in Christmas pantomimes on ice. This is how she became a marshal at a London Christmas ice rink. Molly Lipson on the ice and at the rink's shoe hire.Molly Lipson Molly Lipson trained to be a figure skater and even appeared in Christmas pantomimes on ice. In 2017 she applied to be a marshal at a winter outdoor rink in central London. This is what the November-to-January job is like. I started figure-skating lessons at my local ice rink when I was 14.But once I progressed to one-on-one lessons with a coach, I realized that my feet didn't quite do what I wanted them to, my hip flexors were too tight for the turnout that skating requires, and I was too scared to jump very high off the ice.I started skating because I thought I'd be good at it. But when I started training, I loved it because I wasn't. It helped me deal with the pressures of school, and I met many great friends.Despite all this, I maintained a consistent training schedule over eight years, skating between two and four times a week. I took part in a competition in 2008 and did my level-one NISA skating test.But I didn't compete beyond that. I preferred to be in the background of Christmas pantomimes on ice, performing as Cinderella in 2007 and Peter Pan in 2008, where I melted into the background and simply enjoyed myself. Molly Lipson performing as Snow White in a Christmas pantomime.Molly LipsonI quit skating almost completely when I moved away for university in 2012. I tried to keep it up in my first year, but there wasn't a rink nearby. Eventually, I let it go.I only returned for a three-month stint a few years later when I was working for a social enterprise as an account manager, which made me miserable. I hated it and tried to rekindle the escapism I'd felt as a teenager.But in 2017, the year after I graduated, a friend I'd skated with for years as a child encouraged me to apply to work at the big central London outdoor ice rink where she'd already been working for a few years.To be selected, you need to be a skilled skater who's available for the seasonal work. When I got it, the on-ice first-aid training session was the first time I'd skated in three years. It was exhilarating. I'm now working my fourth season there.In the application process, we were asked to upload a video of ourselves skating.You need to have your own pair of skates and be able to skate forward, stop, and help people get up after they've fallen. The fact that I struggled to land a double axel wasn't a barrier.The rink opens between November and January. Shifts are either for the morning sessions or the afternoon and evening, with each lasting between six and nine hours. Each session begins on the hour.When we arrive at the rink, we choose a number that dictates the order in which we rotate between being on the ice or in skate hire.Most sessions are sold out or close to it, so during each there are usually about 200 members of the public and five marshals on the ice.We skate around making sure people are going in the right direction and removing anyone skating dangerously. We help people to take their first steps onto the ice if they've never skated before. We particularly help young children. Sometimes we take on an unofficial coaching role if someone asks us how to spin or skate backward, and we offer tips to those wanting to improve their speed or stability. We might also act as physical cordons if there's an accident, liaise with the first-aid team, and ferry people off the ice at the end of the session.In skate hire, we have between 15 and 20 minutes to exchange incoming people's shoes for skates and vice versa for those coming off the ice. Sometimes this involves us tying kids' laces and, far too frequently, helping a parent work out what size shoe their child is.Everyone who works at the rink is a solid skater who comes from multiple disciplines. I'm one of a few figure skaters, but there are also hockey players, ice dancers, freestylers, and self-taught amateurs.Most of us are obsessed with skating. I often work evening shifts and see marshals who worked in the morning stay long after their shift ends to practice. Because we all share a love for a sport that many of us no longer participate in seriously, the atmosphere is fun, joyful, and excitable, with a great sense of community and camaraderie.Our pay is the London living wage, but because shifts don't take up a whole day and there's the option to work on weekends, many of us take on this role alongside studying or other jobs.When I first started, I tended to work mornings as I tutored Spanish in after-school hours. Now, I work at the ice rink in the evenings so I can continue my freelance writing during the day. It can be exhausting, but I love it. It's the only time I still get to skate and the main time in the year I spend with my wonderful colleagues.When I'm on the ice, I prefer gliding around slowly to attempting tricky jumps that I spent eight years trying to perfect.(Editor's note: Lipson asked to keep the rink she works at anonymous for privacy reasons, but Insider has verified her employment.)Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 16th, 2021

I look after skaters on the ice at at a rink in London. Here"s how training to be a figure skater led me to a job I love.

Molly Lipson trained as a figure skater and appeared in Christmas pantomimes on ice. This is how she became a marshal at a London Christmas ice rink. Molly Lipson on the ice and at the rink's shoe hire.Molly Lipson Molly Lipson trained to be a figure skater and even appeared in Christmas pantomimes on ice. In 2017 she applied to be a marshal at a winter outdoor rink in central London. This is what the November-to-January job is like. I started figure-skating lessons at my local ice rink when I was 14.But once I progressed to one-on-one lessons with a coach, I realized that my feet didn't quite do what I wanted them to, my hip flexors were too tight for the turnout that skating requires, and I was too scared to jump very high off the ice.I started skating because I thought I'd be good at it. But when I started training, I loved it because I wasn't. It helped me deal with the pressures of school, and I met many great friends.Despite all this, I maintained a consistent training schedule over eight years, skating between two and four times a week. I took part in a competition in 2008 and did my level-one NISA skating test.But I didn't compete beyond that. I preferred to be in the background of Christmas pantomimes on ice, performing as Cinderella in 2007 and Peter Pan in 2008, where I melted into the background and simply enjoyed myself. Molly Lipson performing as Snow White in a Christmas pantomime.Molly LipsonI quit skating almost completely when I moved away for university in 2012. I tried to keep it up in my first year, but there wasn't a rink nearby. Eventually, I let it go.I only returned for a three-month stint a few years later when I was working for a social enterprise as an account manager, which made me miserable. I hated it and tried to rekindle the escapism I'd felt as a teenager.But in 2017, the year after I graduated, a friend I'd skated with for years as a child encouraged me to apply to work at the big central London outdoor ice rink where she'd already been working for a few years.To be selected, you need to be a skilled skater who's available for the seasonal work. When I got it, the on-ice first-aid training session was the first time I'd skated in three years. It was exhilarating. I'm now working my fourth season there.In the application process, we were asked to upload a video of ourselves skating.You need to have your own pair of skates and be able to skate forward, stop, and help people get up after they've fallen. The fact that I struggled to land a double axel wasn't a barrier.The rink opens between November and January. Shifts are either for the morning sessions or the afternoon and evening, with each lasting between six and nine hours. Each session begins on the hour.When we arrive at the rink, we choose a number that dictates the order in which we rotate between being on the ice or in skate hire.Most sessions are sold out or close to it, so during each there are usually about 200 members of the public and five marshals on the ice.We skate around making sure people are going in the right direction and removing anyone skating dangerously. We help people to take their first steps onto the ice if they've never skated before. We particularly help young children. Sometimes we take on an unofficial coaching role if someone asks us how to spin or skate backward, and we offer tips to those wanting to improve their speed or stability. We might also act as physical cordons if there's an accident, liaise with the first-aid team, and ferry people off the ice at the end of the session.In skate hire, we have between 15 and 20 minutes to exchange incoming people's shoes for skates and vice versa for those coming off the ice. Sometimes this involves us tying kids' laces and, far too frequently, helping a parent work out what size shoe their child is.Everyone who works at the rink is a solid skater who comes from multiple disciplines. I'm one of a few figure skaters, but there are also hockey players, ice dancers, freestylers, and self-taught amateurs.Most of us are obsessed with skating. I often work evening shifts and see marshals who worked in the morning stay long after their shift ends to practice. Because we all share a love for a sport that many of us no longer participate in seriously, the atmosphere is fun, joyful, and excitable, with a great sense of community and camaraderie.Our pay is the London living wage, but because shifts don't take up a whole day and there's the option to work on weekends, many of us take on this role alongside studying or other jobs.When I first started, I tended to work mornings as I tutored Spanish in after-school hours. Now, I work at the ice rink in the evenings so I can continue my freelance writing during the day. It can be exhausting, but I love it. It's the only time I still get to skate and the main time in the year I spend with my wonderful colleagues.When I'm on the ice, I prefer gliding around slowly to attempting tricky jumps that I spent eight years trying to perfect.(Editor's note: Lipson asked to keep the rink she works at anonymous for privacy reasons, but Insider has verified her employment.)Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 16th, 2021

Transcript: Maureen Farrell

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Maureen Farrell on the Cult of We is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.   ~~~   RITHOLTZ: This… Read More The post Transcript: Maureen Farrell appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Maureen Farrell on the Cult of We is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.   ~~~   RITHOLTZ: This week on the podcast, I have a special guest. Her name is Maureen Farrell, and she is the co-author of the book, “The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion.” I read this book a couple of weeks ago and just plowed through it. It’s a lot of fun. Everything you think about WeWork is actually even crazier, and more insane, and more delusional than you would’ve guessed. All the venture capitalists and — and big investors not really doing the appropriate due diligence, relying on each other, and nobody really looking at the numbers, which kind of revealed that this was a giant money-losing, fast-growing startup that really was a real estate play pretending to be a tech play. You know, tech gets one sort of multiple, real estate gets a much lower multiple, and Neumann was able to convince a lot of people that this was a tech startup and, therefore, worthy of, you know, $1 billion and then multibillion-dollar valuation. It’s fascinating the — it’s deeply, deeply reported. There is just an incredible series of vignettes, and stories, and reveals that they’re just shocking what Neumann and company were able to — to fob off on their investors. Everything from ridiculous self-dealing to crazy valuations, to lackluster due diligence, and then just the craziest most egregious golden parachute in the history of corporate America. I found the book to be just fascinating and as well as my conversation with Maureen. So, with no further ado, my conversation with Maureen Farrell, co-author of “The Cult of We.” VOICE-OVER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. RITHOLTZ: My special guest this week is Maureen Farrell. She is the co-author of a new book, “The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion.” The book has been nominated for a Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award. Previously, she worked at the Wall Street Journal since 2013. Currently, she is a reporter, investigative reporter for The New York Times. Maureen Farrell, welcome to Bloomberg. FARRELL: Thank you so much for having me. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s start a little bit with your background and history. You — you covered capital markets and IPOs at the Wall Street Journal. What led you and your co-author Eliot Brown to this story because this was really a venture capital and a startup story for most of the 2010s, right? FARRELL: Exactly. And for me, personally, I was covering the IPO market and — and capital markets the sort of explosion of private capital. So, I was looking at WeWork from both angles, basically, you know, in the small cohort of the most interesting companies that were going to go public, along with Uber, Airbnb, Lyft. And it was also part of this group that had raised more capital than anyone ever before. I was looking at SoftBank and its vision fund a lot. And then — I mean, take within this cohort, there were some pretty interesting companies, but I mean, just along the way kept on hearing, you know, Adam Neumann stood out. That’s like a little bit of a different entrepreneur that the — the stories you would just hear over time just became more and more interesting a little and vain. RITHOLTZ: So when did you decide, hey, this is more than just a recurring series of — of articles? When did you say this is a book? We have to write a book about this? FARRELL: So, we were — around August 2019, by then we were writing more and more about the company as it was clear that it was, you know, made it known that it was going to go public. Suddenly, it’s S-1, the — the regulatory documents you file publicly to go public were out there, and they were completely bonkers. They sort of captivated, I think, the imagination of the business reading public. But then over the next few weeks, WeWork was on its way to finally doing this IPO. And my co-author Eliot and I who had been cover — he had covering the company long before me. He’s a real estate. He had been covering them since 2013, then he was out in San Francisco covering venture capital. And it just became the most insane story either one of us had ever reported, like day by day there’s a playbook for IPOs. And they — you know, things are different, but they sort of follow a formula and nothing was making sense. And it just was getting more and more insane until this IPO was eventually called off. And Adam Neumann, the founder and CEO was pushed out of the company for all sorts of crazy things that were given to. RITHOLTZ: So, we’re going to — we’re going to spend a lot of time talking about that. But you hinted at something I — I have to mention. Your co-author covered real estate. Hey, I was told WeWork was a tech startup, and an A.I. company, and everything else but a real estate arbitrage play. How did they manage to convince so many people that they weren’t a Regis. The CEO of Regis very famously said, “How was what they do any different than what we do?” FARRELL: Well, they tried to convince Eliot Brown, my co-author, of the same thing. He — he had heard about Adam Neumann and his company. He started seeing the valuation. Back then I think it was $1 billion, $1.5 billion, and he was … RITHOLTZ: Right. When that became a unicorn, suddenly it was like, “Wait, this is just a real estate play.” FARRELL: Exactly. And he was covering other commercial real estate companies like Regis. And he had followed them and he was like, “Wait, they only have a couple of locations even still at that point.” So, he went in to meet Adam Neumann for the first time, and he’s got great stories. But as part of it, Adam was like really horrified. He was, you know, very nice, his charming self, but also saying, “Hey, you’re a real estate reporter … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … for the Wall Street Journal. You’re the last person who should be covering this company. Do you have someone who covers like community companies?” RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: And Eliot said, “No, and I’ll be following you from here on out.” RITHOLTZ: We’ll — we’ll talk about community-adjusted EBITDA a little later also. But — but let’s talk about the genesis of this because Neumann and his partner McKelvey had a — a legit business Greendesk, the — was the predecessor to WeWork. It was sold. I don’t know what the dollar amount was. Was that ever disclosed? FARRELL: Ah. RITHOLTZ: But — but it was not — nothing. It was real. And the two of them rolled that money plus a third partner who is also — Joel Schreiber is a real estate developer in New York, not coincidently. And in 2010, they launched WeWork with the first site in SoHo. So why is this real estate assign long-term leases and sell shorter-term leases at a significant markup? How is this not possibly a real estate concern? How? What was — what was the argument they were making to people that, “Hey, we’re a tech company and we deserve tech company valuations.” FARRELL: Sure. So exactly as you said, they have this Brooklyn business that was the genesis of WeWork. It was — it had a lot of that business, and it was what they took to make WeWork. It has a lot of innovation to it in terms of architecturally the aesthetic of it. I mean, we probably all have been to WeWork. They’re just — they’re beautiful buildings. RITHOLTZ: Funky, fun … FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: … open … FARRELL: Light coming through … RITHOLTZ: … with a beer tap and lots of glass. FARRELL: … we had light streaming through the windows. You put — you pack people very close together. So, something they started in Brooklyn, it took off, but then their — the landlord there didn’t want to grow it, so they — they split up, they moved on. Adam and his — his co-founder Miguel McKelvey. And from the very beginning, the idea was something so much bigger. They say they created — they like sketched out something and it was like essentially WeWorld. It would be, you know, schools, and apartments, and this whole universe of we. But basically, as you said, I mean, throughout for the most part, it was this like arbitrage building, arbitrage company in terms of getting long-term leases and splitting it up. RITHOLTZ: All right. So, by 2014, they have a pretty substantial investor list, J.P. Morgan Chase, T. Rowe Price, Wellington, Goldman, Harvard Endowment, Benchmark Capital, Mort Zuckerman. Was this still a rational investment in 2014 or when did things kind of go off the rails? FARRELL: By then it still seemed like the valuation was really getting ahead of itself, and it was very much predicated on this idea that you said being a tech company. And I mean, at Adam Neumann’s genius was in marketing and fund raising. And what he had the ability to do really each step of the way and it’s — it’s masterful was sort of take — take the zeitgeist, like the big business idea of the moment that was captivating investors and put that on top of WeWork. So, he’s very into — a little bit before this like sort of acquainting it to Facebook. You know, Facebook was the social network. This is like a social network in person. RITHOLTZ: In real life, right. FARRELL: In — yeah, real life social network. And he didn’t manage to kind of convince people bit by bit. I mean, it’s interesting, Benchmark, you know, as you know, is like one of the top … RITHOLTZ: Legit — right, top shelf V.C., absolutely. FARRELL: Yeah, that’s been some — behind some of the biggest tech companies. RITHOLTZ: Bill Gurley, Uber, go down the list of just incredible … FARRELL: Snap. RITHOLTZ: … yeah, amazing. FARRELL: eBay. Yeah, they’ve had — through — for decades, they’ve been behind some of the biggest companies. So, they were willing to take a gamble on them, and then they saw red flags, but just decided to jump in anyway. But for Benchmark, I mean, we see and they ultimately — they get in at such a low valuation, it’s … RITHOLTZ: Doesn’t matter. FARRELL: … exactly like — you know, they want their homeruns. And I mean, it’s still — they still ultimately got out at a pretty good — really incredible return, but it’s … RITHOLTZ: Right, $600 million to $10 billion, something like that, something (inaudible). FARRELL: Yeah, something like that. RITHOLTZ: So — so just to clarify because I — I’m — I’m going to be trashing WeWork for the next hour, but this wasn’t a Theranos situation or a Bernie Madoff, this is not an issue of fraud or anything illegal or unlawful. Fees just were insane valuations. Somebody did a great job selling investors on the potential for WeWork, and it didn’t work out. FARRELL: I’m glad you brought that up because a lot of people do ask about the differences and the parallels between Elizabeth Holmes and Adam Neumann. And I — I mean, I almost think the story, in some ways, is more interesting. I mean, the Theranos story is, obviously, the craziest and — and horrifying in so many ways. But with Adam Neumann, on the margins, there are questions about, you know, some of them (inaudible). RITHOLTZ: They’re self-dealing and there’s some — a lot of avarice. And he just cashed out way, way early, so you could criticize his behavior. But, you know, you end up with the VCs and the outside investors either looking the other way or turning a blind eye. It’s not like the stuff wasn’t disclosed or anything, he was very out front. No, I need — I need a private jet because we’re opening up WeWorks in China and in 100 other countries, and I have to join around the world. FARRELL: Yeah, and maybe you (inaudible) thing. RITHOLTZ: Now, you need a $65 million (inaudible) is a different question. But, you know, there — they didn’t hide this. They were like proud of it. FARRELL: No, and I think it is every step of the way, you see. I mean, the investors and these were some of the most sophisticated investors in the world and some of the — you know, they are thought of as the smartest investors. They saw the numbers that WeWork was putting forth and they were real, real numbers. They also saw their projections and the projections were mythical, and they never quite reached them. But you could see, if you are going to invest in any round of WeWork, you could see what their prior projections were, how they failed to hit them. But instead, the thing that we saw time and time again to this point was, very often, Adam Neumann would meet the head of an investment company, whether it’s Benchmark or SoftBank or T. Rowe Price, like the — the main decision-maker totally captivate this person. You know, it’s usually a man. The man would become kind of smitten with Adam and all his ideas and what he was going to do, totally believing it. The underlings would look at the numbers, raise all these red flags, point them out. And then the decision-maker would say … RITHOLTZ: Do it anyway. FARRELL: … yeah, he’s amazing. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RITHOLTZ: So I want to talk about the rapid rise of WeWork and their — their really fast growth path, but I have to ask, what sort of access did you have to the main characters in the book? Were people forthcoming? I have to imagine there were some people who had grudges and were happy to speak. What — what about the — some of the original founders, Adam and his wife Rebekah? Who — who did you have access to? FARRELL: Sure. So, you know, in the interest of privacy, I can’t get into specifics. But what I will say, the interesting thing was, I mean, when we really got access for hours and hours to the vast majority of players at every step of the way in this book. And the — one of the funny things was, I mean, the pandemic really started right as Eliot and I took book leave. We started a book leave in late February 2020. And we had both planned to sort of be and all around the world, meeting people in person. Eliot had moved to New York to meet a lot of the players in person. Obviously, the world shut down and, you know, was kind of nervous about what that would mean in terms of conversations. And the funny thing was I think people are home, bored, feeling pretty reflective. So, there are a number of people that said … RITHOLTZ: What the hell. FARRELL: … I didn’t know if I wanted to talk to you and … RITHOLTZ: But what the hell. FARRELL: … these — some of these people I probably had like 10 conversations … RITHOLTZ: Really? FARRELL: … for hours with. RITHOLTZ: And — and there are 40 something pages of endnotes. It’s — I’m not suggesting that this isn’t deeply researched because a lot of these conversations that you report on like you’re fly on the wall. Clearly, it can only be one of two or three people. So, it looks like you had a ton of access to a lot of senior people and I guess, we’ll just leave it at that. So — so let’s talk about that early rise in the beginning. They were really ramping up very rapidly. I mean, you could see how somebody interested in investing in a potential unicorn in 2012, ’13, ’14 coming out of the financial crisis. Hey, the idea of all these startups just leaving a little bit of space and not a long-term lease, it looks very attractive. It looks like, hey, you could put WeWorks wherever there’s a tech community, and they should do really well there. FARRELL: Yeah, there — and it was — the marketing was — it was very viral at that point. It was, you know, people would tell their friends about it, and they would fill up very rapidly. And they were building more and more. I mean — and this is one of the — you know, as part of the genius of Adam Neumann was, you know, he was telling people from day one they were really struggling to even secure the lease on the first building. And he was like, oh, we’re going to be global, we’re going to be international. He would set these goals of how many buildings they would open and people internally, and even investors, would say, “Oh, this is impossible.” RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: And he would — and he would hit that. He kept on sort of defying gravity, defying disbelief or questions. So, the growth was incredible and they were filling them up. We could talk about, you know, the lack of the cost of doing so. RITHOLTZ: Right. They — they were paying double to — to real estate agents when everybody else was paying. They were going to competitors and saying, “We’re going to reach out to your tenants, and we’re going to offer them free rent for a year.” I mean, they were really sharp elbowed and very aggressive. FARRELL: Especially as time went on. We did find that there is one year we got all their financials. We — you know, we got our hands on a vast trove of documents, but there was one year — I think it was 2011 — that they, I think, made $2 million in profit. RITHOLTZ: Wow. FARRELL: We were — we were kind of shocked to see that. We don’t think they had ever made a profit. And then from there, they did not, and the billions and billions just added up in terms of losses. RITHOLTZ: So — so the rapid rise, we — we mentioned, they peaked in 2019 at more than $47 billion. Neumann recently did a interview with your fellow Times correspondent Adam (sic) Ross Sorkin, and he was somewhat contrite. He — he had admitted that all the venture money and all the high valuations had — went to his head, quote, “You lose focus on really the core of the business and why the business is meant to be that way. It had a corrosive effect on my thinking.” That’s kind of a surprising admission from him. FARRELL: It was. Yeah, I mean, his mea culpa is very interesting. And I mean, one of the things that people said along the way was, you know, the — the higher the valuation, the more out of touch she became. I mean, he — he had a narcissist. And I don’t know what you want to call it, but … RITHOLTZ: Socio-pathological narcissistic personality disorder? I’m just — I’m not a psychologist, I’m just guessing, or a really successful salesman/CEO. There’s like a thin line between the two sometimes, it seems. FARRELL: And some of it — I mean, it seems insane. It was like, oh, he thought of himself in this like same — like with along with world leaders, but world leaders were really sort of … RITHOLTZ: Tailing him. FARRELL: … really wanted to meet him. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. FARRELL: Yeah. And he was like — we have a scene in the book that he was debating whether or not he was going to cancel on Theresa May because he had promised his wife that he would teach a class on entrepreneurship to their new school, so it was like a few of their kids and a few of their kids’ friends were in the school. RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: And they’re about five years old, five or six. And he had promised — and his wife … RITHOLTZ: Prime Minister, a five-year-old, that’s it. So, when you talk about losing touch with reality, some of the M&A that the startup did. Wavegarden or wave machine was a — like a surf wave machine, meetup.com, Conductor, they ended up dumping these for a fraction of what they paid for them. But what’s the thought process we’re going to become a technology conglomerate? I don’t — I don’t really follow the thinking other than will it be fun to have a wave machine at our buildings, like what’s the rationale there? FARRELL: OK. So, there were — there were two parts to that, and part of it was like it was the world was Adam Neumann’s playground, and he loves surfing, and he thought that — you know, that he found out this company has wave-making mission. They would make waves. So, him and his team went to Spain to surf on them and test them out, but he could basically convince his board, in general … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … who had to approve these that anything made sense, whether it’s the jet, the wave pool company or friends of his. I mean, Laird Hamilton, the famous surfer … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … was a friend of his. They invested like in his coffee creamer company. But then the second — so it was so many unseen investments that I really didn’t necessarily make any sense. But then on the other side, one of the things that we thought was interesting, he had this deal with Masa who — Masayoshi Son. He’s the CEO of SoftBank, became WeWork’s biggest investor, biggest enabler, you might say. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. FARRELL: And one of the — they were going to do this huge deal that would have actually kept WeWork private forever. It never came to pass, and that’s why it was sort of the beginning of the end when this deal fell apart. But as part of it, a lot of the deal is predicated on growing revenue. So, Adam also became obsessed with acquisitions like whatever they could possibly do to add more revenue to the company. I mean, he was talking about buying Sweet Cream, and he had like got pretty far along in the salad company … RITHOLTZ: Yeah, amazing. FARRELL: … in conversations with them. So, it was this idea of like let’s just throw in anything, we have money, and let’s just grow our top line. Who cares about anything else? RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about Rebekah Neumann. She was Adam Neumann’s wife. What — what what’s her role in WeWork? How important was she? FARRELL: Her role is just so fascinating throughout. So, I mean, he — he met her right as he was starting Greendesk. And I think she just sort of opened his eyes. She’d grown up very wealthy. She’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s cousin. She had always ties to Hollywood. She gave him a loan early on, a high interest loan, I think even after they were married that we report about in the book. But as time went on, she — she really want a career in Hollywood, decides to — at one point, she — she was trying to be an actress and she tells someone that she’s done with Hollywood. She’s producing babies now. They’ve gone on to have six kids. But she sort of always kind of dabbled in the company, and they retroactively made her a co-founder. RITHOLTZ: Right, she wasn’t there from day one. It was only later she got pretty active. FARRELL: Yeah, she told people like giving tours early on that she help pick out the coffee in the — in the early WeWorks. But — so she became more active, but she was sort of jumped in and out. And it was by the — one of the things that she had a big focus on their kids were growing up, she didn’t really like their choices of private or public schools, so she decided to start — she helmed sort of the education initiative that’s something … RITHOLTZ: And she was deeply qualified for this because she — she was a certified yoga instructor, right? FARRELL: Yeah, she had been. RITHOLTZ: And — and I know she went to Cornell, which is certainly a good school. What bona fide does she bring to technology, real estate, education, like I’m trying to figure it out. And in the book, you don’t really go into any details that she’s qualified to do any of these things. FARRELL: I mean, especially with — with education, it’s like she didn’t — she want this — essentially she wanted a school for her children, and she wanted very specific things in that school. And once again, they decided that that would be the next like frontier for WeWork. They’re always adding different things. But no one really — then they let them do this. They started this school in New York in the headquarters, and they were going to teach the next-generation of entrepreneurs. And … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … I mean, they — one of the things — I mean, it was the education arm more than — as much or more than other parts of it is just so tragic because they had a lot of money. She’s — she, like Adam, can just speak like — speak so — like eloquently and with this vision. So, she attracted all these very talented teachers. She sort of wooed them from the schools that they were in before and told them that they were going to start this, you know, new enterprise and change education forever. And it’s just really devolved so quickly. It became very like kind of petty. I mean, if you pull so they have PTSD from her like obsession with like the rugs like … RITHOLTZ: Right, just … FARRELL: … it was a Montessori-type school. And yeah, she obsessed over like the color of white of the rugs and made them like send back 20 rugs. RITHOLTZ: What was the most shocking thing you found out about him or her or both? FARRELL: So, one — one of these was — I mean, there is a lot of the — their personal lives, as we said, whether it was a school or other — other things where their kids are educated in, just the way in which the personal entanglements, you know, small and huge levels, but I’ll give two examples. I mean, one of the things that people said in the school, so within the WeWork headquarters was a whole … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … floor and it’s beautiful if you see pictures of it, like it just this – like really incredible school. RITHOLTZ: Money was no object. FARRELL: Yeah. And they had Bjarke Ingels, this famous architect designed the school. And — but they basically, on Friday nights, would have dinners with their friends there. And according to many people would — the team would come in Monday morning … RITHOLTZ: It’d be a disaster. FARRELL: … it will be a complete … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … disaster. So, it was like really on so many levels like everything was their personal … RITHOLTZ: So, entitled. FARRELL: Yeah. And the second thing that really shocked us was she was very — she had a lot of kind of like phobias around like health and wellness. And she says — I mean, she had a — a real tragedy in her family. Her brother died from cancer, and so she was always — she’s very focused on and she said it as much in podcasts and things. But she was very fixated on 5G. And she’s worried about vaccines for their kids. And — but the 5G of like what that could do for — you know, these signals. She wouldn’t let them have printers on the floor, like any printers on — wireless printers on the floor of the school. But there is a — they bought this … RITHOLTZ: Can you — can you even by 5G printers today? What — what was the … FARRELL: Oh, no, it’s a wireless. RITHOLTZ: … yeah, just Wi-Fi? FARRELL: Yeah, the wireless like freaked her out, so the teachers of that are like run up and downstairs to just print everything. It seems ridiculous. But the 5G towers, there was one, either being built or built right near there, across the Beam Park. RITHOLTZ: (Inaudible) City Park. FARRELL: Yeah, right nearby. So, she was so obsessed with it. She didn’t want to move in there. They had bought like six apartments in this building that she — the CFO — this is around the time they’re preparing for the IPO. I used to work at Time Warner Cable, who is the CFO of Time Warner Cable. So, she said, “Can you, Artie Minson, help us get rid of the 5G tower and have it moved?” And basically, he deputized another aide who used to work for Cuomo and worked for Governor Christie, the — both former governors. And they — like that was something they — they actually worked on. So, the — yeah, that interplay was just kind of insane. RITHOLTZ: Seems rational. There was a Vanity Fair article, “How Rebekah Neumann Put the Woo-Woo in WeWork,” and — and what you’re describing very much is — is along the lines of that. I’ve seen Neumann described as a visionary, as a crackpot, as — as a grifter, but he thinks he’s going to become the world’s first trillionaire, and — and WeWork the first $10 trillion company. Is — is any realistic scenario where that happens or is he just completely delusional? FARRELL: I mean, it seems insane and like he seems completely delusional, but he had a lot of people going along with him, including the man with one of the biggest checkbooks in the world who is Masayoshi Son, the CEO and Founder of SoftBank, who had just — I mean, the timing of the story, it’s like there’s so many things that happened at the first enrollment. RITHOLTZ: Saudi Arabia wanting to diversify, giving a ton of money. You — you call Son the enabler-in-chief. He — he put more than $10 billion of capital showered on — on to WeWork. How much do you blame Son for all of this mayhem at least in the last couple of years of WeWork’s run as a private company? FARRELL: It seems like he was the main — you know, the main person kind of pushing all of this. And when you talk to a lot of people around Adam, they just said they were just such a dicey match like that Adam was crazy to begin with. Everyone thought that. You know, it can go both ways, but … RITHOLTZ: Yeah, but people drank the Kool-Aid. It — it reminded me — you don’t mention Steve Jobs in the book, but very much the reality distortion field that Jobs was famous for, I very much got the sense Neumann was creating something like that. How did he get everybody to drink the Kool-Aid? Was he just that charismatic and that good of a salesman? FARRELL: I think so. And it was just he could talk about things and make you feel like the reality was there, this reality of distortion field. He was — he was masterful in that. Yet the thing that he did was he always found new pots of money … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … all over the world. I mean, it was the time — it was the time when the private capital markets were getting deeper and deeper, the Fidelitys and the T. Rowe that like normally kind of sober mutual funds … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … were jumping into startups. And they — they were — we call one of the chapters FOMO. It was like the … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … fun FOMO. They were fearful of missing out on the next big thing. So that we’re sort of in this climate where there is an appetite to go after, to just take a chance for the chance of getting the next like maybe not trillion-dollar company, maybe no one but him and Masa believe that, the next big thing. RITHOLTZ: But the next 100X — right. And that’s really — you know, it’s always interesting when you see these stayed, old mutual fund companies that have literally no experience in venture capital or tech startups, but happy to plow into it because they — they — they want to be part of it. And maybe that’s how we end up with community-adjusted EBITDA. Can — can you explain to us what that phrase means? I don’t even know what else to call it. FARRELL: Sure. So WeWork was losing every — every step of the way. They were growing revenue more than doubling it. You know, they’re expanding all around the world. And with that, they were losing just as much, if not more every single year than they were taking in. So, they had this brilliant idea, really a lot stemming from the CFO and Adam Neumann love the CFO’s creation. His name is Artie Minson, the CFO. And it was this idea that you essentially strip out a lot of the costs of kind of creating all the — building out all the WeWorks and, you know, marketing and opening up new buildings. You strip it out, and then you’re suddenly a profitable company. It’s like the magic. RITHOLTZ: Wait, let me — let me make sure I understand this. So, if you eliminate the cost of generating that profit, you suddenly become profitable. How come nobody else thought of this sooner? It seems like a genius idea. FARRELL: Oh. RITHOLTZ: Just don’t — it’s profits, expenses. It’s fantastic. FARRELL: And the — the conviction with which certain people inside, especially on the finance team, believe this. I mean, they were saying throughout that like, oh, we will be a profitable company if we — the idea was if we just stop growing, we could be profitable right now. We take in more per building. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) FARRELL: Then we spend on it. But, you know, that never was the case. RITHOLTZ: So, let’s stick with the delusion concept. We talked about WeGrow, and we talked about WeLive a little bit, crazy stuff. What made this guy think he can help colonize Mars? Right, you’re laughing. You wrote it yourself, and it’s still funny. FARRELL: It is still … RITHOLTZ: By the way, I found a lot of the book very amusing, like very dry, like you guys didn’t try and crack jokes. But clearly, a lot of the stuff was just so insane. You read it, you start to laugh out loud. FARRELL: I’m — I’m glad to hear that because I think that we would joke that like every day. I mean, we’re in different places writing it. We are on calls constantly, and we would call each other. And it was often multiple times a day we would call each other and say, “You will never ever believe what I just heard.” And we would crack up, and we — we had a lot of fun writing it because it’s just — it was — the truth of the story was like more insane than … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … anything we could have made up ever. RITHOLTZ: That’s the joke that, you know, the difference between truth and — and fiction is fiction has to make sense, and truth is under no such obligation. So, let’s talk about Neumann colonizing Mars. FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: I mean, was that a serious thing or was he just, you know, on one of his insane (inaudible) and everybody comes along? FARRELL: There — there — speaking of fine lines, I mean, he just — I think he — he started to believe more and more of like these delusions. And so, I think he really did, and yeah, he got this — he secured a meeting with Elon Musk, and he – Elon Musk — he always — Adam was always late to every meeting, would make people wait for hours, like even like the bankers in the IPO would just sit around. There’ll be rooms of like dozens of people waiting for Adam, and he’d show up like two hours late. But Elon Musk made him wait for this meeting. They sat and sat and sat, and then he told Elon Musk that getting — that he thought — like building a community on Mars is what he would do and he would help him with. And he said, you know, “Getting — getting to Mars is the easy part. Building a community is the hard part.” RITHOLTZ: Right. Because, you know, it’s very hard to get those beer taps to work in a … FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: … low-gravity, zero atmosphere environment. It’s a challenge, only WeWork could accomplish that. FARRELL: The – the fruit water. RITHOLTZ: Right. So — so I want to talk about the IPO, but before I get to that, I — I have to ask about the corporate offsites, the summer camp, which were described as three-day global summits of drinking and drug consumption. It was like a Woodstock event, not like a corporate retreat. How did these come about? FARRELL: So, Adam would say that he never — he grew up in Israel and he moved to the U.S. He lived for a little while the U.S., but move later in life. So, you said he never got to go to American summer camp, so he was going to recreate summer — American summer camp literally. They started at his wife’s family’s had a summer camp in upstate New York. That’s where they started. They just got bigger and bigger, eventually going to England and taking over this like huge like field — this huge estate there and bringing every single member of the company flying them from all over the world. RITHOLTZ: And there were thousands of employees? FARRELL: Thousands upon thousands, and the cost was unbelievable of every piece of it. I mean, every year, they just got bigger and bigger. I mean, the flew at the height of his fame not that he’s far off of it, but Lin-Manuel Miranda like, at the height of Hamilton, they flew him on a private jet. He — he performed on stage. The Roots came, and — and they would pay these people like … RITHOLTZ: Million dollars, right. FARRELL: … a million dollars, yeah. So, the money is no object. RITHOLTZ: That’s a good gig for an afternoon. FARRELL: Yeah, exactly. And they were — you know, especially at the beginning, it was like a younger group of people, in general. And — I mean, these — these were crazy. There’s tons of alcohol sanctioned by the company, handed out by the company. Drugs were in — you know, in supply not handed out by the company, but they were everywhere and … RITHOLTZ: And he talks about drugs. He says, “Well, we — it’s not really drugs, just, you know … FARRELL: He — so yeah, I think it — it got to a point and it was also mandatory to come to these events. So, I mean, the — they were … RITHOLTZ: And they were like meetings where there are shots, everybody has to do shots. FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: This — this wasn’t just at these retreats, like hard partying was pretty common throughout the company or anywhere Neumann seemed to have touched. When — when he was there, everybody was expected to step-up and — and party hard. FARRELL: Including the investors. I mean, you’d walk into the office at 10 A.M., according to so many different people. And he’d insist on taking tequila shots with you in the morning in his office. And … RITHOLTZ: You didn’t have a shot before this? You — don’t you … FARRELL: Right. RITHOLTZ: … isn’t that — isn’t how every meeting begins? FARRELL: The breakfast … RITHOLTZ: Right? FARRELL: … of champions. RITHOLTZ: That’s — that’s right. So — so I got the sense from the book that they always seemed to be on the edge of running out of money, and they would always find another source, but it was all leading towards the IPO, but the S-1 one filing, the disclosures that go with an IPO filing, that seemed to be that they’re undoing the — the public just — investing public just torn apart. FARRELL: Exactly. I mean, the interesting piece of that, as you said, it was there’s always a new pool of capital like just when he thought that he was going to have to go public. And the board — and the board — I mean, one of the things we found time and time again was the board would say, you know, he’s really like crazy, things are getting out of hand. But like we won’t say no to him, but eventually he’s going to have to go public. This was back in like 2016-2017. RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: We thought he was going to run out of money, the only place to go because they’re burning so much cash with the public markets. And the public markets will take care of it, which — that kind of floored us each step of the way. But yes, as you said, he — he — he knew how to captivate on — in one-on-one or bigger meetings to convince you of this future to tell you we always describe him kind of as a magician and think of him like this, like don’t look here, look here, like the sleight of hand. He could — then this S-1 came out. It was a regulatory document. You have to follow rules. RITHOLTZ: There’s no sleight of hand in S-1 filing. FARRELL: No, like you have to see. And people suddenly saw the — the broad public the revenue, the losses of a lot, not even all of these, you know, the questionable corporate governance, I mean, the — the … RITHOLTZ: The self-dealing. FARRELL: … the self-dealing, only pieces of that were even in it because the jet wasn’t in the S-1. They didn’t have to disclose it. The — and the interesting thing about this, I think there’s always like this distinction that people try to make between like, oh, the smart money and the dumb money. And it’s like the smart money is like the Fidelitys and the T. Rowes, and the SoftBanks. And then the dumb money, you know, it’s like — or the, you know, the average retail investor. And so, it’s just so interesting that like he — he captivated the — the quote-unquote, “smart money.” And then the minute this was all made public, everything was there, the world saw it and just said like what is — like this is insane. RITHOLTZ: I’m nursing a pet theory that it was Twitter that demolished him because people just had a — I remember the day of this filing, Twitter just blew up with — like a — a million people are taking an S-1 apart sentence by sentence and the most outrageous things bubbled up to the top of Twitter. And it was very clear that they were dead in the water. There was going to be no IPO, and the dreams of these crazy valuations seemed to crash and burn with the — the IPO filing, which — which kind of raises a question about, you know, how was all of this corporate governance so amiss. All the self-dealings that were allowed, so my — my favorite one was he personally trademarked the word We and then charged the company $6 million to use it. Again, he — he’s given these sort of crazy disclosure explanations. Hey, I’m only allowed to say this. But it seems he bought a bunch of buildings in order to flip them to WeWork at a profit. I don’t understand how the board — we mentioned Theranos — here’s the parallel. How did the board tolerate just the most egregious, avarice, lack of interest in the company and only enrichment of oneself? How does the board of directors tolerate that? FARRELL: I know that was — I think, if anything, from this whole story that just floored us was exactly that this board, I mean, it was a — it was a real like heavy-hitting board of directors. They’re not — and all financial people as opposed to Theranos, you know, it was like people who didn’t really know … RITHOLTZ: Politics and generals, and … FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: … secretaries of states, right? It was a — and a lot of elderly men who were smitten with her. I mean, like men in — what was Kissinger on the board? He was 90 something. FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: So — so with this though, the other thing that’s shocking is, you know, most founders of a successful company, they live a — a reasonably comfortable lifestyle, but the thought process is, hey, one day we’ll go public and my gravy train will come in, and I’ll have a — a high, you know, eight, nine, 10-figure net worth. Early in this time line, he was paying himself cashing out stock worth tens of millions, in some cases, hundreds of millions of dollars way, way early in — in — the company was five years old and he was worth a couple 100 million liquid, and god knows how much on paper. Again, how — how does the board allow that to take place? FARRELL: Yeah, that was — and a board, investors kind of signing off on this were jumping into it, I mean, seeing that he’s going to sell a lot of stock each round. I mean, now there does seem to be a shift and it’s kind of a scary one that this is like more private companies, the founders are selling more and more. But back then, you didn’t really see this very much. And one of the things I find very interesting is he was very much following the Travis Kalanick that — for Uber CEO’s playbook, and literally like following it that like going after the same investors, going around the world. Travis had raised more money than anyone before. Travis, every step of the way, made a huge point of, “I’m all-in. I’m never selling any stock” … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … until he was kicked out of the company basically. So, Adam followed his playbook, but each step of the way was — said he took money out and was like prepare about it. RITHOLTZ: I mean, he was very wealthy for a — a scrappy startup founder, 14, 15, 16. You would think, hey, he’s — maybe he’s making a decent living, but not hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s kind of amazing. FARRELL: Or like having many, many, many houses. RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: And they were like he didn’t hide the way in which he was living, having houses all over the world, jet setting all over the world. You know, and, in fact, he almost like, you know, wanted everyone to know that was part of his like a lure. RITHOLTZ: So, when the IPO filing in 2019, when — when that blows up, it seems to have a real impact on Silicon Valley for a while. Suddenly, high-spending, fast-growing, profitless companies looked bad, and now we’re back to we want profit growth and revenue, but that really didn’t last all that long, did it? FARRELL: No, it was unbelievable. I mean, we also — Eliot and I joked that we rewrote the epilogue like five times because, at first, we wrote it saying like this is the fallout. RITHOLTZ: Oh, look at the impact, right. FARRELL: Yeah, and it was — I mean, Masayoshi Son had his own mea culpa like, you know, I believe in Adam, I shouldn’t have, I made mistakes. But also, I want my companies to be profitable now … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … like I’m going to invest in these companies or the companies have invested already, they should be profitable. IPO investors, public market investors were totally spooled by money-losing companies. Then — you know, then came the pandemic, then came the Fed pumping money into the system. And then, you know, now, in some ways, it’s like, wow, WeWork always like made — generated revenue and losses. It’s like now today we have Rivian … RITHOLTZ: Right, Rivian and … FARRELL: … pre-revenue … RITHOLTZ: … Lucid and, you know, it’s all potential. Maybe it works out, maybe Amazon buys 100,000 trucks from them, but that’s kind of — that’s a possibility. And, you know, more — more than just the Fed, you had the CARES Act, you had a ton of money flow into the system, but it doesn’t necessarily flow to venture-funded outfits, it’s just a lot of cash sloshing around. Is that — is that a fair statement? FARRELL: Oh, completely. RITHOLTZ: So how quickly were the lessons of WeWork forgotten? FARRELL: Incredibly quickly. I mean, it felt like it had — it like it changed everything for a few months. I mean, the other part of it was Masayoshi Son had — had raised a $100 billion fund, biggest fund ever to invest in tech companies. He was literally about to close his second fund. It was … RITHOLTZ: $108 billion, right? FARRELL: Yeah, another $100 billion fund to just go and like pour into companies. RITHOLTZ: More, right. FARRELL: And then I mean, we’ve heard from all these people who are out meeting sovereign wealth funds, Saudi Arabia, and they were just like every meeting, it was like what about WeWork. And, you know, one of the things we’ve heard was he was pushing for it to just go public, you know, or to — or not to — to not go public because he didn’t want to take the mark. He didn’t want to make … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … all of this public. And we have a scene in the book about this that Masa tries to tell him to call off the IPO and tried to force his hand, and Adam is kind of like … RITHOLTZ: Confuses. FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: Right. It’s — it’s — it’s really quite — it’s really quite astounding that we end up with — what did he burn through, $20 billion, $30 billion? FARRELL: More than $10 billion, I think. RITHOLTZ: Wow. FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: That — that’s a lot of cash. FARRELL: Towards him essentially. RITHOLTZ: So — so here’s the curveball question to ask you. So, you’re now a business reporter at the Times. WeWork obviously isn’t the only company led by an eccentric leader. What are you reporting on now? What’s the next potential WeWork out there? FARRELL: You know, I’m — I’m just getting started. This is just a couple of weeks in, but — so it’s — I don’t quite know what the next WeWork is. I almost feel like there’s a lot of mini WeWorks out there, whether it’s — you know, the company is in the SPAC market. Some of these unicorns, I mean, there’s so many — so many red flags around these companies like I was saying before like if founders taking money out very early and, you know, investors are not really caring and just wanting to get into them, getting these massive packages — pay packages, compensation. So, I think there’s — there’s so many different places to look. I don’t get the sense that there’s one company now that’s sort of — of size of Adam Neumann. I think there are just a lot of many ones. I mean, he was a pretty like captivating and just insane in so many — larger than life in so many ways. But I have no doubt we’re going to find one of them fairly soon. There’ll be more. RITHOLTZ: And — and what do you think the future holds for Adam Neumann himself? He — we — we have to talk about the golden parachute, so not only does SoftBank refinance a couple hundred million dollars in loans that he has outstanding, they give him $183 million package and essentially purchased $1 billion of his stock, so he leaves WeWork as a billionaire. FARRELL: Yeah, it was — I mean, it was just an incredible thing. And I mean, then he got this pay package that they agreed to as part of the bailout. I mean, WeWork, once the IPO was called off, was on the verge of bankruptcy. They were going to run out of money in a couple of months so they had to do this very quickly. They were laid off thousands upon thousands of people. But basically, as part of the negotiations to get Adam Neumann to give up his super voting shares, these potent shares that would have let him continue to keep control of the company to do that, they struck this pay package. And I mean, it’s kind of interesting when we talk about the power founders right now that it wasn’t a wakeup call for Silicon Valley to be more wary of giving this power to founders, like when you saw the price tag that Adam Neumann extracted the cost of pushing out a founder who’s kind of a disastrous founder at some point. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. I — I remember reading that and thinking Son played it terribly. He could’ve said, “Hey, listen, I got $100 billion worth of other investments. If I take a $10 billion write-down, it’ll hurt, but I still have plenty of other money. If this goes belly up, you’re broke, you’re a disaster except I’ll give you $50 million or else you’re just impoverished. Good luck finding the lawsuits for the rest of your life.” That would have been the play, but he didn’t — I guess, it was the other second fund he didn’t want to put at risk. Why — why didn’t he hardball Neumann because I thought Son had all the leverage in that negotiation? FARRELL: That was one of the — like the enduring mysteries, I think, of this whole story because all the things you said are right, plus Adam had taken out so much money in terms. He had so much lent against his stock at $47 billion. I mean … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … J.P. Morgan, UBS, Credit Suisse, they have lent him hundreds of millions of dollars, and he would have gotten to default. He like didn’t necessarily have the liquidity to pay back everything … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … he had borrowed. So, it was — I mean, it’s kind of amazing in terms of his negotiating skills that Masa and SoftBank. It was led by Marcelo Claure who’s now the WeWork Executive Chairman. They blinked first. RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: They gave Adam a lot. And I totally agree with you, one of the things I’ve heard it was just like the interest of time. They just wanted it done $10 billion or whatever. It doesn’t mean that much. They want to just keep on moving, keep on … RITHOLTZ: Right. FARRELL: … spending, not distract too much and just get this done, but it’s crazy. I mean, the … RITHOLTZ: So … FARRELL: … the time value of money … RITHOLTZ: … could be the greatest golden parachute in the history of corporate America. I mean, I — I’m hard pressed to think of anybody who, on the way out of a — a failing company, and it was a failing company at that moment, squeeze more money out of — out of their board. FARRELL: And just to say, I mean, Andrew Ross Sorkin at — in this first big interview with Adam that he gave was — I mean, Adam defended it in different ways. I mean, Andrew very much pushed him on like why that was okay and … RITHOLTZ: Very aggressively. FARRELL: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: That was early November. And he was sort of contrite and, you know, a little shifty, but for the most part surprisingly transparent. I was — when I was prepping for this, I watched this and, you know, you could see how he constructs that, you know, reality distortion field. But there was definitely more humility than we have seen previously. I don’t want to say humble, but just closer on that spectrum. Clearly, he wants to have a future in — in business, and he needs to offer a few mea culpas of his own. FARRELL: It does feel like this is the first step on the come back toward … RITHOLTZ: Yeah. FARRELL: … Adam Neumann. RITHOLTZ: I think that’s going to be a pretty big uphill battle. That’s going to be quite the Kilimanjaro to — to — to mount given what a debacle … FARRELL: The interesting thing just so in terms of his next step is I — I agree with you, there’s an uphill battle in terms of maybe getting people to — to give him money, but he now has a lot of money and from … RITHOLTZ: Family office, yeah. FARRELL: Exactly. Anecdotally, it sounds like a lot of people are very happy to take his money. So, to begin, that’s, you know, he’s seeding a lot of things that you — who knows where they’re going to go. RITHOLTZ: Interesting. So, I only have you for a limited amount of time. Let me jump to our favorite questions we ask all of our guests starting with, you spend a lot of time researching and writing during the lockdown. Did you have any time to stream anything on Netflix or Amazon Prime? FARRELL: There — I mean, there’s still a lot of like downtime. I — I probably watched not much. You know, there — there was downtime, and I did have a few shows that were … RITHOLTZ: Give us one or two favorites. FARRELL: … Little Fires Everywhere. I really liked Never Have I Ever. RITHOLTZ: I just started watching the last week, it’s quite charming. FARRELL: Yeah, it’s really good. RITHOLTZ: Anything Mindy Kaling does is quite amusing. FARRELL: She is amazing. Schitt’s Creek, we got through the whole — that was with my favorite pandemic. RITHOLTZ: So, the — the funny thing about that is the first episode, too, were like – it’s like — it’s like succession. You don’t like any of these people. The difference being in Schitt’s Creek, you quickly start to warm up to them and they start to reveal their own path to rehabilitation of — of themselves. FARRELL: It just gets better like ever — and then it’s so devastating at the end. RITHOLTZ: So, it was really great, right? That – that was one of my favorites. Let’s talk about your mentors, who helped shape your career as a business journalist. FARRELL: I guess, my earliest mentor as a journalist, in general, was in college, I’d always thought about journalism, and I got an internship with then, I think, a septuagenarian journalist. He — his name was Gabe Pressman. I grew up in New York. He was an NBC … RITHOLTZ: Sure. FARRELL: … journalist. This is sort of the political head honcho of local journalism. I worked for him for a summer. He was in his, I think, late 70s. And he was just the most energetic, passionate journalist I’ve ever met. He was still like chasing after mayors, grilling them. It was — with the Senate race it was Hillary in the Senate race. And it was like the most fun summer I’ve ever had and seeing his energy. And — and he — he passed away a few years ago, but literally, he started blogging into his 90s. And he would joke. He would say, “You know, my wife really wants me to like take a step back and work and teach at Columbia Journalism School,” where he had gone. And he was like, “I’m just not ready like, at some point, like scale back, and he never really did. So, he — I would say he was my first mentor. Just seeing like that, it is the most fun job in the world. He just was seeing that day in and day out. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about books. What are some of your favorites and — and what are you reading right now? FARRELL: Sure. I’ll start, you know, I always wish I read more fiction, but it’s like I always get pulled in, especially the business, genre. RITHOLTZ: Sure. FARRELL: So right at this minute, I’m reading “Trillions” by Robbin Wigglesworth. It’s really good. It’s about like index funds, sort of I’m learning a lot from it, the rise of Vanguard. RITHOLTZ: He was my guest last week just so you know … FARRELL: Oh, awesome. RITHOLTZ: … or two weeks ago. FARRELL: I’m midway through, but I’m, yeah, learning … RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. FARRELL: … a ton from it. I just read Anderson Cooper’s book about the Vanderbilts. It’s — I thought it was really great and it’s so interesting. You know, he talks — it starts like the Gilded Age. And you just see so many like eerie and kind of parallels between our age right now and just like the level of like wealth creation and what it leads to. So, I really enjoyed that. I read — this is a little bit dated, but “Say Nothing” by Patrick Radden Keefe. It’s about the troubles in Northern Ireland. It is — I mean, it’s — it’s very sad, but I — and it’s pretty long, and I just could not put it down. It’s … RITHOLTZ: Really? FARRELL: … so great. Yeah, I can’t recommend that one highly enough. RITHOLTZ: Quite, quite interesting. What sort of advice would you give to a recent college grad who was interested in a career in either journalism or — or business? FARRELL: In terms of journalism, I would just say jump in. I mean, it’s such a — as opposed to business, I felt like when I graduated from college, you know, so many people had jobs that they were going to make, you know, a decent amount of money. And with the journalism, you just have to find your way in and a lot of its internships. And it just — the path is hard. There’s no straight line. So, I would just say for journalism, it really helps to just jump into the first job you can get. Work really hard in it. And you just always have to keep — there’s no straight line, but jump and learn from it, meet people, find your mentors everywhere you go, and just keep going. You learn so much on the job. I went to Journalism School at Columbia. It was a super fun year, but it’s like within two days of working as a journalist, you just learn so much you can never learn in school. RITHOLTZ: And our final question, what do you know about the world of IPOs, capital market, business journalism today that you didn’t know 15, 20 years ago when you were first starting out? FARRELL: Okay. What I think have learned and probably the most in writing this book is you think people are rational players, and you think that titans of business are supposed to behave in sort of a rational way, and that these, you know, these checkmarks, these — like a T. Rowe Price or something or Fidelity that they’re going to do a certain amount of work looking at things. And I think the level of irrationality in business of just relationships of people, sort of not necessarily making rational decisions and just going with their gut and going with the people they like, I think, are cool like that that overrides a lot of things. I think it’s just so much less rational than you think it would be. And sometimes the things that are on their face seem really crazy and insane, maybe are. RITHOLTZ: Quite, quite fascinating. We have been speaking with Maureen Farrell. She is the co-author of “The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion.” If you enjoyed this conversation, well, be sure to check out any of our previous 400 interviews. You can find those at iTunes, Spotify, wherever your podcasts from. We love your comments, feedback, and suggestions. Write to us at mibpodcast@bloomberg.net. Follow me on Twitter @ritholtz. You can sign up for my daily reads at ritholtz.com. I would be remiss if I did not thank the team that helps put together these conversations each week. Charlie Vollmer is my Audio Engineer. Atika Valbrun is our Project Manager. Michael Batnick is my Director of Research. Paris Wald is my Producer. I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio.   ~~~   The post Transcript: Maureen Farrell appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureDec 15th, 2021