“News is the first rough draft of history.”
– Philip Leslie Graham,
American newspaper publisher
(July 18, 1915 – August 3, 1963).
According to WWD and other media sources, a growing list of events have been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.
They include the following.
- Facebook F8 Developers Conference: Canceled
Facebook has canceled its annual F8 Developers Conference, which was scheduled for May 5 and 6 in San Jose, Calif.
- Google Cloud Next: Canceled
Google has canceled its Cloud Next conference — which focuses on the company’s cloud technology — scheduled for April 6 to 8 in San Francisco.
- South by Southwest (SXSW): Canceled
The City of Austin has canceled SXSW, that was scheduled for March 13 to 22 in Austin, Tex.
- Ted2020: Canceled
TED has canceled its TED2020 conference in Vancouver on April 20 to 24. Organizers will either postpone the conference for July or hold it virtually, according to the BBC.
- Ultra Music Festival: Canceled
The annual EDM festival scheduled for March 20 to 22 in Miami has been canceled. It is postponing the festival to March 26 to 28, 2021.
With those and other events postponed or scrubbed, what is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) in its great wisdom doing? They have kept plugging away at their annual spring profit-center and fundraising event, which they call by the fascinating name “Congress and Expo.”
When asked by MHProNews if they and/or sponsors of the event would accept the liability that comes with the claimed risk involved – the potentially dire nature of which Berkshire Hathaway board member Bill Gates is on record sounding the alarm on – MHI, Clayton Homes, various board members and attorneys remain silent. More on that further below.
How Important Is Money to MHI?
Their own 2018 video made it clear how important money and being financially sound is to the Arlington, VA based trade group.
That may be due in good measure to a looming concern over the nonprofit operation purportedly going bankrupt during the post-2000 downturn. Insider sources say that one or more deep pocket members stepped in and financially rescued MHI. So, institutionally, the notion of financial stability may be quite understandable.
But how does that excuse their taking risks with the health or lives of their members and event attendees? Will they ask attendees to sign waivers of liability? Will attendees come if they are presented with such a waiver and are provided with ample time to ponder the risks vs. any possible rewards?
MHProNews will continue to monitor that issue along with others, including any updated statements from Berkshire board member Gates, or those associated with member operations.
As an observational point, MHProNews has previously obtained the entire prepared comments from HUD Secretary Carson delivered in prior years. So, if the event went ahead, our readers would still know the most significant things likely to be said.
There are plenty of other issues facing the manufactured home industry and nation. Several reports from the America’s largest and most-read news, tips and views source – MHProNews – for week that was from 3.1 to 3.8.2020 make that clear.
There will be two more global and industry’s specific coronavirus points near the end of this report that you may have missed. If the researchers are correct, the one report is sobering.
One more note, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in their code of conduct suggests that media/reporters should make public corrections when and as possible. Quite right. MHProNews’ report on the potential for billionaire Mike Bloomberg’s 2020 campaign report further below, while it cited other sources and was far from alone in that observation, clearly proved to be in error. That doesn’t mean that Bloomberg won’t play a significant role. But we acknowledge that misread of transpiring events.
With no further adieu, let’s dive into those headlines from the week that was.
What’s New from Washington, D.C. from MHARR
What’s New on the Daily Business News
What’s New on MHLivingNews
There may be one or more items edited into the list above later today, if you happen to be reading this before 11 AM Eastern.
Those promised additions on Coronavirus are as follows. “New modeling from The Australian National University looks at seven scenarios of how the COVID-19 outbreak might affect the world’s wealth, ranging from low severity to high severity,” said Business Insider on 3.5.2020. They added that “In the low-severity model — or best-case scenario of the seven — ANU researchers estimate a global GDP loss of $2.4 trillion, with an estimated death toll of 15 million.”
That’s a stunning death toll, if they sadly prove to be correct. However, their global GDP loss model may be problematic, at least in term of a market values. There has already been more lost on the U.S. stock market alone since near panic has hit many.
Business Insider also provides this, arguably skewed, graphic on how the U.S. death toll matches that of other countries. Having noted that this is likely to be distorted for a variety of reasons, nevertheless, here is what that source said.
BI graphic on Covid 19 death toll.
So, the topic of MHI’s so-called Congress and Expo upcoming is not hypothetical. In asking MHI’s leadership a curious reply from their purportedly compensated surrogate came, which read in part: “Reasonable questions and suggestions all” while adding a dig on why MHI leaders won’t reply.
That surrogate may have made a mistaken presumption that every question every asked by every reporter or media outlet gets an answered. That simply isn’t so. In one recent CNBC report last week, several of the sources they contacted for comment on an issue that was put to them wouldn’t or hadn’t replied. That was just one story out of thousands published on that day alone.
Ideally, yes, apt or “reasonable” questions are answered. But inquiries are asked for a range of reasons, including fairness and to obliquely make certain points or concerns obvious to those asked and to readers alike.
Manufactured housing is underperforming. If Legacy Housing’s chairman Curt Hodgson is correct, it could be 2 to 10 years before the “place to put” concerns about barriers to manufactured housing are properly addressed. That’s a wake-up call to objective thinkers. When the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA) made “enhanced preemption” the law of the land for HUD Code manufactured homes, why is it that there is any significant “place to put” concerns in the U.S.?
A similar question could be asked about the Duty to Serve manufactured housing lending. On that point, a blast from MHI’s past has been asked to address certain topics and has agreed to do so without any reward or compensation involved.
To shed light on pressing issues facing manufactured homes from an award-winning source with long ties to the industry, we will ask that former MHI leader key questions on a periodic basis. We expect our first report in the upcoming week. Stay tuned.
Until next time, ICYMI, need a reminder or are a new reader, check out the other reports linked below the byline and notices. That’s it for this chapter from the largest and most-read resource in manufactured housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, week in review, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
The text/image boxes below are linked to other reports, which can be accessed by clicking on them.