Crony Capitalism

/Tag:Crony Capitalism

Why Is The Fed Protecting The Stock Market?

The $11 billion increase in the System Open Market Account Holdings report for February 14 has caught the attention of a number of intelligent market watchers for obvious reasons. The Federal Reserve is purportedly in the midst of a significant balance sheet normalization process whereby they are (and plan to to continue) selling large amounts of Treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities. After amassing a portfolio of over $4.4 trillion, the Fed has used that massive hedge fund to artificially suppress interest rates and foster some serious asset inflation. The Fed was not alone in this [...]

Better Dwelling Goes Off The Reservation Citing Tainted Paper

Canadian real estate site Better Dwelling covers some of the more interesting developments in the Canadian housing market, but their latest piece isn't one of their finest moments. While I generally like the BD site, the authors apparently jumped the reservation citing a new scapegoat for the U.S. (global) housing crisis. Citing a working paper on NBER, Credit Growth and the Financial Crisis: A New Narrative, BD goes with the theme that this working paper changes everything when it in fact changes nothing. Even worse, BD apparently falls for the ruse that mom & pop [...]

City Of Katy Lands Amazon Fulfillment Center, But At What Cost?

"A tree falls the way it leans. Be careful which way you lean." As residents of Katy Texas are busy making their daily slog down the congestion of the Grand Parkway or the soon-to-be traffic debacle around what is arguably the most expensive high school football stadium on the planet, perhaps it is time to question the pursuit of endless growth and the "more is better" mentality that seems to be the mantra of local, state and federal officials.  As we learned this past week, Katy Texas is going to be the home of a [...]

Senate Bill 2 Another Insult Among Many To Texas Homeowners

Senate Bill 2, filed by state senator Paul Bettencourt (CEO of Bettencourt Tax Advisors) is another insult in the long line of insults to Texas homeowners when it comes to property tax reform. Mr. Bettencourt and several other senators authored SB-2 late last year after the committee Bettencourt chaired released a report on recommended changes to the Texas property tax system. All of this came after a year-long road show in which the committee listened to public testimony throughout the state on our broken property tax system, apparently only feigning an interest in real reform. [...]

Texas Economic Development Fueled By Taxpayer-Funded Corporate Subsidies

Texas economic development continues to be fueled by taxpayer-funded corporate subsidies. An estimated $1.4 billion in property tax revenue has gone uncollected in Texas from 2005 to 2015 as a result of Chapter 313. These are the findings from the state auditor's report in October 2016. As Texas Observer detailed last year, the free lunch to corporations doing business in the state of Texas has seen steady growth year after year. The Texas Economic Development Act, or Chapter 313 as it's known in the tax code, has now racked up an estimated $7 billion cost [...]

By | 2017-12-22T01:45:41+00:00 February 11th, 2017|Economy, Energy & Utilities, Politics, Texas Property Taxes|0 Comments

Monkey Business – Expert Says Affordable Homes Are Going Away

Affordable homes are going away. With the prospect of rising rates, now is the time to buy a home. That is apparently the opinion of Dr. Luis Torres, a research economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M. Torres, in a rather interesting piece in the Houston Business Journal seems to be confident that Houston's real estate market is on the road to recovery:  “I can say this with some certainty that the worst of the downturn is behind us.” I'm not surprised that HBJ would print a piece like this (after all it is [...]

Reign Of Economic Error Continues To Plague Housing Market

The reign of economic error holding back the U.S. housing market was on display again this week. New home sales for December came in well below estimates, falling 10 percent from the November euphoria. The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales softened to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million in December. That was a 2.8 percent decline from the previous month, and roughly flat from the previous year. Year-over-year declining mortgage rates for most of 2016 helped to make it the best year for existing home sales since 2001, but [...]

Fed Looks At Texas’ Affordable Housing Problem, Fails To Look In The Mirror

The Federal Reserve can be commended on one thing. They never cease to provide entertainment in terms of their complete ineptitude and functional obsolescence. The Fed continues to show no remorse for the damage they have inflicted on the general population and their destruction of what was formerly known as the U.S. housing market. The latest comedy from the Fed comes courtesy of the inaugural report from the Dallas Federal Reserve Community Outlook Series titled 'The Scarcity of Texas Affordable Housing' In this fun-filled trip down the rabbit hole, the Fed examines the problem of the lack [...]

HCAD’s Two-Tiered Property Tax System Exposed By Recent Apartment Deals

(Updated 9-28-16) The bills for your property taxes will likely be going out in the mail next month. In case you needed another reminder of the two-tiered property tax system here in the Houston area, we just received another reminder of the crony capitalism that passes for uniform and "equal" appraisal in the Texas property tax system. According to the Houston Business Journal, one of the nation's largest REITS, Mid American Apartments, just purchased the Alexan Heights luxury apartment development at 655 Yale St. in a deal worth a reported $70,000,000. Just how much of that [...]

By | 2017-08-03T14:19:35+00:00 September 27th, 2016|Spin Cycle, Texas Home Prices, Texas Property Taxes|0 Comments

An Open Letter To Fort Bend County Commissioner Andy Meyers On Schlumberger Abatement

(Updated 9-22-2016) Thank you Mr. Meyers for responding to the concerns of our property tax protest group here in Fort Bend County. Unfortunately, I think you have missed the point entirely as to why the recent 10-year property tax abatement granted to Schlumberger is such a bad deal for area homeowners. I must say that I am amazed at the depth and breadth of crony capitalism as it currently exists in Fort Bend County. I find it interesting to see that Schlumberger has been granted a property tax abatement in our current environment of escalating [...]