Category Archives: Finance

Zillow CEO: Real estate market is beginning ‘great reshuffling’ as people seek more space at home

The U.S. real estate market is beginning to show signs of a “great reshuffling,” as people relocate to homes with more privacy and space to ease working from home, Zillow CEO Rich Barton said on the company’s Q2 2020 earnings call this week. 

“I believe we are at the dawn of a great reshuffling,” Barton said. “I’m sure I don’t need to spell it out for you because we are all living it, spending an average of nine hours more per day at home. Zoom meetings are changing the way families think about space and privacy. Home offices are in high demand. Backyards are more desirable than parks and gyms. Work-from-home policies are eliminating the commute for many. There’s an endless list of considerations.” 

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/07/zillow-were-at-the-beginning-of-a-great-reshuffling-to-space.html?__source=iosappshare%7Ccom.apple.UIKit.activity.CopyToPasteboard

Gone Phishing

Obinwanne Okeke was supposed to be a rags-to-riches Nigerian success story. Then the feds followed the money.

There he was, smiling on the cover of Forbes Africa magazine, dollar bills raining like confetti. It was June 2016, and Obinwanne Okeke, then 28, was on top of the world; he had just landed a coveted spot on the magazine’s prestigious 30 under 30 list of African entrepreneurs. In the article, he was one of many whiz kids described as “Africa’s bright young things.”

The 17th child of a polygamous father whose mother was the fourth wife, Okeke’s father died when he was 16, and his mother, a teacher, worked multiple jobs to put him and his siblings through school. Growing up in Ukpor, a village in southeastern Nigeria, was tough, and luxuries like sneakers or a Game Boy were hard to come by, he said in a 2018 BBC interview.

Turns out, Okeke had been involved in a string of sophisticated online scams since at least 2015 — including when he was gracing that glossy Forbes Africa cover. He was arrested at Dulles International Airport, Virginia, on August 6, 2019, for defrauding a company of nearly $11 million. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud on June 18, 2020, and now faces up to 20 years in prison at his sentencing in October.

https://restofworld.org/2020/how-a-forbes-cover-star-stole-millions/

The Truth Behind Italy’s $1 Homes in Picturesque Rural Towns

Starting in early 2019, 20 towns across Italy began selling homes for €1, or about $1.10.

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Local governments hope the plan will attract fresh faces and new businesses to towns that have been suffering from rapid depopulation and a growing number of abandoned homes for decades. But the true cost of these homes turn out to be much higher than $1.

Business Insider video feature story describes the depopulation problem in rural Italian towns and what small town governments are trying to do about it.

Interesting concept and marketing program. Hint: taxes, fees, and renovation costs amount to a lot more than a $1.

Some people will get an interest payment from the IRS in 2020. Find out if you’re one of them – CNET

The feds will pay interest on some tax refunds — but there’s a catch.
— Read on www.cnet.com/personal-finance/some-people-will-get-an-interest-payment-from-the-irs-in-2020-find-out-if-youre-one-of-them/

Pandemic Rings Death Knell For Paper Cash

As late as April 2019, Origin, an independent research firm, found that 75% of consumers still carried cash.

Restaurants and retailers all over the country have stopped accepting cash. And you can blame COVID-19 for this rapid shift away from paper to plastic.

Techcrunch reported that Google is experimenting with a debit card. Ultimately, it could make cash obsolete for more than a billion Android phone users worldwide.

— Read on www.forbes.com/sites/jonmarkman/2020/05/24/pandemic-rings-death-knell-for-paper-cash/

The Gospel According to Peter Thiel

Michael Gibson still remembers his first day working for Peter Thiel. Like many of Thiel’s hires, he’d met the contrarian investor through several of the PayPal founder’s variously eccentric political ventures. A onetime self-described “unemployed writer in L.A.,” who’d left a doctoral program in philosophy at Oxford, Gibson had met Thiel through his work at the Seasteading Institute, a Thiel-funded attempt to create a libertarian “floating city” in international waters. Then Thiel asked him to help teach a class at Stanford Law School on philosophy, technology, and politics. And then Thiel asked him to work for his hedge fund. Gibson had no intention of working in finance, or any experience in doing so, but he and Thiel had, he felt, “gelled philosophically,”
— Read on www.city-journal.org/peter-thiel

The Man Who Built a 40-Foot Spite Fence Around His Neighbor’s Home

When Nicholas Yung wouldn’t sell his land to railroad baron Charles Crocker, Crocker built a 40-foot fence around his house and blotted out the sun.
— Read on getpocket.com/explore/item/the-man-who-built-a-40-foot-spite-fence-around-his-neighbor-s-home

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