About This BlogUnvarnished truth. Consultant Jonathan Miller (Miller-Ryan) has compelling views on the market, and he shares them with GlobeSt.com subscribers twice weekly.
Safe Harbor for Now
My trip to Israel this week (for a speech to Israeli investors in U.S. real estate) reinforced the view that offshore investors see the U.S. as their only sure shot safe haven. Israelis generally have proved extremely savvy investors and the group of over 120 I met with had little interest in Europe—still viewed as a basket case economy—and apparently even less in China and other parts of Asia—not transparent enough.Read More
At least initially the stock market skyed higher over Congress’s down-to-the-wire fiscal cliff vote, but really does raising taxes and putting off dealing with deficit cuts for another two months diminish uncertainty and discomfort about the future course of the U.S. economy? Reality needs to hit home.Read More
Only Ourselves to Blame
Long before Newtown and the ongoing wave of mass shootings gripping the U.S., the fiction of safe suburbs versus dangerous cities had been upended. The urban white flight of the 1960 and 1970s stopped and even reversed in recent years as 24-hour cities appeared safe and secure, especially in upscale neighborhoods. Today young families may move out of cities back to suburbs, looking for better public schools, but today they rarely leave out of fear of violence or for a safer environment.Read More
The Store is No Sure Thing
The whole Black Fridaynow Cyber Monday shopping spectacle has turned into a Pavlovian binge by consumerspeople rush into stores and now onto their computer devices lured by the prospect of bargains and buy plenty of other things they dont really need, because its the time of the year to behave this way.Read More
Will We Ever Learn?
After my annual foray to talk to real estate groups in Canada where lender prudence encouraged by regulator oversight has helped keep commercial property markets in equilibrium for the past two decades, I returned to the USA and read in the New York Times about how retailers like Wal-Mart and Home Depot have developed shadow banking schemes to extend credit at higher than average credit card interest rates to folks with low credit scores. The idea, of course, is to boost sales just as regulators here have tightened the screws on bank consumer lending practices to avoid the pitfalls of people buying things that they cannot affordremember five years ago like the sub-prime mortgage crisis. And so what will happen? Many of these cash strapped buyers, who never should have been extended this credit, will eventually default on their credit card balances or consumer loans. Do we ever learn?Read More