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Empty Manhattan Storefronts Double Historical Rate 

Empty Manhattan Storefronts Double Historical Rate 

Some of the busiest streets in midtown Manhattan are plagued with vacant storefronts as a drop in tourism and office workers have severely punished the retail industry during the pandemic. 

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Empty Manhattan Storefronts Double Historical Rate 

Some of the busiest streets in midtown Manhattan are plagued with vacant storefronts as a drop in tourism and office workers have severely punished the retail industry during the pandemic. 

A new report released Thursday from the Real Estate Board of New York outlines how 30% of 311 storefronts in retail areas around Midtown East and Grand Central are vacant, which is more than double the historical rate. The report also said Madison Avenue had a retail vacancy rate of 28% among 289 stores. 

Rob Byrnes, president of the East Midtown Partnership, told Bloomberg in an emailed statement that "the data underscores the critical need for workers to return to their offices." 

"With every passing day, our retail and dining sectors suffer, resulting in vacant storefronts and lost jobs," Byrnes said. 

Kastle Systems, whose electronic access systems secure thousands of office buildings across NYC, showed that only 29% of workers were back at their desks in late September. 

Even though housing and rentals are booming, the slow return of workers back to office buildings has been detrimental for retail businesses that line city streets. This has led to a glut of commercial restate, such as storefronts and office space

Louis Rossmann, who fixes gadgets in a shop in NYC, has 1.7 million YouTube followers, frequently documents the collapse of NYC storefronts, and warns the metro area is facing a crisis. 

Rossmann's latest video details an empty storefront. 

He said entire city blocks have over 50% of the real estate vacant. 

The reality is, NYC could take years to recover, and really, who wants to stick around as violent crime soars

Tyler Durden Sun, 10/10/2021 - 14:00

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International

Visualizing The World’s Biggest Real Estate Bubbles In 2021

Visualizing The World’s Biggest Real Estate Bubbles In 2021

Identifying real estate bubbles is a tricky business. After all, as Visual Capitalist’s Nick Routley notes, even though many of us “know a bubble when we see it”, we don’t…

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Visualizing The World's Biggest Real Estate Bubbles In 2021

Identifying real estate bubbles is a tricky business. After all, as Visual Capitalist's Nick Routley notes, even though many of us “know a bubble when we see it”, we don’t have tangible proof of a bubble until it actually bursts.

And by then, it’s too late.

The map above, based on data from the Real Estate Bubble Index by UBS, serves as an early warning system, evaluating 25 global cities and scoring them based on their bubble risk.

Reading the Signs

Bubbles are hard to distinguish in real-time as investors must judge whether a market’s pricing accurately reflects what will happen in the future. Even so, there are some signs to watch out for.

As one example, a decoupling of prices from local incomes and rents is a common red flag. As well, imbalances in the real economy, such as excessive construction activity and lending can signal a bubble in the making.

With this in mind, which global markets are exhibiting the most bubble risk?

The Geography of Real Estate Bubbles

Europe is home to a number of cities that have extreme bubble risk, with Frankfurt topping the list this year. Germany’s financial hub has seen real home prices rise by 10% per year on average since 2016—the highest rate of all cities evaluated.

Two Canadian cities also find themselves in bubble territory: Toronto and Vancouver. In the former, nearly 30% of purchases in 2021 went to buyers with multiple properties, showing that real estate investment is alive and well. Despite efforts to cool down these hot urban markets, Canadian markets have rebounded and continued their march upward. In fact, over the past three decades, residential home prices in Canada grew at the fastest rates in the G7.

Despite civil unrest and unease over new policies, Hong Kong still has the second highest score in this index. Meanwhile, Dubai is listed as “undervalued” and is the only city in the index with a negative score. Residential prices have trended down for the past six years and are now down nearly 40% from 2014 levels.

Note: The Real Estate Bubble Index does not currently include cities in Mainland China.

Trending Ever Upward

Overheated markets are nothing new, though the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the dynamic of real estate markets.

For years, house price appreciation in city centers was all but guaranteed as construction boomed and people were eager to live an urban lifestyle. Remote work options and office downsizing is changing the value equation for many, and as a result, housing prices in non-urban areas increased faster than in cities for the first time since the 1990s.

Even so, these changing priorities haven’t deflated the real estate market in the world’s global cities. Below are growth rates for 2021 so far, and how that compares to the last five years.

Overall, prices have been trending upward almost everywhere. All but four of the cities above—Milan, Paris, New York, and San Francisco—have had positive growth year-on-year.

Even as real estate bubbles continue to grow, there is an element of uncertainty. Debt-to-income ratios continue to rise, and lending standards, which were relaxed during the pandemic, are tightening once again. Add in the societal shifts occurring right now, and predicting the future of these markets becomes more difficult.

In the short term, we may see what UBS calls “the era of urban outperformance” come to an end.

Tyler Durden Sat, 10/23/2021 - 22:00

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Bonds

Fear of the unknown: A tale of the SEC’s crusade against synthetics

DeFi built on blockchain and legacy financial systems is on the verge of clashing in one of the most tumultuous battles in economic history.
On the opening day of Messari Mainnet 2021, New York City’s long-awaited first crypto conferen

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DeFi built on blockchain and legacy financial systems is on the verge of clashing in one of the most tumultuous battles in economic history.

On the opening day of Messari Mainnet 2021, New York City’s long-awaited first crypto conference since the start of COVID-19, reports came blazing in via a viral tweet that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission had served a subpoena to an event panelist at the top of an escalator in broad daylight. While it’s still not entirely clear who was served (or why), this isn’t the first time the SEC has encroached upon the crypto industry in full view of the public. Let’s go back a mere two months.

On July 20, 2021, SEC Chair Gary Gensler issued his remarks outlining the SEC’s scope of authority on cryptocurrency:

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a stock token, a stable value token backed by securities, or any other virtual product that provides synthetic exposure to underlying securities. These platforms — whether in the decentralized or centralized finance space — are implicated by the securities laws and must work within our securities regime.”

Just like the SEC’s bold arrival at Mainnet, Gensler’s remarks definitely did not arise out of the blue. They arose because Gensler — along with his regulatory entourage — finally arrived at the terrifying realization that cryptocurrency’s tokenized, synthetic stocks are just like stocks, but better.

Related: Powers On... Don't worry, Bitcoin's adoption will not be stopped

So, what are synthetics?

Synthetic assets are artificial renditions of existing assets whose prices are pegged to the value of the assets they represent in real-time. For instance, a synthetic share of renewable energy giant Tesla can be purchased and sold at exactly the same price as a real share of Tesla at any given moment.

Consider average stock traders for whom profit margins, accessibility and personal privacy take precedence. To them, the apparent “realness” of TSLA acquired from a broker-dealer will not hold water next to the cryptoverse’s many synthetic renditions, which can be acquired at a fraction of the cost at 8:00 pm on a Sunday evening. What’s more, it’s only a matter of time before traders will be able to stake synthetic TSLA in a decentralized finance protocol to earn interest or take out a collateralized loan.

Related: Crypto synthetic assets, explained

The role of synthetics

Decentralized platforms built on blockchain and legacy financial systems are on the verge of clashing in one of the most tumultuous battles in economic history, and Gensler’s remarks merely constitute a shot across the bow. Make no mistake: decentralized finance (DeFi) and traditional finance (TradFi) have already drawn their battle lines. They will remind powerful incumbents and new entrants alike that, contrary to what contemporary wisdom may suggest, systems of exchange imbue assets with value — not the converse. The ramifications cannot be understated: Synthetic assets establish a level playing field where centralized and decentralized systems can compete for users and capital — a free market for markets.

Typically, digital marketplaces support an assortment of assets that compete by being exchanged against one another. But when the asset side is fixed — that is, when identical assets exist across multiple platforms — it is the marketplaces that compete for the largest share of each asset’s daily trading volume. Ultimately, traders settle the score, determining where assets should live and which systems should die.

On that accord, while Bitcoin (BTC) competes indirectly with fiat currencies as a unique form of money transacted over a decentralized network, it is the array of emergent fiat currency-pegged stablecoins that pose the most pernicious and immediate threat to national governments and their directors in central banking. Unlike Bitcoin, which often proves too volatile and exotic for outsiders, fiat-backed stablecoins cut down the complicated tradeoffs and keep the simple stuff: Around-the-clock access, low-cost international transfers, kick-ass interest rates and 1:1 redemption into fiat.

Related: Stablecoins present new dilemmas for regulators as mass adoption looms

Even to skeptics, stablecoins drive a strong bargain, and the U.S. Congress put forth its own token of acknowledgment with its December 2020 legislative proposal of the STABLE Act, which would require stablecoin issuers to acquire the same bank charters as their centralized counterparts at Chase, Wells Fargo and so on.

Incumbent institutions have a long history of seeking out, acquiring and, at times, even sabotaging their competition. It’s not difficult to see where legacy banking’s aversion to synthetics comes from. As decentralized platforms become more user-friendly and tread further into the mainstream, significant buy-side demand will migrate from legacy platforms and their formerly exclusive assets into digitally native synthetics.

Robinhood saga: The remix

Imagine what might have transpired if Robinhood users had access to synthetic shares of GME and AMC on Jan. 28, 2021.

If even a small minority of the buy-side demand for those stocks — say 10% — migrated from Robinhood to Mirror Protocol’s synthetic stocks, it would have effectively inflated the supply of shares outstanding and consequently suppressed the share price. In turn, GameStop’s C-level executives would have been in for a real tough board call.

Related: GameStop inadvertently paves the way for decentralized finance

And then, consider also the implications of investors staking their synthetic GME and AMC in DeFi protocols to receive mortgage and small business loans at drastically reduced interest rates, definitively cutting banks and other incumbents out of the equation.

Such a scenario would behoove GameStop and AMC to migrate a fraction of their shares to blockchain-based platforms in order to restore robust pricing mechanisms. Meanwhile, investors on the retail side, who only seek a superior user experience and the benefits of interoperability with DeFi protocols, would ultimately win — something you don’t hear too often in modern financial markets.

From stocks to commodities, real estate instruments, bonds, and beyond, the emergence of synthetic assets will disrupt pricing mechanisms, catalyze unprecedented turbulence in financial markets and produce unforetold arbitrage opportunities, unlike anything the world has ever seen. Although the consequences of such a dramatic shift are beyond prediction, centralized incumbents will not voluntarily cannibalize their business models — free markets must be entrusted to select winners.

The future of synthetics

As demand for synthetic assets reaches and exceeds that of their purportedly regulated TradFi counterparts, the capitalists and investors of the world will be forced to contemplate what in fact makes an asset “real” in the first place, and will ultimately determine not only the direction of free markets but their very constitution.

In the heat of an existential crisis, financial institutions and governments will undoubtedly get all hands on deck: The SEC will battle to eradicate synthetic stocks, Congress will commit to subduing stablecoin issuers from challenging the international banking elite, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will step in to tame platforms dealing in derivatives and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) will continue to target those aiming to protect user privacy.

Related: The new episode of crypto regulation: The Empire Strikes Back

Rough days lie ahead — and it is already too late to turn back the hands of innovation. Compound’s cTokens, Synthetix’s Synths and Mirror Protocol’s mAssets have already opened Pandora’s box, while Offshift’s fully private zk-Assets are slated to launch in January 2022. Whatever unfolds, the rigid barrier separating the realm of traditional finance from that of emergent decentralized platforms will be permanently dismantled, and a new age of financial freedom will spring forth.

May the best systems win.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Alex Shipp is a professional writer and strategist in the digital asset space with a background in traditional finance and economics, as well as the emerging fields of decentralized system architecture, tokenomics, blockchain and digital assets. Alex has been professionally involved in the digital asset space since 2017 and currently serves as a strategist at Offshift, a writer, editor and strategist for the Elastos Foundation, and is an ecosystem representative at DAO Cyber Republic.

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Economics

WeWork (WE Stock) IPO: Here’s What Investors Need To Know

The co-working revolution is here and WeWork might just be the way to ride the trend.
The post WeWork (WE Stock) IPO: Here’s What Investors Need To Know appeared first on Stock Market News, Quotes, Charts and Financial Information | StockMarket.com.

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WeWork (WE) Stock Surged In Its Market Debut After SPAC Merger

WeWork’s (NYSE: WE) stocks rose this week in light of its’ market debut, after a tumultuous journey that included the implosion of its previous initial public offering (IPO) plans and the ouster of co-founder Adam Neumann.

WE stock

The listing came following a merger with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) BowX Acquisition Corporation (NASDAQ: BOWX). The combination provides WeWork with cash proceeds of about $1.3 billion, and a valuation of around $9 billion. This marked a major step down from the valuation of $47 billion WeWork commanded in 2019, following an investment from SoftBank Group in the private markets.

“Today is a testament to the determination of our company to not only transform our business, but also to adapt and deliver the options that today’s workforce demands,” said WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani in a statement released Thursday. Earlier this month, the company reported preliminary third-quarter revenue of $658 million, up from $593 million in the second quarter. Total occupancy across consolidated operations rose to 60% at the end of the third quarter. That was an increase from 52% at the end of the second quarter.

What Is WeWork & Why Are Some Investors Interested?

WeWork was founded in 2010 in New York and has expanded to more than 500 locations over 100 cities. The company leases office space and charges membership fees to customers, including freelancers, start-ups and small and large businesses. The business targets those who might prefer the flexibility of such an arrangement over a traditional office lease. The latter may last for years and come with other operational inconveniences. 

[Read More] 3 Top Real Estate Stocks To Watch In October 2021

WeWork Pioneered & Popularized The Co-working Space Trend

Before, with few exceptions, if one wanted to rent office space as an individual or a new company, it was one unpleasant hassle. Pricing was certainly complex with some hidden fees that might show up on your monthly bill. Not only that, some would request a personal guarantee. That means the tenant would be personally on the hook for the remaining rent even if your businesses fail. Thankfully, WeWork eliminated all those hassles and complicated costs for customers. It makes renting space so much easier, even on a month-to-month basis.

Admittedly, flexible office space was not new. But WeWork said its business could not only revolutionize how people worked, but also change how people lived and thought. More importantly, the company has SoftBank to thank for its successful debut. The Japanese conglomerate remains its largest investor and has invested more than $17 billion into the firm since 2017. With strong backing from SoftBank and a huge valuation back then, why did the company abort its IPO in 2019, you ask?

Second Time’s The Charm?

WeWork had to abort its IPO attempt 2 years ago after public listings revealed that the company was hemorrhaging cash. Not to mention, then-CEO Adam Neumann was accused of using WeWork to enrich himself via mass private shares sell-offs and by leasing buildings he owned to the company. Following this piece of news, Neumann was forced to resign, and 2,400 people were laid off as a result. Its largest investor, SoftBank had to write down billions on its own investment to bail out the company.

Just as the company was trying to get back on its own feet, the company had to face another blow, namely the COVID-19 pandemic. WeWork lost $888.8 million in the second quarter. The company has been slashing costs under the leadership of CEO Sandeep Mathrani and is aiming for profitability next year. Now, WeWork has removed almost $2 billion of annual costs by paring back lease commitments and administrative expenses. Certainly, successfully cutting costs is one thing. But the startup also faced concerns around its valuation.

WeWork’s failure to turn a profit has prompted some analysts to question why it commands a valuation which is roughly double that of rival co-working company IWG (OTCMKTS: IWGFF). The company operates the Regus and Open Office brands, just to name a few. It also has far more offices, more desks, and was consistently profitable before the pandemic.

[Read More] Top Reddit Stocks To Buy Right Now? 5 For Your Late 2021 Watchlist

Remote Work Is Here To Stay & The Pandemic Could Be A Blessing In Disguise

The pandemic presented WeWork with challenges, but some might also say, opportunities. With so many companies shifting to remote work not just temporarily, but also permanently, landlords everywhere have had to adjust. And WeWork is no exception. For one, WeWork realized its membership-only plan was not going to cut it. And a dip in membership was evidence of that. 

So, it worked to open its buildings to more people through the On Demand and All Access options. The goal was to give people who were weary of working out of their own homes a place to go, say once a week, to work. In addition to that, the company also has partnerships with universities that wanted to give their students an alternative place to study through the All Access offering.

Evidently, how people work has changed more since the start of the pandemic than it has over the past two decades. Some are calling it a revolution because employee preferences are dictating the future of the office environment. And one trend is surfacing is coworking. According to Coworking Space Global Market Report 2021, the global coworking space market could grow from $7.97 billion in 2020 to $8.14 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.1%.

[Read More] 5 Financial Stocks To Watch In A Rising Interest Rate Environment

Bottom Line On WeWork Stock

Admittedly, WeWork has been taking measures to increase its revenue and lowering its losses. But these measures aren’t set to pay off until the medium to long term. Now, the company’s vision for the future centers around the ways in which companies are reimagining their workspaces in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

If anything, the pandemic recovery has since accelerated the demand for flexible workspaces. This comes as more workers shift toward hybrid or permanent remote work. Whether WeWork could capitalize on this trend would largely depend on how Mathrani executes its space-as-a-service business model as the company moves forward. With the company continuing to adapt and offer new services, it will be interesting to see how it all goes from here. 

The post WeWork (WE Stock) IPO: Here’s What Investors Need To Know appeared first on Stock Market News, Quotes, Charts and Financial Information | StockMarket.com.

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