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Spin Cycle

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Dallas Fed Chief Calls For Investment In Education While Fed Pays Billions To Banks On Excess Reserves

File this one in the Orwellian chronicles of America. This is the kind of news that writes itself because it is so absurd, such an insult to our collective intelligence that you couldn't imagine a rational human being with a soul offering up such a steeping pile of horseshit. Enter Robert S. Kaplan, the new chair of the Dallas Federal Reserve and by default the chief monetary policymaker in the American southwest. Why is Mr. Kaplan concerned about investments in education in Texas? Perhaps we should educate ourselves to find out. Speaking to an audience [...]

By | 2016-10-05T11:11:14+00:00 May 26th, 2016|Economy, Education, Politics, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

Insult To Fort Bend Taxpayers Is Complete – Schlumberger Announces New $10 Billion Share Repurchase Program

Earlier this week I wrote about how Sugar Land really "scored" Schlumberger. In response to a completely ludicrous piece from HBJ, I detailed how it was easy to pursuade Schlumberger to relocate the rest of their Houston offices to their campus in Sugar Land. All Sugar Land really needed to do was bend over backwards and throw some money at them. Failing to perform an independent appraisal on the Schlumberger campus prior to approving a new tax abatement package was just icing on the cake for Sugar Land's new BFF. For the thousands of Fort [...]

Laugher Of The Week: How Sugar Land “Scored” Schlumberger

I have seen some hilarious posts at the HBJ covering our local "business development", but a piece last week by Suzanne Edwards made my head spin. In the HBJ exclusive: 'How Sugar Land Scored Schlumberger', she trots out the argument that Schlumberger's choice of Sugar Land for their new corporate offices was achieved by the combination of Sugar Land and Fort Bend's "expediency and attention to detail". These were apparently the major factors that lured Schlumberger to build new offices in Sugar Land. Sugar Land's director of economic development, Jennifer May, is quoted as calling [...]

Mortgage Rates Drop As “Recovery” Drowns In The Sea Of Central Bank Market Manipulations

"Anyone claiming that America's economy is in decline is peddling fiction." Barack Obama - SOTU January 2016 2016 has seen one of the worst starts to a year ever for major U.S. stock indices ever, and that means mortgage rates have continued to fall during the first two weeks of the year. For those who were rushing to lock in a sub-4 percent mortgage, there really was no need to rush. It is now easy to get a 3.75 percent fixed rate 30-year mortgage here in the Houston area. Mortgage rates are driven by demand [...]

By | 2017-02-03T23:27:53+00:00 January 16th, 2016|Economy, Housing Policy, Mortgage Rates, Real Estate, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

Million Dollar Shack: Insanity In Silicon Valley Drives Middle Class Families Out Of The Market

This is nice little documentary from Michelle Joyce, a middle-class mom living in Silicon Valley. Michelle does a nice job bringing the issues of our national housing policy into the public conversation. Michelle and her husband, like many of their friends, have been priced out of the neighborhood. Unfortunately current housing policy continues to favor wealthy tech titans and investors from overseas bringing in large sums of cash. Of course I doubt any of the Realtors are asking where the cash came from and whether it was brought into the U.S. illegally. I was particularly [...]

By | 2015-10-26T19:37:39+00:00 October 26th, 2015|Housing Policy, Real Estate, Spin Cycle, Video|0 Comments

June Unemployment Rate At 5.3%, But Record 93.6 Million Not In The Labor Force

The tragicomedy from the BLS continued today with the June Employment Report. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an increase of 223,000 U.S. jobs for the month of June and an unemployment rate of 5.3 percent. The labor force shrank in June by 432,000, with those not in the labor force rising by 640,000 in June. That's how the BLS unemployment rate was magically reduced. There are now a record 93.6 million people not in the labor force! That's more than 37 percent of the labor force vaporized for the sake of a meaningless headline unemployment [...]

Hovnanian Homes Lays An Egg, Stock Tanks Almost 10 Percent

Hovnanian Enterprises (aka Hovnanian Homes) laid a huge egg yesterday announcing second quarter earnings. The nation's seventh largest home builder reported that their second quarter gross margin fell from 20.2% last year to only 16.% this year. Hovnanian reported a second quarter loss of $19.6 million, more than double the loss during Q2 2014. Hovnanian's consolidated home deliveries of 1223 homes in Q2 fell 1.0 percent from the same time last year even though Hovnanian was selling in 11 more (5.6%) communities than the same time last year. Ouch! Not surprisingly Hovnanian's stock took a [...]

Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Activity Weakens Again In April As Texas Rig Count Drops 56 Percent YoY

LOL! So much for the spin of low oil prices being good for the Texas economy. The Dallas Fed just reported that Texas manufacturing activity continued to contract in April, with Texas manufacturing activity remaining in negative territory for the 2nd consecutive month. I imagine that negative manufacturing index is ever so slightly related to the 56 percent year-over-year drop in the Texas rig count posted last Friday. It certainly isn't helping the Texas employment sector, with employment in the state dropping at the fastest rate in six years. Here are some of the readings from [...]

By | 2016-05-21T12:07:02+00:00 April 27th, 2015|Economy, Energy & Utilities, In the Press, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

Texas EquuSearch Sues FAA Over Drone Policy

Rescue & recovery organization Texas EquuSearch has sued the FAA over it's drone use policy. Texas EquuSearch has been using drones since 2006, and the technology has been instrumental in helping to find and recover victims.  Equusearch founder Tim Miller has stated that unmanned aircraft technology has helped them recover 11 deceased bodies. After being bullied by the FAA to stop using the aircraft, Texas EquuSearch has now sued the agency. "Search-and-rescue organization Texas EquuSearch, which has used unmanned aircraft to help search for missing people since 2006, asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for [...]

By | 2014-04-24T15:31:55+00:00 April 24th, 2014|In the Press, Regulation, Spin Cycle, Tech|0 Comments

Toll Brothers Q1 2014: Cold Weather Ate My Sales Contracts

It looks like the story of freezing weather is again being used to explain stagnating home sales. This morning it was luxury home builder Toll Brothers who lamented that the cold weather impacted first quarter sales: "The freezing, snowy weather of the past two months has impacted our business in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest markets, where about 50% of our selling communities are located. While it is still too early to draw conclusions about the Spring selling season, we remain optimistic based on solid affordability, attractive interest rates, growing pent-up demand and an industry still under-producing compared to [...]

By | 2016-09-30T01:35:51+00:00 February 25th, 2014|Economy, Mortgage Rates, Real Estate, Spin Cycle|0 Comments