Tag Archives: fake news media


DECEMBER 29, 2023 – I am reading an excellent book titled “Superforecasting.” I wish it had been published 40 years ago.
Basically, it calls out all the pundits for being vague in their statements and forecasts. The very complaint I have had my whole life. He calls those people hedgehogs and explains why the Fake News Media and general public love these so-called ‘forecasters.’
The other end of the spectrum is us foxes. To be more specific, foxes with dragonfly eyes. We are willing to put specifics in our forecasts. Willing to change our predictions as we find out new information. And, best of all, willing to say we are wrong.
I won’t bore you with more details. You can read the book, if interested. My goal is to improve my forecasts by being more concrete in what I say. This doesn’t mean that I say something like there will be an 8.7 magnitude earthquake in St. Louis at 4:08 AM on July 5, 2024. That isn’t reasonable. But, also, I don’t use words like could and might and possibly and leave the forecast general with no timeframe, etc. The specificity comes in providing a percentage of probability of a clearly stated event occurring. e.g. There is only a 5% chance in 2024 that the average 30-year residential mortgage will exceed 8% nationwide. That is specific enough to determine if I am right or wrong. Yes, the 5% is a bit gray. But, it has provided a specific number versus unmeasurable wording like ‘it is unlikely.’
So, here is your challenge, again if interested. Email me (GeorgeRMann@Aol.Com) something you want me to forecast. Preferably in 2024 so we don’t have to wait til 2030 to see if I was right or wrong. If I get a lot of suggestions, I might need to just pick a few. Don’t be offended if I don’t pick yours:)
The topic can be anything. This originated with Enrico Fermi asking his class to estimate the number of piano tuners in Chicago. At the time, they did not have the internet to help with research. So, some things you might ask me…these are made up off the top of my head just to give you some examples to help with your suggestion. What is the probability that Iran will test its first nuclear bomb in 2024? Will the number of American bank failures exceed 20 in 2024? Will we meet the official definition of a recession and have 2 consecutive quarters of negative GDP in 2024? Will Venezuela have a new leader by the end of 2024? Hopefully, those give you some idea. As needed, I will edit the wording to be sure it is specific and there is no ‘out’ for my forecast because of some gray, general words. Please do not ask me to state the closing price of the DOW 30 on June 20, 2024. That is just a guess with zero chance of being exactly correct. Better wording would be, will the DOW 30 exceed 40,000 by June 20, 2024. Lastly, I am mulling over stating my exact thinking as I come up with my forecast. I think that will help people see how to forecast better themselves.
I look forward to your emails. Even just 2 or 3 will be good for me to start this process of improving my forecasting ability. Thanks in advance for your emails.
Happy New Year!
The Mann


OCTOBER 24, 2022 – The 30-Year US Treasury Bond yield is peaking around 4.4%. Over the next 3-4 months it should decline to the 2.95% to 3.4% range. I would expect the average house mortgage to decline from the current 7% level to somewhere in the 5%-6% range in the same time period.
This will give the public the feeling that the worst is over and things are getting back to ‘normal.’ NAR and the Fake News Media will pound us with now is the time to buy. Now is the time to get a loan. We are on the rebound. Blah blah blah.
Then we will head back to interest rates above the high we are experiencing this week.
As always, we shall see how this plays out.
The Mann


UPDATED – OCTOBER 26, 2022 – I have added some data regarding the number of vacant housing units in America at the bottom of this post.

OCTOBER 24, 2022 – There, I said it. Made it 100% clear for everyone to understand. I might be the lone voice saying this for the past 5-10+ years. So be it.
Population growth in this country has been slowing for the entire 21st Century. It will continue to slow. NAR, Homebuilders, and the Fake News Media can tell you that we have a housing shortage. That is what they must tell you so they can keep making their money – at the expense of John Q. Public.
Some facts….
There are over 1.7 million housing units under construction. That is almost a 50-year high (yes, 50 years ago we had a much smaller population). More importantly, in the housing crisis 15 years ago, we peaked at only 1.4 million housing units. We have more housing being built today with a much slower growing population.
In the 1970’s, when Baby Boomers were at the age to buy homes in mass, that population segment grew at a 4.5% annual pace. Millennials of the same population segment today are growing at only a 1.2% annual rate! That is almost a 75% reduction in the demand for housing! Adjusting for a 56% increase in population since 1972, this is still a 58% reduction in the demand for housing!!!
I would guess if we didn’t build a single housing unit for 5+ years we would still have vacant houses and apartments all over this country. Instead of building new shoddy manufactured houses, let’s focus on rehabbing the well-built housing of decades ago. Most of this product is in existing built-up areas with infrastructure in place. Take advantage of that.
One day when people start to admit we have had an oversupply of housing for over a decade, please remember The Mann told them so:)
The Mann

ADDED OCTOBER 26, 2022 – I was wondering how many vacant units we have in America. So, some quick research found the following. Sources obviously can vary in their figures.

We have 142 million housing units in America. The number of apartment units is estimated to be 21.3 million. We can assume the remainder are houses – 121.7 million.

National apartment vacancy is reported to be 6%. This indicates 1.3 million vacant units. As of 2020, the home vacancy rate was 9.7%. This indicates 11.8 million vacant units. The sum is 13.1 million vacant housing units in America.

As I noted in the original part of the post above, we could go several years without building a single house or apartment complex and we would still have many millions of vacant units.

One last tidbit of information to consider. I once worked with an economist that assumed every year 1% of existing real estate (housing, office, retail, industrial, etc.) became obsolete and/or was demolished. At 142 million housing units, that would mean 1.4 million units are taken off the market each year. That helps provide some constant need for new housing. Again, this is an assumption. It seems like an awful lot of houses and apartments being abandoned or demolished every year. But, …

That is all I have for now.


APRIL 6 (EVENING) – Today’s huge rally has increased the odds that this Bear Market rally has a ways to go.  The high end for the rally is in the low 25,000s.  This is beyond what I thought could happen initially.  However, the goal of this first major Bear Market rally is to convince the public that a V-shaped recovery is underway and we are headed back to new all-time highs.  A Bear Market’s goal is to get as many people in to it and then go down to a level where people don’t ever want to own stocks again.

Regarding real estate, since this market lags the stock market by 4-5 quarters it will be awhile before things become more clear.

One property type to add to the high-risk list is movie theaters.  DIsney and others had to quickly learn how to get their new movies to the public without going thru the movie theater distribution routine.  Now that they have done this, will the public be content to go back to the old way of doing things?  Forever, new music has been sold directly to the public and the public then decides if they want to go see the artist in concert.  Why should movies be any different?  Sell movies directly to us and we will decide if we want to go see them in a movie theater, also.  Will movie theaters die a slow death like drive-in movie theaters have?  These properties are certainly attractive to those seeking last mile distribution points.

Reports are that developers are moving forward with projects.  Investors may have called a time-out.  But, developers have not.

Dozens and dozens of national and regional retailers have asked their landlords for rent relief.  This puts landlords in a tough spot as their mortgage payments are obviously due each month.  A domino effect will occur with everyone helping each other.  But, there will be enough hiccups that things won’t go smoothly.

Many businesses will close up for good (one report is 30% of all restaurants in California will be closed permanently…..I would think this would occur nationwide, too).  As a result, some property owners will default on their loans.  This won’t be 2006-2011 all over again.  But, there will be enough carnage for everyone to deal with.

A former head of the SBA predicts 20%-30% of all businesses will fail.  This sounds dire.  However, I also heard that 1/3 of businesses fail every year anyway.  As always, I encourage you to do your own research.  Don’t take anything you hear as gospel – especially if it is coming from the Fake News Media!  The number of conspiracy theories grows by the day.  People (who desperately need to do something better with their lives!) are circulating reports that quote Stanford or Johns Hopkins or other such respected organizations as saying this or that.  Those are made up stories.  Go to Snopes.Com or other places to see if they address any story you think may be fictitious.

An interesting  item of note…..Amazon has their annual Prime Day on July 15th.  An internal memo says they plan on delaying this event.  That is a telling sign.  For Amazon to think that consumers will not be ready to spend, even online (!), by mid-July is extremely negative.  Keep that in mind as we hear cheerful news in May and June.

Depending on how the markets move, I may post Wednesday evening or wait til Friday evening.

Everyone stay safe and well.  Have a blessed Holy Week.

The Mann