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Conquest Capitalism – Thoughts of Chairman Warren Buffett – Billionaires Campaign to Control Trillion Dollar Affordable Housing Market

February 9th, 2019 No comments

 

ConquestCapitalismThoughtsofChairmanWarrenBuffettBillionaresCampaigntoControlTrillionDollarAffordableHousngMarketDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

The year was 1998. It happened to be the year that manufactured housing hit its last peak, but it was also the year that Simon Reynolds compiled and published “Thoughts of Chairman Buffett – Thirty Years of Unconventional Wisdom from the Sage of Omaha.”

 

ThoughtsofChairmanBuffettThirtyYearsUnventionalWisdomSageofOmahaSimonReynoldsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsUntil you turn to the back of Reynold’s book, not many pages in my copy of his thin volume are even numbered. Starting on page 141 are the following subheadings, bulleted below.  With those one can start the journey of understanding Buffett and his success formula.

 

  • Think Long Term
  • Buy Businesses You Understand

 

After the second bullet, you find this quote, “Remember his [Buffett’s]Circle of Competence theory. Step outside of it and the vultures will begin to gather. Stick to investing in industries you know something about.  When you have a feel for how the game is played, you are much more likely to score a home run…”

Later, Reynolds says this…

Part of understanding a company is understanding its management team. Are the executives competent?

Are they experienced? Or, as Buffett would say, are they fanatics?”

 

  • Don’t Overdiversify

You can’t be Bo Jackson in investing. Spread your energy and capital too many ways and you are courting disaster.”

For those who don’t know – or need a refresher on – Bo Jackson, here it is.

 

BoJacksonBaseballFootballWarrenBuffettQuoteMastheadBlogDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Disclosure

We are editorially pro-free enterprise.  But for reasons that will be understood from the research and linked reports, our publication is a Buffett critic.  Some believe he ‘saved’ manufactured housing in 2003.  Did he save this industry, or rather, did he start his conquest of it?

The evidence-to-date suggests that the third-richest man on the planet has purportedly mastered the art of the conceal with respect to manufactured housing.

After years of Buffett and industry research – plus my roughly quarter-century of direct involvement in this profession – there are many things that Buffett says that ought to be understood through these prisms.

  • What Warren Buffett said,
  • What he means.
  • The head fake.

Buffett is routinely selling. First, he is selling himself.

Then, he is selling his business and investing model.  There are plenty of takers on that, in investing, business, media, politics, and so on.

Third, Buffett is coy. Some things he says are straightforward and spot on. Other statements from Buffett have a veiled or hidden meaning. As a critic, let me note anew that with all people or organizations, the principle of ‘wheat and chaff‘ should be applied. Learn what to keep and utilize, but also learn via discernment what ought to be ignored, discarded, or understood in a different fashion than what the speaker may imply.

 

Conquest Capitalism

Let’s begin to popularize or coin a new phrase. Not crony capitalism. Not vulture capitalism. It isn’t a phrase from Reynolds’ book.

In Buffet-World, it is all about we what we are hereby going to dub “Conquest Capitalism.”

Buffett uses capital, information, headwinds, and understanding – including the essentials of human nature, and human weaknesses – to conquer.  “The Moat” is a term for the strategic principles used by Buffett in conquest capitalism. 

Conquest capitalism occurs through capital and the understanding and maneuvering of basic principles. Some of those are noted in Reynolds thin volume, like those quoted above or what follows.

Here’s a gem under the heading, “On Independence” – “You have to think for yourself. It always amazes me how high-IQ people mindlessly imitate. I never get good ideas talking to other people.” So said Buffett, claims Reynolds, citing U.S. News and World Report, June 20, 1994.

Or this “There’s something about smart people explaining ideas to an orangutan that makes their decision making better.”

Or “…people are creatures of habit.” Know right now that Buffett and his Berkshire brands count on that, big time. He counts on your habits. Buffett and his acolytes count on the habits of your team, and the habits of millions of others too.

Uncertainty actually is the friend of the buyer of long-term values,” said Buffett per Forbes 8.6.1979. Reynolds has that under the heading, “On the Advantage of Chaos.”

Buffett is also quoted saying “… – it’s the weak link that snaps you. And frequently, in the financial markets, the weak link is borrowed money.”

One could go on, but that’s more than enough Buffett quotes to outline what follows.  On his borrowed-money point, consider the reports linked here and here.  Arguably, no one can grasp why manufactured housing is as small as it is today without reading and understanding the nuances of those two reports, and others like it.

Buying and selling housing in the U.S. is a multi-trillion dollar proposition over the course of a decade. Last year, per the sources cited in the infographic below, sales of new and existing single family-homes and condos equaled about $1.6 trillion dollars in 2018 alone.

What the data reveals is that manufactured housing, properly understood, could take a huge leap ahead of its currently poor sales levels.  If you are an investor pondering this sector – or are already in manufactured housing – be mindful that the growth potential is stunning.

But if so, the curious mind should ask questions like this one. Why hasn’t MHI – or Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance for that matter – done a better job of marketing or advocacy on issues like zoning and placement, financing parity, and other key obstacles?

Or why have the powers that be that flow from Omaha to Knoxville, TN and into Arlington, VA seem to constantly be in motion, with so little to show for it at year’s end?  Isn’t there plenty of demand for affordable housing?

Ponder the 2018 factoids, data, and quotes that follow in this infographic.

 

2018DataShareofHousingMarketManufacturedHousingInfographicDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews612

The headline for this article includes the word “billionaires,” plural. There are more than one in the hunt, so that is not a typo. But Buffett has a clear edge at this time. One of his close friends, Bill Gates – whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Buffett is a trustee of – has been exposed to Clayton Homes and manufactured housing too.

 

When you examine years of research, what you may learn by considering the history of MHVille is this. The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis are posturing activity that seems to the casual observer to aim at promoting growth, or removing regulatory barriers. That said, note that the powers-that-be are not using their best possible arguments for zoning or other issues. The text/image boxes below are each hot-linked to a report on that topic.

 

State of the Industry 2019 – Reality vs. Potential for Manufactured, Modular, and PreFab Homes? New Infographic

 

Meanwhile, Berkshire’s market share in manufactured housing grows.

 

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003MHanufacturedHousingIndust

Clayton Homes, 2003. After the Buffett Berkshire Buyout.

 

They are making billions now. But through patience and conquest capitalism, manufactured homes could swell into one of the largest growth industries in the nation.

 

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEnd2017MHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

Clayton claims they had ‘only’ about 47.7 percent of the market at the end of 2017. Other sources indicate the total could be 50 percent. Either way, the Moat is working.

 

Steady persistence is an element of the Buffett play.

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Quote from an MHI member, business executive.

Had Buffett’s Berkshire tried to buy the entire industry in 2003 – which his resources could have allowed him to do – regulatory alarms would have sounded.  Patience allows him several luxuries. One is less regulatory scrutiny. Less chance for antitrust action.

Two, patience in a depressed industry sector allows him to acquire pieces of manufactured housing at a bargain “value,” which is also part of the Berkshire Moat model.

 

 

 

While You and Others Sleep

While you are running your path today, Buffett’s zealous business-unit leaders and their minions are waging a slow-motion war. Their leaders are taught to think long-term. Most others in this industry are thinking only about today, this week, month, or quarter.

That’s part of what allows conquest capitalist tactics – including that strategic Moat they use –  to beat competitors over time.

Some sell out to Clayton, or one of the other big three firms that dominate manufactured housing.  About 5 years before Berkshire entered manufactured housing in 2003, the three biggest firms had about 44 percent market share, said Buffett in an annual letter to shareholders.  Today, three firms have about 80 percent, and those 3 are all different than what existed 20 years ago.

Somewhat related, the SEC, it should be noted, will not yet say what stock(s) Joe Stegmayer, former Chairman and President of Cavco Industries and still Chairman of MHI, invested in that purportedly caused their legal fracas to erupt.

Over a dozen shareholders’ plaintiffs attorney firms are circling MHI member Cavco.

As a factoid, before going to Cavco, Stegmayer used to be a division president for Clayton. The growth at Cavco occurred after 2003, the same year that Buffett bought into MHVille. Coincidence?

Nor will the SEC say what investigation, if any, they are doing regarding possible collusion between various brands in manufactured housing. But if there were no investigations underway, wouldn’t the SEC just say so? We know from other sources that the CFPB and HUD are investigating the Berkshire brands in manufactured housing. Time will tell what comes of it.

 

Information and Disinformation

It isn’t just information, it is disinformation, that the Omaha-Knoxville and their nonprofit cat’s paw in Arlington, VA use.

Buffett and Clayton frankly don’t need their pawns in Arlington to understand anything. That’s not to demean anyone at MHI.  Rather, it is a simple reality. As long as MHI staffers do what Omaha-Knoxville want, as they want it – their ‘job’ is secure.  They can fail or succeed, it matters not for the purposes of their Moat.  The Illusion of Motion is what matters.

So there is no need for a conspiracy theory. The folks at Arlington could be Buffett’s proverbial “orangutan– see quote above – and that part of their strategic Moat system will work just as well.

From Buffett’s tower in Omaha, does it matter if MHI is hopelessly inept and ineffective at their claimed goals? Does it matter if MHI is cagily corrupted? Or some mix of those?  How did the manufactured home industry – which once outsold RVs 3 to 2 about 2 decades ago – slide so far that it now trails RVs by some 5 to 1?  What coach could keep their job with such poor performance?

Unless poor performance is okay? Who would pay bonuses for performance facts like that?

 

ManufacturedHomeMHShipments1990-2017MastheadManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

In 1998, manufactured homes outsold RVs by about 3 to 2. Today, RVs outsell manufactured homes by some 5 to 1. Manufactured homes are normally purchased for full time living, many RVs are for recreational or part time living. Many RVs – which are towable as well as motorized – can be higher than a manufactured home. The cost per square foot for a manufactured home is routinely lower.

 

Failure or success by MHI – either can suit the needs of the Berkshire brands.  Meanwhile, conquest capitalism is purportedly deploying the Moat to strike at the Achilles heels of various manufactured housing organizations’ interests

Rephrased, Buffett’s brands deploy capital – Buffett’s term – plus a clever blend of spin that includes facts, near facts, missed facts, and the confident trust that many won’t check the facts.

Plus, he counts on the fact that you and tens of millions won’t read, study, think, and plan as long-term as he and his colleagues do.

That’s a possible weak link. Because as soon as someone does thoughtfully study, in large part by looking objectively in detail backwards, one sees the picture that hundreds of millions miss.

 

InBusinessWorldTheRearViewMirrorIsALwaysClearerThantheWindshieldWarrenBuffettVASpapinquoteManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

If you don’t pay attention to history, trends, and plan years ahead, Buffet’s conquest capitalism can sneak up one day and crush you. Another example, linked here.

 

Several thousand will read this column. I can’t say quite how many going in, but the rear view mirror trend lines suggest that our audience will find this topic of keen interest. Those thousands of readers will include the serious, as well as the merely curious.

It’s the few who are zealously informed and focused on ‘never quit until victory’ who will end up making the difference.

With some $500 billion of new capital coming back or into the U.S. in 2018 as a result of the tax cuts and jobs act of 2017, plus the Trump Administration regulatory reforms, this is possibly the best time in years to challenge Berkshire’s Moat.

 

CNBCCapitalIntoUSSinceTaxCutsJobAct500billionto1TrillionMastheadBlog

 

The Clayton retailers and Knoxville lenders’ can be outperformed. We’ve seen it done. We know those who are doing it in specific markets. On the consulting side of our operation, we’ve been part of several projects that have done it and are doing it at their local level.

 

That’s the introduction. Here’s the balance of the opening headline.

Corruption is rampant in America. That doesn’t mean that most are corrupt. That’s not necessary. It does mean that you can effectively buy off a few key people in high, important roles, and influence events in ways that few can imagine.

It means that billionaires can collude in ways that the SEC, FTC, or DOJ might not consider. We respect law enforcement, but one need not look far to see examples of justice gone awry in America.

So, if the Feds do get it on what’s happening in MHVille, they may or may not be willing to try undertake the effort to stop the collusion of the “conquest capitalists.”

Few should better understand than manufactured housing professionals how much misinformation is out there about our misunderstood industry.  Yet those misunderstandings are accepted as true.  Where is MHI’s efforts to correct the record?  Or to promote and explain the reality vs. the myth?

 

Our widely misunderstood industry is the wake up call for affordable housing industry pros. Misunderstanding is also the wake-up call for investors.  There is demonstrably no more proven solution to the affordable housing crisis than manufactured homes.  How is it even possible that it is so misunderstood?

 

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews-445x768

2018 infographic with 2017 data.

 

Misinformation can be Opportunities in Disguise

A source with deep ties to Clayton Homes said that they have a two to three year plan to roll out 1,000 to 1,200 Clayton retail centers within a two to three year time span. To most, that defies belief. We have no documentation to reference, it’s a discussion, per sources. Unlike other tips, there is no evidence we have seen yet for that claim. It might even be a false flag.

But is it possible? With Buffett’s billions, of course it is.

If it is true, that number of new retail locations would mean that every remaining independent is no longer necessary to Clayton. The dust hasn’t settled yet on the story linked below. But that recent – and still ongoing issue – is an example of how bold Clayton is already behaving.

 

“Mobile Home Militia,” Retail/Production Sources, Sound Alarm Against Clayton Homes, CMH, New “Anti-Competitive Practices” Allegation

 

Part of the word heard is that Clayton, following our report linked above, reached out to Regional Enterprises to try to ‘mend the fence’ that CMH allegedly busted. But however that scenario wraps up, it is a huge wake- up call to the industry’s independents, isn’t it?

The similar story below was exactly one year ago.  No one else in the industry trades other than MHProNews covered either one. Why not?

 

How Many MH Independents, Retailers Have Been Lost Recently? “They Think They Own Us”

 

Or where are the other trade publishers on this third-party report, linked below?

 

Examining Derek Thompson’s Atlantic Report on ‘Mobile Home’ Retail Market as Fastest Dying Business In America

 

It is very possible that Buffett and the folks in Knoxville have the following in mind. They are clearly supporting mostly Democratic candidates. They got a lot done – from their conquest vantage point – during the Obama Administration.

Well before the 2018 midterms were over, the 2020 contests were already underway. More precisely, as 2016 results became known, the battle for 2020 was launched. Buffett and his buddies are already deep in the hunt for those who will advance their agenda.

 

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Warren Buffett, left. President Barack Obama, right. Credit, Wikipedia.

 

For those who buy into those photo ops of ‘MHI leaders’ with administration or elected officials and their staffs, never forget that you don’t get more influential that the photos on this page.

 

WarrenBuffettBarackObamaAwardMedalMastheadManufacturedHOusingIndustryMHproenws

Warren Buffett’s grandson worked in the Obama Administration White House. You don’t get much closer to than that in terms of access. So MHI’s arguably red herring photos of MHI staff or board members with some representative or administration member, how does that compare to this? If Warren Buffett had wanted regulatory relief during the Obama years, don’t you think he could have had it? Isn’t it all part of his strategic Moat?

ManufacturedHousingIndustryInsightsManufacturedHousingInstituteMHICartoonMastheadCommentarySatireMHProNewsLifeStyleFactoryHomesLLC

MHIEmeraldCityOzManufacturedHousingIndustryManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIhumorsatireparodyMHProNews

It wasn’t until after we first published satire like this that MHI’s ‘engaged lobbyists’ reached out to the CFPB, and asked the business-friendly Trump Administration to consider changes that MHI claims to have been working on for years. Who said? A source at the CFPB.

RichardDickJennisonMHIPresidentPhotoBrianMontgomeryEnhancedPreemptionFHATitleChattelLoans1010RuleTimWilliamsDontLearnFromHist

We took MHI photos and turned them into satire. Instead of attempting to refute what MHProNews or MHARR reports, MHI has been using photo op images – like the one above – to ‘prove’ how much influence they have in Washington, D.C. and beyond. But you don’t get much more influence than Warren Buffett sitting with then President Obama do you? Why is mainstream housing roaring, and manufactured homes snoring? Why do MHI staff get bonuses? Photos are fine, but where are the measurable results for millions spent every year on lobbying, meetings, and promotion?

 

The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington head fake is –  as Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of MHARR aptly put it – the illusion of motion and activity. When was the last time a con artist confessed until formally charged with crimes?

Factory-built homes are potentially a trillion-dollar-a-year industry. Patience and conquest capitalism is winning, and there is no reason to think that won’t continue. Unless the ploys are exposed, and then arguably the axis and their allies have to be defeated.

If we were wrong about our analysis of the facts and evidence, why doesn’t Knoxville and Arlington accept the offer to publicly refute our concerns? Why don’t they accept the offer to publicly discuss these issues, to be video recorded for later reply, in front of an audience of manufactured home industry independents?  Why not have the mainstream media attend such a discussion/debate?

Only in hindsight and by peeling away at enough layers of the onion does the fact-pattern and logic of their strategy become clear. The rest are details and commentary. See the linked text-image boxes for more details.

Investing? It would be hard to find a better bet than manufactured homes. Go back to the top and author Reynold’s quotes.  Grasp how logical affordable housing is as a business to invest in.  But to be successful, one must know how the game is played. Because the system, while arguably rigged, can be profitably beaten. Several are in the process of challenging the system, even as this is being written.

 

 

The Late Howard Walker and “The Book”

The late Howard Walker, Vice-Chairman for Equity LifeStyle Properties told me that “the money is in a book.” In context, he meant that the right book about manufactured housing was worth a fortune.

Properly understood, Walker’s point was arguably correct.

Whatever Simon Reynolds may have earned from “Thoughts of Chairman Buffett – Thirty Years of Unconventional Wisdom from the Sage of Omaha” was only a drop in the bucket compared to what is possible from shrewd investments combined with P.E.P. in manufactured housing.

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Protect. Educate. Promote – P.E.P. Officials. Advocates. Investors. The public. They are looking for us. Graphic credit, MHProNews, all rights reserved.

Not a ton of money from a book per se, but rather from the lessons that Buffett and his strategic/economic “conquest capitalism” Moat yields.

 

  • Some don’t fight the Moat because they don’t understand it.
  • Some don’t fight the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis and their allies out of fear. We’ll explore the question of extortion and lack of options another time.
  • Some don’t fight it because they believe they benefit from it too. As Buffett Moat crowds out smaller players, some of the mid-sized ones think they can gain market share as well.
  • Some are the axis that makes up the Moat proper.

The industry is poised to be disrupted again, for a variety of reasons already in motion. The case could be made that this is the best time in decades to jump into manufactured housing, or to expand through prudent challenges to the Moat builders.  Because either out of patience, or whatever other reasons one cares to mention, Clayton and company are underperforming too.

So motivated, focused, well capitalized, disruptive performers could get in, and blow by them in just a few years. That will be explored too in an upcoming column.

The Moat and conquest capitalism are the truth hiding in plain sight.

To learn more about the Moat, see the linked related reports, further below. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

Surprising Discovery on Manufactured Housing’s Enhanced Preemption, Hidden Gem$

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

Positive, Uplifting Third-Party Reports Favor Modern Manufactured Housing, So What’s Going Wrong?

 

“Democrats Are Sinful Hypocrites. Just Like All of Us.” Weaponizing Information, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and MHVille

 

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Persists – Time For Action Not Excuses

Don’t Be Another Victim, Push-Back Pay$, Phase Two of Manufactured Housing Revolution

January 14th, 2019 No comments

DontBeAnotherVictimPushBackPaysPhaseTwoManufacturedHousingRevolutionDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

If you look around the world, Americans have much to be grateful for, and so too does our once far greater industry. But as one carefully peers and ponders the details, one begins to sees that there’s so much more that could be accomplished in our nation.

 

 

The same holds true for manufactured housing (MH).

Our MH Industry has underperformed for decades.  What will you do about it?  How will you be part of the solution?

Let’s be blunt. Thousands of our fellow industry independents have already failed. Don’t believe it? Click to see the third-party, data-laced report by the Atlantic’s Derek Thompson by clicking the linked text/image box below.

 

Examining Derek Thompson’s Atlantic Report on ‘Mobile Home’ Retail Market as Fastest Dying Business In America

 

Derek’s data points – linked above – are your latest third-party-inspired wake up call.  It’s sobering.

 

 

Bigger Boys, But Not A Giant?

While thousands of our readers are from mom-and-pop operations, direct reader-feedback plus third-party metrics tell us that this is the runaway most read by the so-called ‘big boys’ too, and all those in the mid-ranges under that big boy level too.

Useful information and straight talk vs. spin and happy talk pays.

Never forget or ignore authentic manufactured home history.

The old Fleetwood and Champion homes of 20 years ago are gone. Once the two leaders in MHLand, the only things left of old Fleetwood and Champion are their names. Hey, it was Warren Buffett’s annual letter that declared those two plus Oakwood had once held 44 percent of the industry’s market share.

The old giants of yesterday fell, in what now today is only MHVille.

Since Buffett wrote that, Clayton hovers around 50 percent market share. Want to wait until it is 60 percent, or more?

The Atlantic report is just one of numerous reminders that thousands of pros who once had successful, thriving businesses are no more. Many were millionaires in their day. Today, their old firms are Dust in the Wind.

Don’t think it can’t happen to you. It’s happened to thousands of others. The Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis is slow, deliberately so. They are also relentless. Do you want to be their next discounted acquisition? Isn’t that the name of the Moat-builder’s game?

 

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

 

So you, we – and all others who want to be long-term in MHVille – must be equally relentless too. They have advantages.  So do you and we, BUT only if you properly understand the dynamics at play.

 

Why Is Manufactured Housing Struggling During an Affordable Housing Crisis? Former MHI President, VP, Other’s Quotable Insights

 

The arguably hypocritical, corrupt, and years of misfires at MHI – linked above and below – are just examples. There’s more.

 

Former Manufactured Housing Institute President, Manufactured Home Owners, Urban Institute, and You

 

Why did Lesli Gooch defend Clayton and their related lenders against claims of monopoly leveled by Doug Ryan at what today is known as Prosperity Now?

 

AmericanBankerLesliGoochManufacturedHousingIndustryMonopolyAnythingButManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoLesliGoochPhotoMastheadManufacturedHomeMHProNews

Gooch is arguably as successful at defending the interests of manufactured home independents, or the millions of home owners, as she was at running for Congress.

 

Why doesn’t Gooch and company just as enthusiastically defend the industry each and every time a lesser challenge is hurled at what harms the rest of MHVille?  Where is Gooch or MHI on the Disney controversy?  Or one of the many mainstream media stories that misuses terminology or otherwise mischaracterizes our industry every week?  Facts are #NettlesomeThings.

 

TimeEndMonopolyOverManufacturedHousingDougRyanProsperityNowPhotoAmericanBankerClaytonHomesMHI

There are points that Doug Ryan and Prosperity Now are correct on, and others that they miss the mark. A wheat and chaff approach must be taken on every one, and everything, in order to sift and find the truth of a topic like the monopolization of manufactured housing by the Berkshire Hathaway brands.

 

 

The Dirty Little Secret…

Apparently, failure to act by MHI to defend the broader good name of manufactured housing is fine with Berkshire Hathaway and their brands in MHVille. Here’s the dirty little secret. If MHI wins or loses on an issue, Berkshire, Clayton, and their sister firm’s win either way.  Ponder that. We’ll show that another time, but the people that shared that tip have proven to be correct, time and time again. Clayton’s market share just grows.

 

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003MHanufacturedHousingIndust

Clayton Homes, 2003. After the Buffett Berkshire Buyout.

 

Because avoidable, artificial, regulatory, media, and other headwinds are arguably part of the vale acquisition strategy of Moat building deployed against independents – or you? – by the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.

 

 

ClaytonHomesSkylineChampionCavcoIndustriesBalanceofIndustryManufacturedHousingIndustryConsolidationGraphicPieChartMHProNews-e

One reason so few are willing to speak out publicly on this issue is that they don’t want to be the next in line for disappearing as an independent business. But the trend lines make clear that without pushback, your firm could be a conglomerate’s next meal. 

 

As a prior reports reflected, even working for the Clayton’s and Berkshire brands doesn’t make you safe. It’s just that you’ll get the painfully purported shaft later in life.

There is a struggle. But why not team up now, and lessen the pain?

It can be as simple as tips. It can be as sobering and profitable as open support, or steps in between.

 

ConfidentialNewsTipsOKTipsIreportMHNews@MHMSM-comGraphic

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

 

What Will You Do To Advance Your Location, Business, Organization, and Thus Your Industry?

Let’s be clear.  We write what we write.  If someone has guest comments that we opt to publish, then they are speaking for themselves.

Put differently, we don’t expect or even ask a sponsor to sign off on any given article.

Think of it something like a talk radio station.  They often play a disclaimer, ‘the views and news here may or may not represent those of our sponsors’ or business development clients.

Sponsors benefit because we have the largest audience, and the most engaged one in MHVille. Period.  No one else in MH trade media even comes close.

Legacy Housing – for example – may be with us for a another few months, or for years, we have no clue.  But what we do know is what Legacy has said in their own words.

 

“Huge” February 2019 Manufactured Home Sale Announced, Competes with Louisville, Tunica?

 

Legacy have a backlog, the biggest in their history, while the industry at large is slipping.

 

Production Decline Continues in November 2018

 

 

In the wake of their ads on MHProNews last fall, they had two reportedly very successful events in the last half of 2018. Legacy came back for more.  That activity contributed to that backlog.  That’s the logic of their own published statements. Their big GA event was so successful, they are repeating it.

 

Push Back Pays Dividends

MHVille Marketers, are you paying attention?  Not only is push back against the powers that be smart, Legacy proved it pays off too.

The industry won’t cure slurs against it’s products and home owners without resistance.  MHI clearly hasn’t given that kind of leadership. The MHI vision arguably one of lemmings being led off a cliff, like lambs to the slaughter at the altar of Berkshire or some other allied big boy firm.

If you happen to be one of those allied firms, never forget the lessons of those who helped topple Tsarist Russia.  Once the revolutionaries were successful, their allies were routinely among those executed.

This is a war. It’s a business war, within and around our industry.

 

Exploring Corporate, Association, Individual, Investor, and Governmental Corruption Involving Manufactured Housing

 

It is peaceful in the sense that it starts and continues using information.  Thus, as an MHI member-producer called it, this is an Info War. That’s a war we can win. Why?  How?  Because truth properly told and repeatedly shared can triumph over lies and deceit.

Some will choose to have their feet in both ponds.  Okay, that’s a company’s free will right of choice.

Monopolists are slowly gobbling up America.  It has been so for decades.  Only now, it is quite visible.

We celebrate honest success.  We are not socialists, but neither are we crony capitalists. We believe in the American Way, which is free enterprise and limited government that protects the people and their rights.  Have you noticed how the crony capitalists often support the political left? Or how they often buy political influence in both major parties?

It’s about power and money.  Money begets political power, and political power begets money.

You can’t ignore the trend lines and facts forever.

 

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryMashteadLATonyKovachMHproNEws-756x768

Both a plank in the Democratic Party’s ‘new deal’ plan and a draft by the Trump Administration – each on paper – are aimed at the problem of growing monopoly in America. We plan in 2019 to press both Democrats and Republican leaders on this issue, especially as it relates to manufactured housing. Watch for it.

 

Antitrust and RICO

The good news is that antitrust action can win this struggle, but that too requires good information.  There are civil, state, and federal actions and suits that can be brought.

While its bad news for them, and is potentially – potentially – good news for the industry – is that more than one ‘someone’ in the MHI camp of surrogates have misused the U.S. Mail, and misused ‘the wires’ in an obvious attempt to silence us.

That – per legal experts we’ve spoken with – can constitute elements of RICO. RICO has civil and criminal components too.

MailWireFraudManufacrturedHousingIndustryMastheadCommentaryMHproNews

 

MHI has failed to properly promote our industry. We have, by contrast, the letters and related that demonstrates that we know how to grow business honestly at the local level.

 

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Once more, after publishing a prior report on this topic of how apparent allies of MHI have misused the mails in an attempt to silence our reports – and after asking MHI, Clayton and 21st leaders about these allegations – the letters like the above have stopped. Coincidence? Investigators may well find out. Time will tell. But the issue isn’t us, it’s YOU.  If they do this to us, why think that they won’t do this to you?

 

These bullets and factoids combined are part of how MHVille can become – once more – MHLand.  In time, with the correct approach, manufactured housing could emerge as the MHNation.

That’s a slow, but arguable goal of the monopolists too.

When Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Alexa Fund invested several million in a prefab start-up, that’s a wake up call to you, every MH Pro, and every MH investor or advocate. The Alexa Fund estimates this marketplace to be worth $330 billion a year.

 

$300 Billion Market, As Predicted, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Alexa Fund Dives Deeper into PreFab Homes

 

Poor, inept, uncaring MHI apparently can’t even get the math right about our industry’s size. They keep saying it is $3 billion a year that MHVille ads to the GDP.  They are demonstrably wrong by more than half.  They are an embarrassment to themselves, and to the industry. The total is closer to $6.5 billion, because it is a retail sales figure, not wholesale or Lord-knows what number they pulled out of a hat to arrive at the clearly wrong $3 billion figure.

That’s mentioned only to show once more that they are either inept, incompetent, uncaring, or whatever phrase you might use to describe people that have spent millions, while shipments stalled, and finally, fell.

Comparing Conventional Housing Data for November 2018, to Manufactured Housing Industry Data, Nov 2018

 

Conventional housing data – in historic context – should be telling us why manufactured homes ought to be roaring, not snoring.  That’s an indictment of MHI, and their puppet masters, pure and simple.

 

Manufactured Home Production Decline Accelerates in November 2018

 

Professionals – often members of MHI – say that a lack of good information is part of what holds the industry back.

Others – producers, for instance – say the lack of retail distribution is holding the industry back.  Pay attention to why Legacy Housing said they pursued their IPO. It is to increase their retail distribution.

There are solutions to every problem that the industry’s independents face.

You can feed the hand that is biting your hands, if you want to.

You can feed the hands that are backstabbing you, if you want to.

Perhaps, you may think that you don’t have a choice.

You do.

Join those who are calling for their own, or are working with us, to start the next phase of the Manufactured Housing Revolution. We’ll be meeting privately in Louisville and Tunica to discuss this with select professionals.  How about you?

Finally, information properly shared is power. There are arguably reasons why the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis is risking a RICO charge in the first place.  It’s simple.  They have their eyes on their part of a $330 billion dollar pie. The biggest threat to them is a breakup under federal, state, and civil RICO and/or antitrust.

That breakup of Berkshire and other monopolistic moat builders will require good information.

State and federal officials – we know first-hand – are already on this matter.  It takes time.  Don’t expect a headline tomorrow, that’s not how this works.  It’s actually quite interesting that the local Knoxville media carried the report shown below.

 

 

Experts have told us that our safest place is being out front. In the open.  Guess what?  That’s where your safest place is too.

WVHI’s Andy Gallagher blew his own cover over a year ago, at his own request.  Did Andy lose his job?  No.  Why?  IMHO, because we publicized the matter.

WestVirginaHousingInstituteWVHIAndyGallagherExecDirectorPhotoLogoDailyBusinessNewsMastheadMHProNews

The experts and the evidence suggests that the safest place in MHVille is in being public. We may end up with a Clayton paid security detail, LOL, because if something happened that appears unsavory, state and federal authorities know where to start looking. Debatably every ploy the monopolistic want to use has a legitimate, legal, counter-punch.

 

Your safest place to hide is in plain sight.

NAMHCO is doing it.  See the related report, further below the byline and notices.

MHARR has done it for many years.

We have survived and grown our readership, while ‘they’ are trying their best to undermine, intimidate, and destroy us.

For an employee at Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington related firm I get that you want to stay anonymous. We are thankful for every tip we get.

 

SubmitNewsTipsManufacturedHomeProNewsMHProNewsLogoMastheadMHProNews

Submit confidential or on-the-record news tips, or comments at this linked email mailto:iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com

 

For those in business, look beyond a nice time you had at a MHI meeting. That’s Buffett’s Buffet. You are an upcoming meal, arguably nothing more.

Don’t roll over and play dead. In whatever ways your circumstances allow, this is the time to fight back.  Info Wars is on, but the next phase is underway. Stay tuned.  “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

New Era in National U.S. Manufactured Home Community Representation Underway?

The Future of Retail, Disney, ‘Trailer Trauma,’ and Manufactured Housing

 

Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert, Affordable Housing Crisis, MHI’s #NettlesomeThings Response

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Profitably Defeating “the Long Knives” – 2019 New Year’s Resolution for MHVille

January 2nd, 2019 No comments

 

ProfitablyDefeatingLongKnives2019NewYearsResolutionMHVilleManufacturedHousingMHProNews600

“…Tony, these guys have long knives…” read part of a message from a former, high ranking, MHI member.

Here’s a longer quote from another company president.

“…See you in Louisville.  I just finished a book on [name of book withheld]. One of the sayings from that…comes to mind: “Don’t give up the ship!” Tony, You are so correct about this [Arlington-Knoxville-Omaha Axis].  I always knew you were gonna get attacked.  Don’t give up the ship! (or never quit-something like that)…”

 

Something Different in 2019 on MHProNews and for Manufactured Housing

We’re going to do something different in 2019, but never think for a moment that 2018 and the prior years weren’t necessary.

For those who look back, 4 years ago, we named no names of who were at the root of the industry’s internal problems, we simply pointed out the problems.  Later, we began naming the names, while also citing the evidence. IMHO, these predicate steps were essential as a foundation for what comes next.

Let’s start by setting tonight’s table, then we’ll lay out the logical next step.  By the way, we’ll use a phrase once this post and the content linked from this column cover for simplicity.  We believe that the evidence suggests that the manufactured housing market has been manipulated in a fashion that violates several state and federal laws.  We will say ‘alleged’ to cover this topic, so that any attorney for operations based in Arlington-Knoxville-Omaha, their surrogates and allies, won’t have anything they can use against us in court.

That said, use your common sense, look at the linked and provided evidence and here’s the view from the Masthead.

We became a Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member close to a decade ago, based on the advice and encouragement of Ken Rishel and George Allen. If we at MHProNews and our affiliated operations wanted to see the industry advances, Rishel and Allen said that joining MHI was how that could best be accomplished.

Perhaps Ken and George meant well.  Maybe they didn’t, I’m not going to belabor that either way.

TheMastheadEditorialCommentaryLATonyKovachMHProNewsWhat your Masthead writer slowly learned as an MHI member, then as an elected MHI board member for their Suppliers Division is this.  The powers that be at MHI picks winners and losers. Literally. That’s not just winners and losers for ‘contests.’ It is also for who they will support or undermine at MHI, and within the broader industry.

We believe in what we have provided evidence for these things.  So, in fairness to George we’ve often said that with him, one must separate wheat from chaff.  There are things that myself and every human does or has done that is chaff, and is best tossed out.  Some things you, I, or all mortals do are wheat.  Wheat properly prepared, for those whose diets permit it, is worthy of our tables.

The very people and/or organizations that we are exposing are some of the very ones that publicly praised us for some time.

Ken, George, Richard [the] ‘Dick’ Jennison, Jim Clayton, Tim Williams, Kevin Clayton, Darren Krolewski, and we could go down the list of those who publicly, on video, and/or in writing have praised our pro-industry, pro-growth work.

 

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But even while some of those where praising our pro-growth efforts, there is evidence that at the same time, our operation – as a member – was being undermined by MHI, and by some of their members.  I frankly wasn’t seeing it at first.

Nor is ours the only such case, as we noted some time ago that George Allen discovered that after years of membership, MHI’s NCC division went into competition with him on several items that he had previously done, like his annual list of the largest community operators. Allen charges for that, MHI gives it away for free. Note too that MHI did so after negotiating with Allen about buying his assets and lists. They reportedly entered into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), reviewed what Allen had, and ‘failing’ to come to terms, began to compete on some of those same ‘services’ that Allen rendered.

What message does that send to others in the industry, when the trade association you are a member of, suddenly becomes your competitor?

So it wasn’t that I didn’t have clues.  Another MHI board member told me that he didn’t trust the Dick Jennison from the first time he met him. Someone connected with the Louisville Show said the same thing to me, “Tony, I wouldn’t trust Dick Jennison any farther than I could throw him.”

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I was wrong about Jennison, they were right.

What the Arlington-Omaha-Knoxville (A-OK, but not okay) Axis do is a bunch of BS, and I’m not one to curse very often.  Tim at 21st attempted to deceive thousands of industry independents with that letter of his, posted below.

21stMortgageCorpLogoLetterheadJan302009TimWilliamsRetailersBrokersCutSpecifiedLendingMonopolisticConcernManufacturedHome

The letter was window dressing for a bold plot to put hundreds of retailers out of business.

HowDoesMoatStrategyWorkOutInOpenGreatQuestionSmallBusinessesBusyTradeAssociationsMHI_Masthead

Consider these satirical cartoons to be summaries of what you can in fact find comments on by Kevin Clayton in the video posted on this page. He stated it differently, but it points to these cartoon paraphrases. Those who’ve watched the full video after reading the direct quotes from 21st President Tim Williams, and Warren Buffet’s annual letter in Smoking Gun 3 say that the and report are eye opening.  It is arguably clear evidence of antitrust style action. Who says?  Some attorneys who have reviewed the 21st letter above, the video, and linked article above.

We’ve documented before at the links below the byline and notices that Warren Buffet, and later Kevin Clayton, each contradicted what Tim’s letter claims.  They – 21st – in fact had access to what Kevin said in the video was ‘plenty of money,’ which Kevin said they used to buy other lenders loans plus more industry acquisitions.

So it seems apparent that Berkshire Hathaway simply didn’t want to use those funds to support independents that didn’t buy Clayton products or sell 21st repos.

That’s a manipulation of the market. IMHO, since there were multiple parties involved, that’s collusion.

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Collusion – per attorneys in or familiar with antitrust law – is one of the possible triggers for antitrust action.

 

KevinClaytonInterviewMHIPacDonationsEItherMajorPartyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMasthead

 

We know for a fact that federal investigators are on these matters, because I’ve personally spoken with some of them.

So, we don’t need this mainstream news video below.  But for our growing number of new readers – that add to our already industry leading audience size – it’s a placeholder and reminder that Clayton’s Knoxville metro’s home town media has said some of the same things we’ve reported.  But mainstream media normally does a story like the video posted, and then they move on. Trade media – like ourselves – can spend more time to focus on such concerns.  Industry comments – like the on near the top – and third-party data tell us that our audience eats it up.

 

 

But the purpose for doing any report isn’t click-bait.  The goal or purpose is to get to the root of what holds manufactured housing back from achieving its true potential. This writer began in this industry in the early 1980s, and I’ve been a true believer ever since. That potential for manufactured homes is arguably in the hundreds of billions of dollars a year for several years. That’s why Warren Buffet and several tech giants are keenly into factory-built housing, and/or are exploring it.

Professionals want to know.  Professionals, investors, and those outside our industry who are researching manufactured homes or factory-built housing have asked me for years a variation of the following question.

 

 

With the value so high on a HUD Code manufactured home, why isn’t the industry doing much better?

 

 

It’s an obvious and logical question.

 

ManufacturedHousingSHipmentsBloombergQuintFactoryBuiltRebuidRecoveryMashteadLATonyKovachMHproNEws-756x768

Both a plank in the Democratic Party’s ‘new deal’ plan and a draft by the Trump Administration for antitrust action – each on paper at this point – are in theory aimed at the problem of growing monopoly in America. #OpenMarkets. We plan in 2019 to press both Democrats and Republican leaders on this issue, especially as it relates to manufactured housing. Watch for it.

ClaytonHomesOakwoodHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEndof2003MHanufacturedHousingIndust

Clayton Homes, 2003. After the Buffett Berkshire Buyout.

The answer, once one sees and ponders the evidence, becomes clear. Market manipulation. Or to borrow a phrase from the political left (Senator Bernie Sanders VT-I, who caucuses with Democrats) or the GOP’s President Donald J. Trump, it’s a “rigged system.”   The rest are details and commentary.

ClaytonHomesBerkshireHathawayMarketShareofManufacturedHousingEnd2017MHanufacturedHousingIndustryProNews

While several allegations of monopolistic practices have been made against Clayton Homes and Berkshire Hathaway, this website is the only one to date that is known to have produced evidence of how that was actually accomplished, and provided with that evidence, this kind of logic, and related data.

 

 

While we as an LLC are responsible for our own work product, nothing we’ve done in the past 3 years has been solo.  We’ve had thoughtful and tangible support from numerous industry professionals. The number of news tips from within Clayton, or from withing 21st, or MHI, et al are growing.

 

ConfidentialNewsTipsOKTipsIreportMHNews@MHMSM-comGraphic

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

 

The Long Knives…

So, while MHI, their surrogates and allies have tried to:

  • Chase off our advertisers,
  • Try to cast doubts or dispersions about my personal life, character, or work,
  • Try intimidation tactics, from more than one attorney/law firm,
  • Try using part-time surrogates – like George Allen, Suzanne Felber or others – to attack or undermine us,
  • What they didn’t do is try to refute a single allegation we’ve laid out.
  • George claims to be this big supporter of independent communities. Pardon me if I’m not buying his BS. If he cared about them as much as he cares about himself, he’d be working with us to expose this manipulators, rather than acting as their surrogate against us. Whatever MHI and the ‘powers that be’ are doing for Allen, I hope he enjoys it, because it arguably won’t last. Some of George’s followers are now also among those who send us tips.
  • If we were wrong about any of this, why don’t Kevin, Tim, Dick, Lesli, Rick Robinson, Joe Stegmayer, Nathan Smith, or any of the others in the mix take me up on the offer of discussing this live in Louisville or Tunica in 2019? Why not do a third-party moderated discussion on stage, in front of hundreds of industry professionals? Why not do so with their ability to call witnesses or experts, and our ability to do the same?  Why not video record the whole thing? Then, why not provide that video and its content to HUD, DOJ, SEC, FTC, the U.S. Postal Service and other federal or state agencies?  We’d of course post the video, so that MHPro readers from coast to coast and from Texas into Canada could watch it for themselves.

If they had the guts and the wisdom, they’d take me up on that often extended offer in a New York minute. But IMHO, these are white-collar con-artists, being called out publicly – with evidence being provided – for their confidence job.

DeceptiveTradepracticesDailyBusinessNewsMHPronewsMastheadTonyKovachcommentary

 

When Clayton team members start telling us some of what will come out in planned reports on MHProNews in the days ahead, you’ll see that a number of our readers are ‘getting it.’ Of course, others are still pondering the matter, while some naturally back MHI. That’s life.

When consumers find us on MHLivingNews and call to tell us their Clayton-21st-VMF ‘tale of woe,’ we listen.  It won’t be long before a report on MHLivingNews will be published, and that will further set the stage for the general public on Clayton’s business practices that we began laying out for the industry’s professionals. Of course, we’ll use all of the proper disclaimers.  Clayton won’t like it, but the law arguably is on our side.  If they try a legal maneuver to stop us, we’ll take it to mainstream media contacts we have already been cultivating.

 

Transparent vs. Opaque

We’ve been highly transparent, because it is the right thing to do.  A federal investigator told me that the A-OK Axis (he referred to “the Oracle of Omaha,” meaning Warren Buffett) is “trying to show you that if you investigate them, that they can investigate you.”

That Fed said it was a clear intimidation tactic.

I’ve looked in the eyes of independent community owners, retailers, producers, and others who lost their businesses, and/or others who Clayton tried to put out of business. That’s their “moat strategy” in action. To me, it smacks of RICO, and the reason it does is a former prosecutor who is an attorney advise us that it looks to him like RICO.

RICO-RacketeringInfluencedCorruptOrganizationsActRICOWikiDailyBUsinessNewsMastheadManufacuredHOusingINdustryProNews

If that former prosecuting attorney, and our suspicions, are correct, these are not only immoral practices by the A-OK Axis, they could be criminal practices.

I’ve spoken with attorneys in and out of MHI, and in and out of our industry. We have a working plan.  While we’ve been very transparent about many things, we will play a few cards later, and hold them closer to the vest.

ManufacturedHmeIndustryAchieveGreatPotentialAddressingResolvingCauseCorePerceptionIssuesLATonyKovachQuotePresentationPhoto

There are several things needed for the industry to advance and for independent operations of all sizes to embrace for their own sake, if they care about the future value of their business.

1)    A new post-production association.  MHI is hopelessly corrupted, inept, lies, and has repeatedly failed our industry’s consumers and professional members.  See the graphic below as but one reason why no one should logically take them seriously.  Keep in mind that MHI’s own prior president, Chris Steinbert, used his exit message in the Journal to politely slap them for a string of misses and failures. So George, in saying what you have – you’re either ignoring reality – and/or you are showing your true colors.

2)    As part of the above Post Production association and/or a body that works with the above, there needs to be an ADL of manufactured housing. As part of that concept:

– Every time a city, county, state, or other group tries to block the placement of a HUD Code manufactured home from being properly installed on a home site, they would get contacted by an attorney representing that ‘ADL of MHVille.’

– Every time media, a researcher, or any other public figure misuses terminology or makes a claim in a manner that is inaccurate, they need to be called out first privately, and if needed, publicly by the ADL of MHVille.

– the NAACP and the ADL for years were successful with a similar approach, and that’s not a commentary for or against their organizations at present.  The point is our industry needs that in order to break through to our full potential.

– We’ve had some MHI semi-supporters say words to the effect, ‘Tony, MHI has tried a few similar things in recent months.’ Of course they have, but what more have you heard about it? That’s part of the MHI-MO. We published about a year or so ago that MHI didn’t meet with the new acting director of the CFPB.  What was the next thing they did?  Meet with the CFPB. MHARR or MHProNews calls them out on a topic, and in time, they put up a fig leaf as cover.  It’s part of the MHI con of their own members. We pushed them on image issues, what did they do?  Put up a series of videos.  A fig leaf that was so modest, that Frank Rolfe has videos that totally dwarf the number of views that MHI’s ‘promotional’ videos do. Something similar is true for Clayton Homes.

3)    We’d encourage more members for the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR). Yes, they advertise with us, but so have others, including MHI. That disclosure aside, even while I was an MHI member, there were numerous times I publicly took MHARR’s position on a given issue, because they were demonstrably correct.  For example, Kevin Clayton and others were in the MHI meeting room when I took MHARR’s position on the fire sprinkler issue. Dozens where in that room. Kevin just looked, as he has on numerous occasions at shows or whatever when our public position differed from his. I took MHARR’s side on the fire sprinkler topic, because they were correct.  By contrast, MHI’s proposed position was dumb on its face, unless you see that limiting the industry is part of the Buffett-Clayton moat. Something similar could be said about MHARR and MHI on the DOE proposals.  MHARR is consistently right, while MHI is often inept, deceptive, wrong, corrupt, or whatever you want to call them.

– As a footnote to the above, we at MHProNews have no animus towards the vast majority of MHI members, they are often very fine people.  There are some on MHI’s staff that would possibly be worth keeping, but some on the MHI staff are hopelessly corrupted. As with all things, Wheat and Chaff.  In my view, just as I was misled about MHI, many if not most of the current MHI members have been led down an errant path too.  We all catch on to something at a different pace, as I admitted about myself further above.

4)    Local market level marketing, and coaching in sales.  Call it a shameless plug, but we know things that Clayton Homes apparently doesn’t know, or can’t replicate successfully.  Clayton has purchased locations that we worked with on a consulting basis, that’s interesting, isn’t it?  On our consulting/business development side, we have a proven system that works on marketing and selling manufactured homes to those who are thinking about a site built housing. It is based on candor and surprising people with the truth.  It works, whenever it has been properly used.  When it is improperly used, it doesn’t work.  But duh, that’s true of anything else in life.

  • All sales are local.  All marketing in our industry ought to have a local focus.  Manufactured housing is not the RV or automotive industry.  When enough good local efforts are in motion, that will have an interstate reach.  That is how our industry will recover its greatness.  That is how manufactured homes could become a million unit a year industry, honestly and sustainably.
  • Don’t think for a second that Clayton has their own plans to accomplish, once they’ve captured enough of the market and they don’t think they can squeeze any more competitors out via their “Moat.”
  • But Clayton also has an inherent conflict of interest at MHI.  They are into site building. At present, Clayton wins no matter what happens on issues such as the enforcement of the HUD Code’s enhanced preemption, made law by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

–      We do believe in being competitive, but we don’t believe in driving others out of business.  We’ll leave those underhanded tactics to George, MHI, the rest of the A-OK Axis and their surrogates.

A federal investigator told me we needed to notify local law enforcement about the issues we’ve been dealing with.

 

Words of Caution…

Some in MHVille say in their own words, Tony – don’t talk about the ways they have come after you, that plays into their fear tactics.’ Those voices may or may not be well meaning, but I respectfully disagree.  When we spotlight the A-OK Axis and their dirty tricks, they have often paused or backed off, at least on some of their tactics.

That’s not to say that the time won’t come when they will try to take us to court.  People can sue over almost anything in the U.S. We can’t stop them from that, but they know that as soon as they do, we’ll counter and seek discovery.  We get steady dribbles of information from news tips.  With discovery in litigation, there will be reems of material generated.  Even if they try to destroy some material, other material will out. There will also be witnesses that will be speaking via discovery about matters that they won’t speak about otherwise.

So, if they want that legal fray, so be it.  I’ve told their purported attorney – Graydon Law, that asked us to ‘cease and desist’ has been told just how we’ll deal with them and their ‘clients.’ Transparent.

 

 

Putting a Tail On Us?

That said, and we still haven’t determined who this next person is, but law enforcement will figure it all out.  This person may or may not be connected to the A-OK axis.  The man in the car in the photo below (we’ve cropped off the face of the man and his license plate) was following my wife while she was biking.  A neighbor of ours spotted this “dude.” That neighbor is ex-military and has another resume point I won’t mention today.  But he has good vision, and will be a terrific witness if we need that someday.

 

PurportedStalkerFollowingSoheylaKovachLakelandFloridaMHProNews

We are covering this face, for that person’s privacy at this point in time. But we have that vehicles license plate and his face, thanks to the veteran – a neighbor – who contacted us about his concerns about this matter, see the narrative. Authorities will hopefully do their thing well. As this develops, what we learn, we will share as appropriate.

 

That veteran, still a younger man who is fit and has good vision, etc. told that “dude” following my better half that ‘Dude, if you know what was good you’ for him, ‘you’ll never show your face in this neighborhood or follow that woman [Soheyla Kovach] again.’

It wasn’t until the next day that that neighbor caught up with my wife, Soheyla, and we all three got together for a few minutes face-to-face.  That neighbor shared the photos he took of that ‘dude‘ and said he is happy to testify.

The two quotes from industry voices I opened with above – and others like it above – are right. The A-OK Axis have long knives. Some say they will stop and nothing, but why?

Because housing is more than a trillion dollar a year industry, and Amazon’s Alexa fund has said they see a $330 billion dollar a year market for affordable housing.

That kind of money is tempting to Buffet, Kevin, Tim, or anyone else.

But the irony is that in their greed, they’ve put what they’ve done at risk.  In their greed, they’ve forced perhaps thousands of independents out of business and/or caused them to sell out for less.  There has already been one lawsuit against Clayton on that kind of topic.  We’ll talk about that lawsuit another time.

 

Meeting at Louisville, Tunica…

We plan to meet with some select industry pros at Louisville, and against at Tunica.  We want that meeting to be transparent. We’ll post the details before they come out.

The thrust of the working plan is this. If the A-OK Axis won’t do a public discussion and/or debate, well then yours truly is happy to put on a live presentation with or without MHI, Clayton, 21st or whomever. Your Masthead writer is happy do a power point, lay out the evidence, the money trail, invite the media, and take questions live and answer them.

When we schedule and do that planned presentation, we’ll even invite MHI-Clayton-Berkshire brand surrogates or team members to come.  Why? Because nothing will be more powerful or transparent than to have them ask questions, and let me answer them live.  We can video record that entire presentation. We’ll post that for the industry at large.

Let’s be clear.  We are going to cover a full scope of topics that impact manufactured housing.  But Frank Rolfe, who has backed off public criticism of MHI and their puppet masters, was arguably right when he said that the greater threat is from within our industry.

Let’s also be clear on this.  I won’t stop, our family won’t stop until the last stich of this tragic rigging of manufactured housing has been fully explored, and resolved.  If I ever stop, you can bet that foul play was at work.  We’ve taken steps in that event too.

The greatest thing the industry’s members have to fear is NOT standing up to the A-OK axis.  The data in those graphics, illustrations and videos above clearly reflect the trend lines.

If they aren’t stopped, sooner or later, it will be you at some time down the road.  Why not stop them, now?

MHVille is Buffett’s buffet, and the Monopolistic Housing Institute is his buffet smorgasbord. We have, are, and will publicly call them out, supply the evidence, while others are supporting us in calling them out.

We are going to reclaim what’s right about manufactured housing, while rejecting all that is wrong.

That’s how we’re starting 2019.  That’s our new years resolution.  We are going to do our part to make manufactured housing great again, greater than ever before.

How about you?  Want to join us in Louisville or Tunica?  You can use the link above or below to contact me, and we’ll begin the planning and execution of the next steps. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.)

(See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

LATonyKovachQuoteManufacturedHousingIndustryWontReachPotentialAddresscoreIssuesArtificallyholdingitback466By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

Related References:

The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which an be accessed by clicking on them.

Manufactured Housing Institute Housing Alert, Affordable Housing Crisis, MHI’s #NettlesomeThings Response

Smoking Gun 3 – Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp Tim Williams – Manufactured Home Lending, Sales Grab?

Machiavellian “Godfather” – Sam Zell, Warren Buffett, Capital, Lending and Crossed Lines in Manufactured Housing

Forbes Focus on Manufactured Home Communities, Spotlights Sam Zell’s Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), MHC Investing

2019 – ‘Don’t Tease?’ RV Horizons, MHI v CSPAN, HUD’s Brian Montgomery, Clayton – New Year’s Spotlights

 

Eye Opening – Manufactured Homes in National, Global Context

 

 

#DeFangBM

November 4th, 2018 No comments

 

#DeFangBM=DemocraticExitFacebookAmazonNetflixGoogleBerkshireHathawayMicrosoft-byMHProNews

The following are not the only purported purveyors of monopolistic moats, manipulating misinformation, or harmful policies and practices. But they are a good start.

 

#DeFangBM
is short for this acronym:

 

Democratic Exit
Facebook
Amazon
Netflix
Google
Berkshire Hathaway (includes Clayton Homes, lenders Vanderbilt MF, 21st Mortgage, et al)
Microsoft

The companies listed ought to broken up under federal antitrust laws.

Not regulated. Broken up. Don’t worry, the world didn’t stop when the AT&T monopoly was broken up in the 1980s, America benefited. Affordable cell phones and the internet followed the break up of the old AT&T trust (monopoly). 

 ThisIsntAnIndictmentRetributionRecognitionHealthyEconomicCyclePruningFirmsInvasivePrematureDeathWontLetOthersEmergeScottGalloway

 

Similarly today, the breakup of #FangBM would be good for the economy, jobs, and consumers.

Why would these 6 companies/conglomerates – #FangBM – feature leadership that promote failed ideas, like socialism?  Why have many Democratic leaders embraced socialism?

Why have Democratic leaders – like the following listed – decry billionaires, but then take money from those same billionaires and their affiliates? 

   Bill and Hillary Clinton

   Barack Obama

   Bernie Sanders

   Nancy Peolsi

   Chuck Schumer

   Elizabeth Warren

   Maxine Waters

   Tom Perez

   Keith Ellison

   Or other Democratic leaders like them? That’s why, it’s #DeFangBM

Why do rich and famous stars or performers endorse the above? #ManipulativeEntertainment 

Why do so many in mainstream media give cover to the above? #FakeNews

There’s an echo chamber effect of many in media and #ManipulativeEntertainment carrying the message of the billionaire #FangBM conglomerates and their paid political operatives above.

This is NOT against members of the Democratic Party. We have friends and colleagues who have been or are Democrats. But you don’t let a friend drive drunk, and you warn your friends about to vote Democratic for similar reasons. It’s an act of love to honestly share the truth.

Nor does this mean that the GOP is perfect. But right now – writing as a political independent – the #NewRepublicans are the better choice who are fighting for everyday Americans, and most honest businesses. 

 

Two Part Solution

Part one, vote against all Democrats. #DemocraticExit, #WalkAway. Democrats were the party of the violent Ku Klux Klan (KKK), Slavery, and Jim Crow Laws. Democrats are the party of violent AntiFa or of deceptive #MHAction. Democrats have deceived many for years, to the harm of millions of Americans, and thousands of honest small- to mid-sized businesses.

 

 

Part Two

As political independents, not a member of either major party, a #RedTide in the House and Senate on Tuesday allows this new breed of:  

   American Jobs First,

   American Businesses First,

   American Security First,

   American Prosperity First,

   #AmericaFirst in the GOP –  a.k.a. the Republican Party – to return to the roots of the Republican Party that gave us #PresidentAbrahamLincoln and #PresidentRonaldReagan.

   Keep in mind #POTUSLincoln and #POTUSReagan had strong opposition too.

Today’s #NewRepublicans should break up the conglomerates listed above (trusts, monopolies).  Only the federal government is big enough to break them up. Breaking up #FangBM via #DeFangBM is good for the #AmericaFirst economy. It is pro-free enterprise, by being against crony-capitalists who back socialists.

The #POTUSTrump Administration antitrust (anti-monopoly) order is already drafted, but a Democratic House or Senate could work to stop it. That block against antitrust must be avoided by sharing the #DeFangBM truth and then voting wisely.

 

 

No organization, party or person is perfect, and that includes President Donald J. Trump. #POTUSTrump never pretended to be a saint. Candidate Trump admitted he used the system, which is why he knew how to fight this rigged system.

But there are reasons why members of his own party fought him, because he is challenging the #RiggedSystem. This has not been pretty, nor will it be. The rich and famous who may have come by their wealth in often manipulating or #RiggedSystem ways won’t give up their power without a fight.

Once this new #AmericaFirst #NewGOP has a strong hold in the #USHouse, #USSenate and the #ExecutiveBranch, #antitrust laws must break up the parents of the #FakeNews media giants and the companies listed in #DeFangBM. 

#DrainTheSwamp takes time. The swamp wasn’t built overnight, and won’t be cured overnight. Freedom takes time and effort, but it is always worth it. There is already real progress being made toward #MAGA. American jobs are coming back. American wealth is returning. #CommonSense is making a come back too.

Vote to keep the momentum going. #VoteRepublican, #VoteNewRepublicans, vote to support the #StableGeniusPresident. ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing,’ paraphrasing #EdmundBurke.

We Provide, You Decide.”  © ## (News, Commentary, analysis. – Notice, the right to share this unedited, with a link back and proper credit, is hereby granted).

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

LATonyKovachGoodBipartisanshipShouldalwaysBepredicatedBenefitallhonestindustrymembersnotslectfewquoteBy L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

 

Related References:

 

“Girls of Steel,” 3 Untold Stories of Job Creation, Growing Opportunities for MHVille

 

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, a Novel Yet Proven Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis That Will Create Opportunities, Based Upon Existing Laws

 

“I knew right from the beginning.” When President Trump, First Lady Melania, VP Pence Toured Manufactured Home Community

 

Manufactured Home Resident Group President Cautions Against MHAction, Surprising Background Reveal to Manufactured Housing Action

 

Brad Says POTUS Trump is Right: More than Facebook & Twitter, Google Threatens Democracy, Online Freedom

 

FEAR, a Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis, and the Manufactured Home Dilemma

 

 

 

 

Only 3 Options – the Elephant in the Room

June 19th, 2018 No comments

Only3OptionsTheElephantIntheRoomManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

A) In manufactured housing production, the elephant in the room is Clayton Homes. They are owned by Berkshire Hathaway, which also owns the 2 largest industry lenders, 21st Mortgage and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF). Berkshire also owns a large stake in the industry’s third largest single family manufactured home loan lender, Wells Fargo.

There are only three (3) options on the following topic. The Berkshire owned manufactured housing brands either:

1)     know very specifically what must happen to grow manufactured housing sales up to the industry’s sustainable potential, which some estimate to be between half a million and a million HUD Code manufactured homes (MH) annually.

2)     The Berkshire brands in MH don’t know what must occur to grow the industry to reach its potential.

3)     Some point on the spectrum between numbers 1 and 2 above.

That’s about 150 words. The rest are details and commentary.

 

B) Arguably, any of the 3 positions above ought to be alarming to the vast majority of the industry’s independents. Why?

The case has be made by voices inside and outside of MHVille, that the Warren Buffett led Berkshire brands in MHVille dominate the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

While he’s been silent in recent months, MH Communities pro Frank Rolfe was among the industry’s professionals who blasted MHI and their “hypocrisy” and failed “leadership” in defense or promotion of the MHIndustry.

Marty Lavin, a MHI award-winner, said on-the-record that MHI only works for the interests of the big boys.” Lavin added that MHI only work for the interests of smaller companies if they happen to align with the interests of “the big boys.”

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) was cited by the Washington Post (WaPo) as having been the driving force for the removal of Pam Danner at HUD. MHI‘s EVP Lesli Gooch specifically told WaPo they took no part in removing Danner. Why not?

We could outline other examples, on the Duty to Serve (DTS), DOE and the energy rule, or how Pam Danner got her job in the first place. MHI has been on the wrong side of numerous issues, plus the execution on other important issues.

The bottom line is that MHI’s track record are seen by several professionals as problematic, save for the consolidation of smaller companies into the hands of larger ones. That’s about 275 words. The rest are details and commentary.

 

C) So in about 400 words above, a case has been outlined. Logic and evidence-based concerns, plus common-sense reveals why the Berkshire brands and MHI arguably should not be trusted by the vast majority of MHVille independents. The rest are details and commentary.  We’ll invite them again to debate this publicly via video.  If we were wrong, why don’t they take us up on that invite and prove us wrong?

 

D) State communities associations have broken away from MHI. They are in the process of formalizing the launch of an independent manufactured home national communities association.

Those MH Communities have split because they lost confidence in MHI representing their interests. The rest are details and commentary.

 

E) Smoking Gun 3 documented and outlined how 21st Mortgage questionably pulled-back on lending to MH Independents in 2009. Hundreds of retailers folded afterwards.

As a result, a number of HUD Code manufactured home producers either failed, or were absorbed by Clayton.  Some where absorbed by Cavco, which is led by a former Clayton division president. Skyline Champion recently combined. Now 80 percent of the industry’s production is in the hands of those three vertically integrated firms.

The rest are details and commentary.

 

F) Manufactured housing is increasingly being recognized as the affordable housing solution that is hiding in plain sight. MHLivingNews touted that theme years ago. Others in media have been picking up on that very theme. Coincidence?

There is a need for 8.3 million affordable housing units in America today. It can only be provided cost-effectively by some form of factory building. HUD Code manufactured homes are the most affordable solution today.

 

G) Even though Clayton and MHI each have marketing and PR people, they have routinely allowed bad news stories that unjustly harm the industry’s image to go unaddressed. They have done so for years. 21st Mortgage CEO Tim Williams, the prior MHI Chairman, admitted on-the-record that the case could be made that every unfair story about MH should get addressed. Frank Rolfe has said similarly.

The above is about 700 words total to say that MHI and Berkshire may not cause every bad news story in MHVille, but they fail to address the majority of them.

The upshot? Limited new home sales and more Consolidation. See what award-winning Alan Amy said about that in the video.

 

H) The MH Communities sector recognized their need for independent representation. Retailers and others in the post production sector arguably need representation do too. MHARR is clearly representing the interests of the industry’s independent producers, as WaPo, the SBA, George Washington University and other third-party sources reflect.

 

I) Is there any reason why the Berkshire brands couldn’t repeat what they did in 2009? Shouldn’t every independent operator realize that they have a symbolic target on their head?

The rest are details and commentary.

 

J) Thanks to our supporters, we planned ahead years ago by creating the industry’s first and premier pro-industry educational platform with MHLivingNews.com.

MHProNews was a key part of the rebirth of the Louisville Show, as everyone in show management at the time said on camera and/or in writing.

We’ve proven our ability to get into mainstream media, such as Washington D.C.’s The Hill. Or consider often-referenced by others in media, Value Penguin, which ranks among the top 2 percent of all websites in America. Value Penguin dwarfs anything in MHVille for traffic.

 

K) We and those that support our efforts know what must be done to remove the shackles that have hobbled manufactured housing for years. Information and understanding are the First Phase.

Armed with evidence and reason, we are at the cusp of starting Phase 2.

The details and next steps will follow in the days ahead. Stay tuned, and sign up for our industry leading emailed headline news updates. From the biggest names in MHVille, to the mom-and pops, and thousands in between, we continue to lead the industry in readership. The reasons include insights like those above.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

(Third party images, and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click this link. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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Publisher and industry consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

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Facebook, Manufactured Housing, and American Drama

June 12th, 2018 No comments
FacebookFossbyteManufacturedHousingINdustryDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews

What do you see?

Facebook has a neat feature that reminds you of some post from the past. This morning, that Facebook feature reminded me of a post about MHVille that was from two years ago.

 

We’ve begun to use the phrase – “wheat and chaff” – more often to describe the point that people and sources of information must be discerned. Keep the good, toss what’s not useful or is incorrect.

It’s hardly a new thought. Wheat and chaff are an ancient piece of Biblical wisdom.

When we put together the story early this morning about the outcome of the presidential summit, it was the result of hours of input from a variety of sources. It is an example of wheat and chaff in action.

Perhaps 10 (+/-) sources were checked, before we drilled down what we thought was the meaty items for industry pros and investors to know.

Then, we provided the context of what it matters to manufactured housing. “That news through the lens of factory-built housing,” ©; one of our tag lines that describes what MHProNews uniquely does for the manufactured and modular home industry professionals and investors. 

It’s about American drama at its finest. Check out that report, linked below, compare it to anything else that might be used for an MH Industry pro, and please tell us what you think. 

 

Facebook, Wheat and Chaff 

I recall how Triad Financial President Don Glisson, Jr. gave us a backhanded compliment that we treasure. He said he thought we were crazy when we launched what we call today, MHProNews.  The launch was in mid-October 2009, and was near the industry’s lowest point ever in new home shipments.

Now, approaching a decade later, we as an industry are clearly not heading to extinction, as some then believed could happen.

When asked by the Midwest Manufactured Housing Federation (MMHF) to help bring back the Louisville Snow, we jumped in with both feet. The pay was very modest, considering all that had to be done.  But we did it, and the show was a success, the first one in years. 

Tim Williams from Ohio’s association was one of several who praised our work in writing.

TimWilliamsOhioManufacturedHomesAssocExecDirectorRecommendationTonyKovachMHProNewsLouisvilleManufacturedHousingShowPromotion

One of over 1000 endorsements and recommendations, most were given without being requested. We thank each sender for that honor.  

Facebook has wheat and chaff. Pretty much everything and everyone does, starting right here.

We are pro-free enterprise. We cheer all honest and ethical forms of success. We stress honesty, and ethics, because some professions are built on the suffering of others.  From illicit drug pushers, to pimps, pornographers, thieves, racketeering, coyotes, and so on, there are illicit businesses that generate tens of billions annually.  We don’t cheer those at all.  

But if we are fair and objective, even the darkest parts of human nature reveal truths worth learning.

We must learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. 

 

Breaking Up

Count us among those who hope and pray that the Feds break up Facebook, Google, Amazon, and other monopolistic U.S. giants. Think back, if you are old enough, to the breakup of the telecoms. AT&T was charged under antitrust laws. 

Based on Judge Harold Green’s Modified Final Judgement of 1982, AT&T on January 1 1984 became a long-distance company, while seven regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) took control of the nation’s local phone networks,” says the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

 

Some say that the monopoly over the phone business delayed the development of cell phone technologies by a decade.

It is just one of several reasons why corporate giants must be held in check and/or broken up.

To me, it isn’t just about price, which is an arguably flawed standard that antitrust regulators often use.  How many businesses has Walmart and Amazon wiped out? How many jobs has that cost the nation? Would we have seen the shift to buying so much product from China, had Walmart not become so big?  

They too should be broken up under antitrust law.  As NY Stern Professor Scott Galloway has argued, it is how you bring oxygen back into the marketplace for startups and investors.  That’s were jobs are created, instead of destroyed.

England, we’ve read, has a supposed standard of 25 percent market-share as the threshold for anti-monopoly (anti-trust) action. That might be still be a bit too high. Once a firm hits 20 percent of a given market, there are inevitable impacts on consumers, businesses, innovation, the economy, politics, etc.  

Wheat and chaff. We must learn from whatever is good, and toss out whatever isn’t. The prism of the Ten Commandments – which clearly respects private property – ought to be the standard, timeless measure of behavior. 

What Facebook reminded me of this morning is that it has been about two years since I got a tip from a then-fellow Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member. That member pointed me to a CSPAN video about Richard Cordray and Senator Joe Donnelly. When I watched it, I got what that other MHI member as telling me.  

MHI had distorted the exchange, saying only what was good for their narrative, while ignoring what was problematic for their stated agenda.  

It seemed deliberately deceptive. It came from MHI VP Lesli Gooch, but our sources then said that MHI President Richard “Dick” Jennison had to okay it.  

It’s was at best a half-truth, designed to mislead members. As a member myself, I was outraged. We can call these things allegations, because that is what the legal guys say it should be termed. But if you look at the CSPAN video we watched, and then look at what MHI then said… 

Logically, if top MHI staff would deceive members about that, what else have or would they attempt to trick their own dues paying members about?  

They had to be held accountable. I called publicly For Jennison’s dismissal along with that of Lesli Gooch. 

It wasn’t the first or the last news tip. 

Please, we’d rather get a news tip 4 times, than not at all. Don’t presume we have something. We know the generalities, but not always the specifics. Help us, help you help the industry get the most accurate reports by sending association emails, documents, and your own insights. Our default is that we treat comments as off the record, unless you and we specifically agree to make it on the record. 

One step at a time, we’ve seen how MHI has weaponized reports. It was tricky, because no one else in the industry had directly named names and cited examples of what was happening, and who was authorizing it, the way we did. 

That incident from 2 years ago led to a series of events and reports that has arguably contributed to what has brought us to the point we are in reporting in MHVille today.  

Today, we can look back and see MHI, and their debatably Berkshire Hathaway puppet masters as they are. We give them a routine opportunities to comment before, during or after a Daily Business News story. We accurately quote from their own documents. We’ve offered to discuss or debate publicly via video, so all the industry can see. 

They duck, dodge, detract, distract, and defame in response, don’t they? Doesn’t all of that speak volumes?  If the truth was on their side, why don’t they just clear the air? 

It’s been about 1 1/3 years since they have directly responded publicly. We suspended our industry famous Cup of Coffee series for a time, because it was too politically charged for many. We plan to bring that feature back, because more of the industry’s members are beginning to see — that what we’ve been reporting sadly makes sense. 

It’s time to use antitrust laws to break up Berkshire Hathaway, not just Clayton Homes and their lending, retail, and others unit arms. 

MHI must be investigated and/or perhaps sued.  They’ve arguably misrepresented to the industry what they are and what they do. 

MHI award winner Marty Lavin is sadly correct. MHI works only for the interests of “the big boys.” They work for the smaller companies only if their interests align with that of the big boys.

‘Tip of Iceberg’ – Rick Rand; Marty Lavin, Communities have ‘No Confidence’ in Manufactured Housing Institute, New National Trade Group Announced

The rationale and evidence seems to be that smaller companies are there as a meal for the big boys that want to gobble up smaller firms for a cheap price.

The smaller firms are there to also help pay for what the big boys want. Paraphrasing what another member said, ‘the big companies figured out how to use MHI to help get the smaller companies to pay for what the big companies want.’

Manipulation is often an ugly thing. 

No one wants to believe that they were conned.  It’s not fun to have to report about such problems, but it must be done, for the sake of all those who are debatably being victimized.

George Allen Blasts MHI, NCC Ignoring Own, Spencer Roane, SECO, COBA7, Tom Lackey Controversies

These are serious allegations. but there’s also serious evidence. There are several federal investigations already underway, because where there is smoke, there is often fire.

 

For manufactured housing industry professional and investors to thrive and achieve their full potential, the industry must recognize reality.

Then, each company must decide how best to deal with reality. It’s an American drama that you and hundreds of thousands of others are caught up in, like it or not. More on that drama and its solutions in the days ahead. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

(Third party images, and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

Related Reports:

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

NorthStar and Manufactured Housing Radix

To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click this link. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

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Publisher and industry consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

Sign Up Today!EmailedMHProNewsHeadlineNewsDailyBusinessNews

Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates.

S 2155, Manufactured Housing,“Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act” Back Story

May 22nd, 2018 No comments

S2155ManufacturedHousingEconomicGrowthRegulatoryReliefConsumerProtectionActBackStoryMastheadMHProNews

S. 2155 is poised to pass the House today.  It’s styled “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.”

 

Should the bill pass – and Skopos Labs/GovTrack say there is a 56 percent chance of enactment – then the following is what you can expect from the Arlington, VA based national manufactured housing association and their surrogates.

Based upon her promises, this bill would not have been signed by Hillary Clinton. So MHI – which put two pro-Clinton speakers on their Chicago stage days before the 2016 election – has no room to crow. Rather, they should be grateful to those in the industry who promoted a president who would sign such a measure.

There is a 100 percent chance of celebration and back slapping by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  I don’t blame them, it’s natural.

But there’s a back story.  MHI don’t want the focus to be on the back story.

Indeed, as a matter of record, repeal of the onerous MLO rule is one MHProNews has supported for years.

In spite of what some consumer groups claim, the MLO repeal provision only levels the playing field for manufactured home retailers and communities. It allows them to do what real estate agents can already do. We supported both legs of the original bill, so logically, we supported each one too.

S2155ManufactuerdHousingINdustryMastheadAnalysisMHProNews

Whatever happens on this bill, there is going to be overhang from progressives, unless the case – especially for manufactured housing – is properly made as to why this bill was positive for consumers and industry alike.

 

“Tony, What’s the Beef?”

We’ve had some pros – skimmers, not readers – who’ve asked why we don’t support the bill. We have supported the measure, and did for years.

Our “beef” – as one writer put it – has been that MHI spiked this MLO-only deal years ago.

If the MLO rule is OK now, why wasn’t it OK then?

Mark my words.  MHI wanted to do this, because they and their puppet masters were desperate to be able to claim a victory on anything of substance.

Mark my words. MHI and their puppet masters are feeling the heat.

MSM = Mainstream Media

Once more, the mainstream media (MSM) has numerous reports and commentaries coming out just before the House vote.  They are slamming the measure, slamming Clayton Homes, and Berkshire Hathaway’s MHI association mouthpiece.

Part of the point is that even when they ‘succeed:’

  • the manufactured housing industry must remember this could have been done years ago, as the Daily Business News exclusively reported.
  • Clayton and their Berkshire lending brands were winning either way. They benefited if S 2155 and/or Preserving Access passed or not. This is a nuanced but critical point to understand, long after 2155 is forgotten. An MHI insider first told me about that insight, and then another did. It was MHI types that explained that the big companies benefit regardless if MHI backed bills pass, or not.  Burn that one into your mind, it frankly took me time to get it. But once that sank in, it became an eye-popping insight.

 

Look at this MHI Pattern

LesliGoochforCongressManufacturedHousingInstituteMHISVPGovtAffairsRelationsManufacturedHousingIndustryCommentaryMastheadDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

Lesli Gooch, blast from her past…

MHI’s EVP Lesli Gooch proudly told the Washington Post they did not weigh in on the removal of Pam Danner.

Recall, that MHI was on the wrong side of the DOE energy rule, until pressure from this publication, MHARR, the SBA and others made them switch course.

We could go on and on like the above. But the bottom line is simple, and tragic.

Independents who are paying dues to the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) are arguably paying to feed the hand that bites and fails them.

There are reasons why state associations and others have dropped their MHI membership.

 

Pulling the Head Out…

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Some don’t want to hear what they might consider to be ‘bad’ or ‘negative’ news. Reality is.  Hiding a head in the sand has never solved a problem. Image Credit WikiCommons, Dilbert.

There are some MHI loyalists who think we’re just sore because MHI gave us the boot. Hardly, that’s reversed.  MHI gave us the boot because they didn’t know how to deal with all the myriad of revelations we were publishing about their ‘alleged’ favoritism, failures, and flaws.

All of that has cost the industry, IMHO, billions of dollars a year in new home sales.  That in turn has cost manufactured home owners, billions of dollars in higher resale values.

It is time for more in the industry to dig deeply.

It is time to pull the head out of the sand, and look.

As a closing thought, please note that not everything about MHI, not everything about Berkshire Hathaway draws our concerns. We strive to be objective.

The best example is from Monday.  Please check that article out.  We give credit where it is due, period. We are evidence, reason, and fact-based. We are pro-industry.  We’re not against big-business.  We are against big business that behaves in monopolistic, crony capitalists, or otherwise behave in unethical ways.

See the first take on MHARR’s related report, linked above.  Enough said for today. ## (News, analysis and commentary.)

(Third party images, and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

UPDATE 6:27 PM ET.  As expected the bill has passed. Let’s see how the prediction above plays out.  Details of the passage are found at the link below.

Related Reports:

Greener, Stylish Manufactured Homes – Hidden Facts in the Washington Post Manufactured Housing Narrative

To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click this link. Please note if comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

 

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Publisher and industry consultant, L. A. “Tony” Kovach.

By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – Masthead commentary, for MHProNews.com.

Tony is the multiple award-winning managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn:
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

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