“My mind’s made up. Don’t confuse me with facts.” – Earl Landgrebe.
One and one is two. ABC are the first three letters of the English alphabet. But in news, there are a wide array of reporting and positions in and out of manufactured housing. When you see the same things that relate to trade or other news time and again, do you at least periodically ponder them anew? Or do you merely go along with what you believe you already know?
Notice to new readers. Every part of the headline above will be dealt with systematically, but not necessarily in the order shown. We’ll bob and weave a bit.
Opportunity in a truly free enterprise system occurs from spotting a need and then acting to fill that need in a hopefully ethical and lawful manner.
There’s food. Fluids. Clothing. Transportation. Health care. Shelter. These are the five physiological basics of human life. One should add the spiritual and educational dimensions too.
Each of those first 5 physiological basics are multiple trillion-dollar industries annually.
So too is housing, which is the focus here daily. During an affordable housing crisis, if someone truly understands the laws in place, and the realities of the product, one would think that manufactured housing would be soaring. But its not. That problem spells opportunities in disguise.
When someone asks, why would the ‘powers that be’ in manufactured housing be willing to manipulate the market, this article will help explain that in pragmatic terms. But it is also the reason why white hat brands could – in theory – be motivated to do it right instead of doing it wrong.
Manufactured housing – based upon needs and capabilities – could mathematically be potentially be roughly a $400 billion-dollar annual industry. But that’s not anywhere near the reality today. Why not? That’s a question that directly or obliquely we explore day by day on Manufactured Home Pro News (MHProNews) plus also on our Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) sister site.
You or anyone can buy into the pleasantries, parties, smiles, spin, paltering, deception and outright lies that some in our currently diminutive industry shovel like perfumed feces. But perfume or clever framing doesn’t change the reality that excrement is waste matter discharged from the bowels after food has been digested. It is still a pile of filth that’s best flushed for sanitation reasons.
There are publicly traded firms that are performing well enough in our industry. But are a few underperforming in a deliberate fashion? If so, how does that impact investors and others? Further, while that is arguably a problem, doesn’t it also spell potential for those willing to do things properly?
Arguably attempting to swindle unsuspecting investors, while likewise robbing tens of millions of Americans of their rights to more affordable housing is a nasty business. Those millions include a share of the estimated 111 million living in rentals, or some of the 22 million living in mobile homes or post-HUD Code manufactured homes, but also even much of the balance of the population that lives in conventional housing and claim some title to it.
To begin to understand the potential based upon third party research, one might start here.
Turning other people’s BS into something that seems desirable is the con artists move of Razzle Dazzle. Which is why you and all parties with a serious interest in affordable housing need to carefully unpack and understand the Razzle Dazzle report linked further below. Bernie Madoff got away with swindling billions until he didn’t. Once a celebrated billionaire, Madoff is now in federal prison. One could say that he had his own ‘razzle dazzle’ qualities.
One must grasp how the big con operates in manufactured housing. Razzle dazzle should be considered. Because during an affordable housing crisis, it takes genius or insanity to keep our industry performing at only some 25 percent of what it did in 1998.
Then, someone must ask. Why would a few even think to rig an industry to underperform? That too is a valid question which we explore and answer, based upon documents, evidence, reason and following the money trail.
- work for a publicly traded firm in an executive capacity,
- are a public official or policy wonk,
- are an affordable housing advocate,
- work for certain nonprofits,
- or are otherwise impacted by the need for affordable housing, it is prudent to discern how the manufactured housing industry’s huge underperformance is possible.
Given decades of positive third-party research that is bipartisan, can manufactured housing’s underperformance be explained by mere happenstance? Bad luck? Ineptitude?
Or are there more realistic – if dark – explanations that may include misbehavior on the part of a few in a fashion that harms the many?
So, you need to discern the other reports beyond the Razzle Dazzle that follow below in our weekly recap too. Make sure one of those that you read with care is the one on MHLivingNews.
Keep in mind that all of the top companies in our industry either have someone assigned to read what we publish or the top people are reading our reports themselves. That’s based upon well-placed sources. The reportedly have no similar level of interest in what others in MHVille trade media have to say. Why not?
Why do public officials in Washington, D.C. – but also at the state or local level – read here? Webalizer reports that readership from visitors with a .gov extension – already in the thousands of hits monthly – is up some 50 percent in just one month. Note that because there is no login, we don’t see an individual visitor. But software does detect a .gov extension, along with other extensions like those of nonprofits too. Nonprofits also find our work interesting. Why?
Why did the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a doctoral dissertation candidate – which is academic peer reviewed work – or the National Association of Realtors (to name but a few) cited one of our reports or this writer by name in a positive fashion?
Perhaps because we don’t waste time with click bait. Our audience has grown and is documented to smoke our competitors because people find thought-provoking information that they believe is worthy of their consideration.
That said, there is much more to what we are doing than what many may realize.
We at MHProNews and MHLivingNews have some new exclusives just over the horizon. Insider insights will come with evidence.
It will include pointing a finger straight at corruption in the federal government, in clear alliances with corporate interests.
They can call it whatever, but they are caught. They know it. We know it. The best they can do now is hope we meet with some accidental or embarrassing incident. They’ve deployed their tactics. We’re calling them out, saying put up or shut up.
They won’t back down. Neither will we.
But back to that positive, pragmatic headline vision.
When you have a huge positive opportunity, but realize how rigged the system truly is, what do you do?
You start by telling others the more complete picture.
The truth, not lies, are what set people free.
Housing is a multi-trillion dollar industry. Manufactured housing will finish 2019 much like 2018. Around $8 billion (+/-) a year at retail in new unit sales. What does that difference mean to long term strategic thinkers?
Huge upside. But it comes with a four-letter word. Work.
That potential also comes with another four-letter word. Which is why the dark side and the informed white hats alike are battling over factory-built housing like there was no tomorrow.
The dark side presently has the strategic upper hand in MHVille. But the truth can set millions free.
American housing has been manipulated for decades. It was arguably being done to some degree before Warren Buffett bought Clayton Homes in 2003, along with their affiliated lenders.
Look at the Berkshire statements about their manufactured housing interests. There’s more profit from financing than from the production or sale of housing. What? True.
Do you think they want to let that go without a fight?
Or do you think that by making the consolidation of the industry look like natural market forces instead of market manipulation, that they may hope to escape the scrutiny of public officials? Like antitrust, but others too?
The system is rigged and has been for years. Congress in widely bipartisan moves enacted the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000. That includes the all-important Enhanced Preemption clause.
MHI – the Manipulative Housing Institute, err, the Monopolistic Housing Institute, sorry, the Machiavellian Housing Institute – hey, fourth time is a charm – the Manufactured Housing Institute twists like a pretzel to purportedly posture one thing while they do another. That’s the magic decoder ring. Some hire us for our expertise. But if you invest enough time and follow that magic decoder ring, you might figure it all out on your own.
MHI arguably provide cover for Berkshire brands, for a few growing or giant operators in communities consolidating the industry’s independents, and parallel paths that occur in other sectors too.
Companies like Legacy Housing – or the folks behind Jessup, Regional or Nobility Homes, to name a few – have their own plans. Do you think they don’t see the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis much like we do?
Oh, those just named may do deals with them. But do you think they trust them? Do you want to bet your life that they trust Clayton or 21st?
Until you or others clearly understand how the wildly underperforming manufactured home industry’s so called big boys work behind the scenes with specific public officials that have spanned Democratic and Republican Administrations alike to rig the system, you truly don’t realize how huge the opportunities could be, nor how dirty the game has been and is being played.
We know our audience pretty well. It is far to big for us to know them all by name, but we know hundreds among the tens of thousands who come here to learn more hoping to earn more, or those who come to research and understand.
Opposition to a Trump Administration Nominee
We oppose the nomination of Brian Montgomery to be the next HUD Deputy Secretary. No offense to President Trump and his supporters, but per our sources, Montgomery is a bad move.
- Democrats – pay attention and have at it, because this is one you could win if you want to do so.
- Republicans – be wise. Don’t just pull the nomination, investigate the man for purportedly corrupt practices.
But both sides should reject him for the right reasons, please.
HUD’s Brian Montgomery. Teresa Payne. At FHFA, Jim Gray, others. These are individuals who per our tips and sources are among those who are allegedly guilty of slow-motion corrupt practices and/or serious conflicts of interest that amount to a dereliction of duty. There have been others before them. Others may follow.
The price of freedom or a free market is eternal vigilance. The system is rigged, says Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and President Donald J. Trump. On that narrow point, they all three agree. We do too, but perhaps for different reasons?
The upside potential of doing manufactured housing right is so big that it is hard to explain in a way that some may find plausible. But let me try an example. You see how fast apartment complexes are going up and filling up?
Those should be manufactured home communities with manufactured homes going into them, not apartments. Don’t take my word for it, consider what those Democratic and Republican officials that studied the issues decided, based upon evidence.
If the – aha! Eureka! – lights haven’t gone off yet, you better spend the next few days reading the articles below and following all the links. And the links from those links.
But when you read, keep the Mickey Mantle mantra in mind.
And the maxim from Cicero.
Plus the apt quote attributed to Mark Twain, even if Snopes claims that the original phrasing was a bit different – the meaning fits.
Why have the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis gone to such great lengths to:
- rig nonprofits,
- buy off or ‘persuade’ political figures,
- Influence people in the federal government in key roles,
- divert the GSEs,
- to get others in MHVille trade media to be their brown-nosers and toadies,
and get MHI to play ‘hide the ball’ with legally critical expressions like “enhanced preemption?” Why posture that you want it in a letter, but not have it on your own website?
Why would MHI say they want enhanced preemption enforced, and then not have those words on their own website? Ask them to explain it to you. Ask them to do so under oath. Then, give me a call.
Why would good laws that could make manufactured housing perhaps the hottest investment ticket in the shelter arena? Because the value to tens of millions of Americans is potentially over time is in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
The potential in honest earnings without harming millions of Americans is also in the mega-billions.
Buffett’s a genius, but he is arguably an evil genius. Look at how numerous allegations of racial bias and injustice have followed his brands. Coincidence?
Yes, we make our allegations based on evidence, facts, history, experiences, expert views, and following the money trail that the system has been rigged. Sometimes we make our point with satire, just to mix it up and lighten it up. But we are serious about the allegations made in this report or those linked from it. We are exposing it day by day. We do so for both pure and pragmatic reasons.
Tens of millions of Americans could have a better life. The problem of wealth inequality could diminish. Thousands could grow wealthy honestly, without bad news arising from harm done to good residents and affordable housing seekers. That’s the vision.
To clear the path to that vision, the alleged corruption must be exposed. We have named names associated with those allegations. We are calling on public officials from both major parties to deal with it. Some will turn a blind eye. Why?
Follow the money trail.
One of our recent reports outlines how political corruption historically has operated in both major parties. There are examples of that in Democratic and Republican arenas. That doesn’t mean that all are bad apples, but some have been prosecuted and locked up.
I personally know numbers of good people who ran good businesses that were cheated, defrauded, extorted – you use the correct legal lingo – by this slow motion scam that Warren Buffett and his buddies have debatably deployed that is hiding in plain sight.
Its Professional and Objective, But Also Personal
I used to think Buffett was a smart businessman. He is. But at some point, I won’t say where or when, he arguably turned to one of the most treacherous schemes in modern history. His Castle and Moat as it is playing out in MHVille – arguably with help from officials in Washington that cross the administrations of both major parties – isn’t it filthy and disgusting how he’s trampled on the aspirations of tens of millions of lives?
Which candidate will have the guts to bring that up?
Others in media have pointed out the problems with Buffett and his brands. Some have come right out and said similarly. But no one has done more to document the corruption for all to see than we have. We’ve also repeatedly invited those organizations to respond. They stand on their right to remain silent.
That said, while we have led the charge in trade media in reporting these scandals, it was numerous voices like those:
- in MHARR, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform,
- or some white hats in MHI and even in black hat brands,
- plus an array of tips from consumers, nonprofits, public officials, and others that helped us see the light.
- We doubted what a few whispered.
- Now, based on added evidence and understanding, testing the claims, we believe.
- They remain allegations until they are proven in a court of law or are part of some plea agreement or settlement with those harmed.
Yes, we allege that a scheme that would make Bernie Madoff jealous is at play. It is not a Ponzi scheme, but it does have some similarities to Madoff’s ploy.
One similarity is that it is hiding in plain sight.
I’ve never watched the movie, Chasing Madoff, but have watched the trailer. Here it is.
Note that Harry Markopolos said he knew in 5 minutes that this was a scam. It took years to convince others, but now Madoff is in federal prison. Per Wikipedia, Madoff scammed to the tune of “$18 billion, or $65 billion including fake returns, from investors.”
“I was like the boy that cried wolf. But there was a wolf.”
– The character of Harry Markopolos in the docu-drama, Chasing Madoff.
What Warren Buffett’s minions and allies have done is allegedly done is different, slower, bigger and bolder.
What we’ve lacked is something that is as crystal clear as what Harry Markopolos spotted. Markopolos noted that you don’t get straight lines with investing. Here is our illustration that combines a still from the movie trailer above with a finance graphic.
That makes the point Markopolos made clearer, right? Markets and a stock move, slide, or jump up and down. There are no straight lines. That was the initial giveaway that told Markopolos that something was wrong with Madoff’s operation.
Is there a similar tell in manufactured housing? We think there is.
It could be boiled down to this.
Manufactured housing has been thoroughly researched. When black hat behavior isn’t involved, research reveals that manufactured homeowners routinely like or love their homes. There are arguably more third-party inspections and other consumer protections built into manufactured housing than conventional housing. So how is it possible that intelligent people at MHI or at Clayton Homes are struggling to get traction in a marketplace that was producing more housing units in 2003 then it is today?
We are not alone. Far from it. Among the most common words we hear from people who read us often include these two. “Thank you.” But there are those who jeer as well as those who cheer.
Of course. When you are over the target, you catch flak.
We believe there is evidence that several nonprofits – including trade groups like MHI – are ankle to hip deep in the alleged corruption. When it is done, Lesli Gooch, Mark Bowersox, Richard Jennison, Rick Robinson and possibly others could face state or federal prison. Time will tell. Again, see some of the reports for the week that was that are linked below to learn more.
We think some of their toadies in MHVille trade media may too, for purportedly similar as well as different reasons.
Some of the above likely began their involvement in this scheme innocently enough. But others may have known what they were doing and gladly sold out their fellow citizens for a few cheap pieces of silver.
Some are just scared or go along to get along. Not everyone is guilty of some crime(s). But a fairly limited group arguably are.
We tell federal officials that investigations must include Warren Buffett, Tim Williams and Kevin Clayton.
We will test the waters in the days ahead in ways that have not been done before. We expect skepticism and perhaps ‘over the target’ backlash.
To understand the issues and allegations against the powers that be in MHVille, see the reports for the week that was below. And stay tuned to what lies ahead.
I suspect when Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage fame took me to dinner with his colleagues from Berkshire Hathaway a few years ago, that one or more had a smile or good laugh afterward.
But I also suspect that Tim Williams now wishes that he would have let the bus roll over Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison and Lesli Gooch when this writer called them out publicly for purportedly deliberately deceiving their own members at MHI. Williams arranged a vote of confidence for Jennison. He spoke with me outside of that meeting room for a few minutes afterward.
I’m not saying that was the moment that the light bulbs started to go off for me. There have been a series of aha-moments and tips. But logically, why would Williams want to defend such deceptive behavior?
What Williams and his Berkshire brothers may not have known at the time is this. This writer has worked with law enforcement successfully on several occasions at the local, state and federal levels. I don’t go looking for trouble. That’s for paid professionals. But if something is put in front of my nose, please don’t expect me to ignore it.
Since this tragic adventure into corruption in manufactured housing has begun, at least one federal official has lost their job. Others may follow. Will more occur as a result of tips to officials? Stay tuned.
Some time back in Oklahoma, a letter on U.S. government letterhead thank me for my role in breaking up a ring that included a public official, a crooked fellow and ‘fixing’ credit reports. That scam could have made me millions when it was brought to my attention, but I contacted the appropriate authorities instead. That statement – if not already known to the powers that be in MHVille will have their research people looking to verify the claims. They are accurate.
This has been an undesired and not sought adventure of discovery. I guess we’re not nearly as fast as Markopolos. But as the light bulbs slowly began to go off, and as we have gained clarity, the aha moment could be boiled down to this. When you have one of the richest men on the planet with all sorts of contacts, resources and experts available, how could you possibly be selling fewer manufactured homes now than in 2003? Unless you wanted it to be so?
Are the folks at Clayton, 21st and MHI that incompetent? We’d argue, no. They are educated, seasoned professionals. So, once you grasp that, and realize that Buffett’s money has been traced through dark money channels to fund both sides of the same battles, you begin to say, what is going on here in Manufactured Housing?
I’ll bet in hindsight that Warren, Tim and Kevin all wish they had let Dick and Lesli go. Now, they and we are in too deep. They have to play their Razzle Dazzle hand, don’t they? We will play ours, striving for accurate, ethical ways to disrupt and bring down what we believe the evidence shows is a bigger scam that Bernie Madoff. Its not a Ponzi scheme. But it arguably is illegal in a variety of ways. It could keep several state and federal agencies busy for quite some time.
With God’s help, justice will be done and the best is yet to come.
Stay tuned to see how that can be done in a positive, ethical, legal and profitable fashion. With no further adieu, let’s dive into the headlines from the week that was.
What’s New from Washington, D.C. from MHARR.
What’s New on MHLivingNews.
What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews.
Some jeer what we do to others, while others quietly cheer with their trusted comrades. But from the biggest firms to the mom or pop operations, plus those others in between, they are among the many who check in routinely because they know that what we publish matters and- like it or not – makes sense.
We thank those sponsors, clients, tip sources, and readers like you for making and keeping us the manufactured housing industry’s runaway biggest and most-read source for “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © (Weekly headline news recap, affordable housing, manufactured homes, lifestyle news, 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.