Understanding the news occurring all around us has long been a field of significant interest in the U.S. It’s no different in the clearly diminished 21st century for the U.S. manufactured housing industry. People and professionals want to KNOW. The evidence based case can be made that people often want to UNDERSTAND.
There are times when events occur that may initially seem odd or even bizarre.
The Saturday report (11.18.2023) about American billionaires and business leaders, including some with sizable investments in manufactured housing meeting for a high dollar dinner with Communist Chinese dictator Xi Jinping is a possible example of that phenomenon of seemingly odd or bizarre behavior. CNBC’s reporter called the billionaires’ behavior ‘surreal.’ Our video supported report and analysis below unpacks the event and its implications.
Our Friday report looks at a simple question. How would manufactured home industry employees like to get a 17 percent pay hike? The ins and outs of that are explored through the lens of recent YouGov reporting combined with MHProNews analysis.
On Thursday the sharp drop in Skyline Champion (SKY) sales and earnings was the focus of that report. Laugh, scratch your head, or just wonder what’s going on in some of our industry’s corporate offices as you read all about it.
The drama that unfolded in San Francisco earlier last week was explored on hump day (Wednesday). Lessons for MHVille are there.
‘The American Dream Doesn’t Exist Anymore’ – Michael Castejon – Illegal Immigrant Explains Why He’s Leaving U.S.; Biden vs. Trump; and Raymond Ibrahim on Billionaires is the report for Tuesday.
Those topics, as well as our Daily Business News on MHProNews equities and market updates are explored typically 5 days a week, except on bank/market holidays. Additionally, there is a new post on MHLivingNews, a new Masthead, and our don’t miss postscript. Today’s postscript which features insights from an interview with prior Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) chairman and longtime Clayton Hodges general counsel, Tom Hodges.
With no further adieu, here are the headlines for the week that was, from 11.12.2023 to 11.19.2023.
What’s New on MHLivingNews
What’s New from Washington, D.C. from MHARR
What’s New on the Masthead on MHProNews
What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews
What’s Hot Among Manufactured Housing Pros, Investors, Researchers, Advocates, Public Officials Checking Out Manufactured Home Industry News, Tips, and Views; plus Sunday Weekly MHVille Headlines Recap
Postscript – Tom Hodges, Clayton Homes General Counsel and prior Manufactured Housing Institute Chairman
Our Bing AI research and tests have been interesting not only to us, but apparently also to our readers. As was reported last Sunday, readership to that point of November hit another high in 2023. Since May, MHProNews and/or MHLivingNews has done some tests using Bing AI, as well as some other AI systems. None, in our expert view from the vantagepoint of manufactured housing, that we have tested is perfect. Bing AI is routinely useful, but care must be used because it does give incorrect – sometimes wildly incorrect information. But that incorrect information may slip by someone who is either not an expert in our industry, or who may not be paying close attention to what the AI powered search results are saying.
An example of that is Tom Hodges, J.D., general counsel for Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) owned Clayton Homes. Hodges served as MHI’s chairman.
Somewhat like an attorney is supposed to ask questions from a witness that the attorney hopefully knows the correct and honest answer to the inquiry, in our tests of Bing AI, we ask questions that we may often already know the correct answer.
That said, MHProNews asked the following question from Bing AI.
> “Bing, Tom Hodges is the general counsel for Clayton Homes. Hodges has also served as the Chairman for the Manufactured Housing Institute. In an interview with American Builders Quarterly, didn’t Hodges specifically mention the use of the moat principle as taught be Warren Buffett in manufactured housing?”
> “Here is a link to the article in my prior question. Please refine your response accordingly: https://americanbuildersquarterly.com/2014/clayton-homes/”
Note that even though Bing was given the link to the article, once again, for whatever reason(s) may be part of its “predefined internal tools,” the information it said about the moat and Buffett was demonstrably incorrect. So, one more follow up occurred, this time providing Bing AI with word for word what was published in that interview with Clayton’s Tom Hodges. Note that this time, when confronted with the specific evidence and words, Bing AI admitted that it was wrong and that MHProNews was correct in its information.
First, the follow up, then Bing AI’s reply.
> “Pardon me, but that interview with American Builders Quarterly specifically quoted Hodges using the term “moat” in the context of Berkshire Hathaway, which has Warren Buffett as its chairman, isn’t that correct? Specifically, Hodges is quoted as saying the following: “Last year we celebrated 10 years [as a company merged] with Berkshire Hathaway, and it’s just been a great relationship. They’ve let us run the business, and I think we’ve been able to capitalize on that for them, which is sort of neat now that we’re through some of the economic crisis and some of the Dodd-Frank financial reform is still settling in with the whole world right now. But, even with the uncertainty that the regulation brings, [companies] are looking to expand to help build a moat around their business.” Please clarify or correct your prior response, based on that information.”
Thank you for providing me with the additional information. You are correct that Tom Hodges, the general counsel for Clayton Homes, used the term “moat” in the context of Berkshire Hathaway in an interview with American Builders Quarterly 1. In the interview, Hodges stated that companies are looking to expand to help build a moat around their business, even with the uncertainty that regulation brings 1. While the article does not specifically mention the use of the “moat” principle as taught by Warren Buffett, it does suggest that companies are looking to build a competitive advantage in the manufactured housing industry 1.
A Kevin Clayton-Tom Hodges-Clayton Homes specific report is planned in the coming days. The Q&A above is just a small sampling of what that report will demonstrate. Until then, see the prior reports linked below which remain useful. Why is that so? Because MHProNews/MHLivingNews redoubled our efforts in the last 6 years to make sure that our reporting was factually accurate, used known evidence, applied balance that included direct quotes in context from the cited source (see the example with Tom Hodges above).
Logically, the case can be made that when Clayton Homes sister brand 21st Mortgage Corporation made their move that Samuel “Sam” Strommen, now J.D., but then at Knudson Law whose legal research called that part of a “felony” antitrust violation, a wave of disruptive effects rippled through manufactured housing. The community sector was disrupted. The retail and production sector was disrupted. For extensive details, evidenced, and analysis see the new Masthead linked above or here.
Warren Buffett, his allies and henchmen apparently declared war. Numbers in the manufactured housing industry didn’t pay enough attention to what Buffett said.
Half-truths, paltering, “deception and misdirection” are sadly all too common among several others manufactured housing industry trade media and blogging. Sometimes others just attempt to dazzle their audiences with feel good nonsense that is easily disproven, or which may even be reasonably distilled BS. When you want or need to know, you’ve come to the right place here. Some associations seem to follow that pattern. See the linked reports for the week that was or others linked herein to learn more. And as usual, stay tuned to your most reliable source for manufactured housing “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © We are your proven source for “Intelligence for Your MHLife.”©
Again, our thanks to free email subscribers and all readers like you, as well as our tipsters/sources, sponsors and God for making and keeping us the runaway number one source for authentic “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, 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 MHProNews.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
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