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An insider confided to a friend that all he is doing right now is transaction work for real estate holders who are selling now before the market crashes. His clients, members of Sin City’s illuminati, once bitten by the ‘08 crash, believe they’ll beat the crowd to the sales window before the local retail and office market collapses.
Tiny capitalization rates translating into unsustainable values are being dangled in front of these folks and they are willing to absorb the tax consequences to cash out and be ready to repurchase their properties back at a discount in a couple years.
With the country just emerging from lockdown, where’s the crash already? The original grave dancer, Sam Zell, has left the cemetery and is “following the pack and spending big on something safer,” Peter Grant wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
One of Zell’s companies paid $3.4 billion for Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corp. Not all distressed, Monmouth “owns 120 industrial properties in 31 states,” Grant reported. “The sector is one of the most profitable because of high demand for fulfillment centers from e-commerce companies such as Amazon.com Inc.”
Bloomberg reported a year ago that Amazon-leased buildings could sell for a capitalization rate of 4 percent, the equivalent of twenty-five times earnings. A Las Vegas real estate broker and developer who is also doing business in red-hot Reno said recently, “Amazon buildings will start selling for three CAPs soon.”
Back in the days of quasi-laissez-faire, a pandemic would have created plenty of opportunities for the Zells of the world, but, as Grant explains, “Hotels, malls and other properties have suffered enormous declines in revenue. But few owners have been forced to sell at steep discounts thanks to government stimulus programs and the Federal Reserve’s easy money policy which kept a lid on foreclosure.”
Tenants bellied up to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) bar and while having trouble operating due to labor shortages, with staff staying home on the taxpayer’s dime, they are paying rent. As for Amazon and other fulfillment tenants, covid was a colossus.
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“From both a monetary and fiscal perspective, authorities have made sure that distress would be extremely limited in all walks of life,” Cedrik Lachance, Green Street Advisors’ head of global real estate investment trusts (REIT) research told the WSJ.
Zell does think retail properties are a “falling knife.” Zell said, “There obviously is going to be an opportunity in retail. I just don’t think it’s here yet.” He added that hotels also look expensive: “I can’t relate … pricing to the way I see opportunity.”
Billionaire Charles Koch can relate. His Koch Real Estate Investments took over the unfinished multibillion-dollar hotel and casino Fountainbleau development on the Las Vegas Strip after the previous owner defaulted on the mortgage.
Florida developer Jeffrey Soffer bankrupted the sixty-three-story, four thousand–room project in the 2008 crash, before the doors were ever opened. In 2010, an opportunistic Carl Ichan bought it for $150 million (essentially the trade liens on the property), “sold the furniture, and flipped it to New York developer Steven Witkoff for $600 million seven years later,” Konrad Putzier reported earlier this year.
Witkoff couldn’t obtain a construction loan to finish and defaulted on loans from JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank AG, as well as more than $200 million in subordinate debt held by South Korean investors.
Koch appeared, bought the JPMorgan note for $350 million, and waved goodbye to the South Koreans and Witkoff. Koch has brought back Mr. Soffer to restart the project. Putzier wrote in March that the project was far from a sure bet.
However, the opening of Resorts World on the former Stardust site on the Strip’s north end recently has the town abuzz. The Fountainbleau is nearby.
Further south on the Strip, where gaming has taken a backseat to real estate dealing, MGM announced it was buying its 50 percent partner Dubai World out of the sprawling CityCenter project for more than $2.1 billion, providing MGM full ownership of the Aria and Vdara resorts. Not missing a beat, the company then sold the Aria and Vdara real estate to Blackstone for $3.9 billion and will lease the properties back for $215 million a year in rent to start, or a 5.5 percent cap rate.
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Once upon a time, the casino was king of the Strip’s income department. Not so much anymore. Hotel casinos might as well be shopping malls with some slots and table games attached. During the boom years the casino accounted for only 30 to 40 percent of revenues. And while the floor space, with the odds stacked in the houses’, favor has crept upward in recent years, it’s still not half a property’s revenue.
Ludwig von Mises explained, “Interventionism means that the government not only fails to protect the smooth functioning of the market economy, but that it interferes with the various market phenomena; it interferes with prices, with wage rates, interest rates, and profits.”
Mr. Zell’s goal was always to reinvest that cash. “What it tells you about the Covid era is that they just couldn’t find true distress,” Mr. Lachance said. No distress means a manipulated market that economic actors cannot assess properly.
In the end, “as the government goes farther and farther,” Mises wrote, “it will finally arrive at a point where all prices, all wage rates, all interest rates, in short everything in the whole economic system, is determined by the government. And this, clearly, is socialism.”
Las Vegas was once a city driven by odds. No more. Now government has loaded the dice.
Image by MayoFi from Pixabay. Article cross-posted from Mises.
New Conservative Network Seeks Crowdfunding Help
They say we have to go big or go home. We’re trying to go big and bring the patriotic truth the the nation, but we need help.
Readers may or may not realize that over the past year, we’ve been bringing more conservative news and opinion outlets under our wing. Don’t take our expansion as a sign of riches; all of the “acquisitions” have been through sweat and promises of greater things to come for all involved. As a result, we’ve been able to bring together several independent media sites under a unified vision of preventing America from succumbing to the progressive, “woke,” Neo-Marxist ideologies that are spreading like wildfire across America.
The slow and steady reopening of America is revealing there was a lot more economic hardship brought about from the Covd-19 lockdowns than most realize. While we continue to hope advertising dollars on the sites go up, it’s simply not enough to do things the right way. We are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $3000-$7000 per month. In other words, we’re in the red and hemorrhaging.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring the truth to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going.
Thank you and God Bless,
Most “Conservative” News Outlets Are on the Big Tech Teat
Not long ago, conservative media was not beholden to anyone. Today, most sites are stuck on the Big Tech gravy train.
I’ll keep this short. The rise of Pandemic Panic Theater, massive voter fraud, and other “taboo” topics have neutered a majority of conservative news sites. You’ll notice they are very careful about what topics they tackle. Sure, they’ll attack Critical Race Theory, Antifa, and the Biden-Harris regime, but you won’t see them going after George Soros, Bill Gates, the World Economic Forum, or the Deep State, among others.
The reason is simple. They are beholden to Big Tech, and Big Tech doesn’t allow certain topics to be discussed or they’ll cut you off. Far too many conservative news outlets rely on Google, Facebook, and Twitter for the bulk of their traffic. They depend on big checks from Google ads to keep the sites running. I don’t necessarily hold it against them. We all do what we need to do to survive. I just wish more would do like we have, which is to cut out Big Tech altogether.
We don’t get Google checks. We don’t have Facebook or Twitter buttons on our stories. We don’t have a YouTube Channel (banned), an Instagram profile (never made one), or a TikTok (no thanks, CCP). We’re not perfect, but we’re doing everything we can to not owe anything to anyone… other than our readers. We owe YOU the truth. We owe YOU the facts that others won’t reveal about topics that others won’t tackle. And we owe America, this great land that allows us to take hold of these opportunities.
Like I said, I don’t hold other conservative sites under too much scrutiny over their choices. It’s easy for people to point fingers when we’re not the ones paying their bills or supporting their families. I just wish there were more who would make the bold move. Today, only a handful of other major conservative news outlets have broken free from the Big Tech teat. Of course, we need help.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring proper news and opinions to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal or Bitcoin as well. Bitcoin: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
Our network is currently comprised of nine sites:
- NOQ Report
- Conservative Playlist
- Truth. Based. Media.
- Freedom First Network
- Based Underground
- Uncanceled News
- American Conservative Movement
- Conservative Playbook
- Our Gold Guy
We are also building partnerships with great conservative sites like The Liberty Daily and The Epoch Times to advance the message as loudly as possible, and we’re always looking for others with which to partner.
Some of our content is spread across multiple sites. Other pieces of content are unique. We write most of what we post but we also draw from those willing to allow us to share their quality articles, videos, and podcasts. We collect the best content from fellow conservative sites that give us permission to republish them. We’re not ego-driven; I’d much rather post a properly attributed story written by experts like Dr. Joseph Mercola or Natural News than rewrite it like so many outlets like to do. We’re not here to take credit. We’re here to spread the truth.
While donations are the best way to help, you can also support us by buying through our sponsors:
- MyPillow: Use promo code “NOQ” to get up to 66% off AND you’ll be helping a patriotic, America First company.
- ZStack: Improve your immune system with the Z-Stack protocol or rejuvenate your body from vaccines or shedding with Z-DTox by Dr. Vladimir Zelenko.
- OurGoldGuy: Tell them JD sent you in your request to buy gold and it will help us… AND (wait for it) you’ll be helping a patriotic, America First company.
- MyPatriotSupply: Stock up on long-term food, survival gear, and other things that you’ll need just in case things don’t recover and we keep heading towards apocalypse.
We know we could make a lot more money if we sold out like so many “conservative” publications out there. You won’t find Google ads on our site for a reason. Yes, they’re lucrative, but I don’t like getting paid by minions of Satan (I don’t like Google very much if you couldn’t tell).
Time is short. As the world spirals towards The Great Reset, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going. Our promise is this: We will never sell out America. If that means we’re going to struggle for a while or even indefinitely, so be it. Integrity first. Truth first. America first.
Thank you and God Bless,