Lion of the Blogosphere

Rich foreign oligarchs are buying a lot of luxury U.S. properties

The recent NY Times “Upshot” article about rich oligarchs buying luxury U.S. properties is an informative read.

It has been suggested by Trump-haters and Russia-conspiracy-mongers that there’s something sinister amiss because one or two of Trump’s super-high-end properties were purchased by super-wealthy Russians.

However, if you read that Upshot article, you would learn that it’s normal that if you’re selling those sorts of properties, a few Russian oligarch types are likely to be among your buyers.

* * *

And by the way, when the article talks about “foreign cash,” it means paying in full with a money transfer, it doesn’t mean literally showing up with a suitcase full of cash.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 27, 2017 at 12:02 pm

Posted in Wealth

48 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. As someone who doesn’t own real estate yet, but plans to someday, I find this phenomenon really risible.

    I like how the article leads off with a reference to “Russian oligarchs” but then admits later on that the main culprit are the Chinese. Wasn’t it on this very blog that I saw a link to an article about how >50% of new home sales in Davis, CA go to foreign nationals, mostly Chinese?

    This would be a great thing for the Trump administration to crack down on.

    Hermes

    July 27, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    • Think of it as foreign investment. For me, it’s comforting that foreigners still see the United States as a safe, stable place to invest money.

      Besides, it’s not like there is a shortage of buildable real estate in the United States.

      fortaleza84

      July 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      • >>Besides, it’s not like there is a shortage of buildable real estate in the United States.

        Yeah, but they are making their purchases in the neighborhoods/cities where you, I or our children would like to live. Often the very same areas where we grew up. I don’t like it. Additionally, though, smart and shrewd you can by sure that these overseas buyers are the least likely to show social trust or civic commitment. How do you think they made their fortunes in these countries? They have absorbed these attitudes as family/social values and will pass them on to their children. America’s magic dirt is not strong enough to prevent the implantation of such cynicism.

        Daniel

        July 27, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      • Yeah, but they are making their purchases in the neighborhoods/cities where you, I or our children would like to live. Often the very same areas where we grew up. I don’t like it. Additionally, though, smart and shrewd you can by sure that these overseas buyers are the least likely to show social trust or civic commitment. How do you think they made their fortunes in these countries? They have absorbed these attitudes as family/social values and will pass them on to their children. America’s magic dirt is not strong enough to prevent the implantation of such cynicism.

        Bingo. Why should heritage Americans be priced out of the kinds of neighborhoods our parents were able to afford by foreign nationals? It’s not good for us and it’s not good for American society.

        Hermes

        July 27, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      • Why should heritage Americans be priced out of the kinds of neighborhoods our parents were able to afford by foreign nationals?

        They’re being priced out because of racial minorities, not Russian oligarchs.

        No one in Manhattan is moving their children out of local schools because billionaire Russian oligarch kids are stealing their lunch money.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        July 27, 2017 at 10:33 pm

      • I didn’t say they were being priced out by Russian oligarchs. But the reason middle-class people can’t afford a house in Davis, California is not because of NAMs, it’s because of wealthy Chinese nationals treating American residential real estate as just another financial holding, a place to park their wealth. Again, why should Joe the software engineer, his wife, and their two young children, who are actually a part of America and its civic life, have to compete with Xiaoping and his suitcase full of cash?

        Hermes

        July 28, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    • Before Russia’s occupation of Ukraine prompted American and EU sanctions Russian oligarchs were buying up swank properties in New York, London, and other global hotspots.

      I’d be surprised if most elite New York real estate firms haven’t made big deals with Russian oligarchs sometime between 2000 and 2014. Trump was just one of a number of real estate execs who got great business from them.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      July 27, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    • It depends entirely where you are. In London, and probably NY, it’s the Russians. In Miami it’s the Brazilians. In Aus/NZ/Vancouver/Silicon Valley it’s the Chinese. It’s different depending on the location of the city.

      SC

      July 27, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    • Of course its the Chinese, their economy is around 10x the size of Russia’s with similiar wealth distribution. There are far more Chinese ultra-wealthy than Russians, but Russians get all the press.

      Alex

      July 28, 2017 at 4:21 am

  2. The recently opened Trump Tower here in Vancouver, Canada contains both a luxurious hotel and very expensive condos. Since its opening, the tower has been the favourite target of local SJWs/SWPLs who are happy to protest Trump on a moment’s notice. Vancouver based liberals who like to believe that only racists and Grade Five dropouts are attracted to the Trump name have been going through a lot of cognitive dissonance lately as the Trump Tower Vancouver has done and continues to do booming business with the ultra wealthy Chinese and Gulf Arab types. The local SWPL’s emphatically claim that they would never set foot inside the building, the truth of course is that they could never afford to.

    Roli

    July 27, 2017 at 2:06 pm

  3. “And by the way, when the article talks about ‘foreign cash,’ it means paying in full with a money transfer, it doesn’t mean literally showing up with a suitcase full of cash.”

    this is funny.

    rivelino

    July 27, 2017 at 2:07 pm

  4. The Russian oligarchs, who should be shot together with their whole families and have their assets confiscated, transfer their wealth to the West and enjoy it unmolested. This is true for oligarchs of all countries. Western support for freedom and democracy is a farce.

    Yakov

    July 27, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    • Agreed. The irony is that the U.S. put most of those oligarchs into power in the first place.

      peterike

      July 27, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    • Regarding oligarchs, it seems that all Putin succeed in doing was to strip the Yeltsin era oligarchs of much of their assets (except those who defected to his side) and enrich his own cronies. Russian people still got screwed. Still, all in all, Putin is better than Yeltsin.

      Why couldn’t Gorbachov have stayed on the scene? He seemed to be a decent and courageous man. It is amazing how little is said of Gorbachov today, yet he is the man who ended the Soviet Union and the specter of European communist domination. Gorbachov is a good man.

      Daniel

      July 27, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      • Gorbachev was a disaster. He presided of the break up of the USSR, not its orderly separation. There was no plan, no vision, no control of the situation.

        Yakov

        July 27, 2017 at 8:08 pm

      • Gorbachev was a liberal. And I have a deep, visceral disgust for all liberals.

        destructure

        July 27, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      • There was no plan, no vision, no control of the situation.

        In Russia there never is.

        To put it another way, how could the dissolution of the Soviet Union have been done in an orderly, non-corrupt, way?

        The Undiscovered Jew

        July 27, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    • why?

      destructure

      July 27, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    • The irony is that the U.S. put most of those oligarchs into power in the first place.

      How?

      The Undiscovered Jew

      July 27, 2017 at 6:05 pm

      • Larry Summers and the Harvard Gang. It’s one of the untold stories of the time. Even the woman who wrote a book about it couldn’t get it published. It was, shall we say, a very ethnically based operation. You can look it up. Here’s a place to start:

        http://28sherman.blogspot.com/2015/11/when-russian-mafia-is-not-russian-mafia.html

        peterike

        July 28, 2017 at 10:24 am

      • Larry Summers and the Harvard Gang.

        There was no way the Soviet Union could have been dissolved in a non-corrupt way no matter how much you want to blame Jews for the financial looting that took place.

        There was nothing Summers could have advised that would have prevented the wind down from Communism from being chaotic.

        On balance, the 10 period wasn’t that bad for the Russians.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        July 28, 2017 at 11:32 am

      • So Summers and Harvard advisers recommended the former Soviet Union transition to a market based economy and that transition was plagued by financial corruption.

        How was that America’s fault when corruption was sure to happen no matter how the transition was managed?

        The Undiscovered Jew

        July 28, 2017 at 11:37 am

  5. Yet another thing Trump should put the kibosh on. No more foreign students. No more foreign real estate grabs. Of course, too much money involved in both, and it’ll never happen.

    Meanwhile, what do Republicans spend their time on? Still doing idiot things like trying to defund Planned Parenthood.

    http://nypost.com/2017/07/27/gop-wants-to-defund-planned-parenthood-for-a-year-in-skinny-repeal/

    To me, that’s just more proof that the two party system is a farcical setup designed to deliberately separate people based on social issues, while the ruling class continues to loot the nation and gets all the things it REALLY wants (open borders, the surveillance state, the endless war, homomania, fiat money, etc.).

    Keep the rubes righting over bathrooms and abortions while we throw another trillion on the debt pile and rob everyone blind.

    peterike

    July 27, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    • If it wasn’t for the 2 party system, the elites would have united to stop Trump the same way they did to Le Pen in France. The problem isn’t the 2 party system, the 2 party system is what gave us the most nationalist head of state in the western world. The problem is that America is filled with stupid Christians.

      Otis the Sweaty

      July 27, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      • Remind me, how do Jews vote?

        Andrew E.

        July 27, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      • In the last NYC Mayoral election, a higher percentage of Jews voted for the Republican than any other demographic group.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        July 27, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      • Excellent. Then I’ll be expecting 60% support for Trump during his re-election. Evangelicals will of course give Trump 80+%

        Andrew E.

        July 27, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      • The Jews are by and large part of the Left bloc. They aren’t our problem. The stupid Christians (not the same thing as all Christians, most Christians are not stupid) however *are* our problem. They tried to steal the nomination from Trump.

        Otis the Sweaty

        July 27, 2017 at 8:03 pm

      • Excellent. Then I’ll be expecting 60% support for Trump during his re-election.

        You are entitled to expect shit.

        Therefore, 100% support for Israel no matter what the Jewish vote for Trump is.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        July 27, 2017 at 10:31 pm

  6. This has been going on for many years. The first house I bought in the 1980s after getting married was a 4 bedroom 2400 sf house in a upscale community of Silicon Valley. The house was owned by a young Chinese woman and her mother. The mother lived in Hong Kong and did not have US social security number. What I was told was the mother had bought this house for her daughter to live in while she went to college. The house was not particularly close to the college she was attending and the daughter didn’t live in the house for very long. She rented the house out and probably lived in an apartment near the campus. The daughter was now married and lived in some very upscale area.

    For many years Chines have been buying up houses in the upscale parts of the bay area. Originally they were from Twain and Hong Kong, but now from the main China too. I have never heard of these houses sitting vacant though. Usually part of the family lives in the house or it is rented.

    mikeca

    July 27, 2017 at 3:03 pm

  7. When are you going to review Tombstone and Brotherhood?

    Tombstone is interesting because it is a very early 90s type movie. It was made at the twilight of when America was still America. It was an optimistic and exceedingly romanticized version of events that are folklore in American history, but no longer matter to us as a nation because we aren’t really America any longer. Also had no blacks, or at least none of any significance. The film starred Powers Boothe, Val Kilmer and Kurt Russell, men who would never be movie stars today.

    Although Brotherhood never got great ratings, in was an interesting show dealing with the decline of Old America. A theme of the show is the old stock ethnic whites (in the case of Brotherhood, prole Irish Americans) being displaced by Latinos. Brotherhood is what got me into immigration. It is also an interesting show in that in delves deep in the lives and society of proles and it examines local Democratic machine politics.

    Ultimately, Tombstone is a very optimistic movie which is representative of it’s optimistic era. The 90s were in many ways the best time in American history, and I can remember just the general good feelings that there were back then. Not only were things good, but we all felt that they would stay good or even get better.

    Brotherhood comes from the mid aughts and, in contrast to Tombstone, is very pessimistic. The general feeling in Brotherhood is of an America lost, ruined mainly by mass immigration.

    Otis the Sweaty

    July 27, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    • I was not able to find a good watchable copy of Brotherhood, however I discovered I have access to Showtime Anytime so I will be watching it.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      July 27, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    • A theme of the show is the old stock ethnic whites (in the case of Brotherhood, prole Irish Americans) being displaced by Latinos.

      Sort of like Clint Eastwood’s 2008 “Gran Torino.”

      The 90s were in many ways the best time in American history, and I can remember just the general good feelings that there were back then.

      I agree, and one reason I can’t dislike Bill Clinton. The Monica Lewinsky affair and the impeachment proceedings turned out to be just entertainment and the media made it out to be about a whole lot of nothing. After the 1990 recession, the economy (and my wages and job opportunities) boomed after Clinton’s election.

      E. Rekshun

      July 28, 2017 at 5:07 am

  8. Putin hates this phenomenon. “Deoffshorization” is actually a major part of his politics. He wants economic elites to be patriotic, stay in Russia and invest at home.

    Globalism enables predatory elites.

    Contrarian

    July 27, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    • If Putin hated it he would’ve done something about it after 18 years.

      snorlaxwp

      July 28, 2017 at 10:07 am

  9. This is happening because the world is transitioning away from USD hegemony to a multilateral reserve currency system like Keynes’ Bancor. The value of the dollar will be decreasing substantially over the next 5-10 years. In time, national currencies will not be valid outside of defined borders, and all foreign exchanges will have to be settled in Bancors or something similar. So, there is going to be a massive influx of dollars.

    In the near term, foreign dollars will likely be funneled through a UN body and used for infrastructure spending, which will stabilize the global quantity of Bancors. This will be a major means of settling the huge balance of payments deficit the US has run up since the Nixon Shock.

    Helmut Schmidt

    July 27, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    • The value of the dollar will be decreasing substantially over the next 5-10 years. In time, national currencies will not be valid outside of defined borders, and all foreign exchanges will have to be settled in Bancors or something similar.

      100% chance altright/whatever has no influence on American dollar domination and the US continues to spend as much as it wants using a fiat currency.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      July 27, 2017 at 10:30 pm

      • The US spends as much as it wants because, since the Nixon Shock, the USD has been the primary means of settling foreign exchanges. As Triffin made clear with his “Triffin Dilemma”, this has many problems. At the moment, the world’s powers (primarily the BRICS nations and their vassals) are publically committed to ending this system. It’s over.

        Helmut

        July 28, 2017 at 8:13 am

      • As Triffin made clear with his “Triffin Dilemma”, this has many problems. At the moment, the world’s powers (primarily the BRICS nations and their vassals) are publically committed to ending this system.

        Dollar dominance isn’t entirely subject to economic concerns of the BRICS.

        The American military provides the industrialized world with defense and stability that would otherwise have to be paid out of their own pockets. The game will continue because no other Western power is ready to become militarily self-sufficient.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        July 28, 2017 at 11:50 am

      • “The American military provides the industrialized world with defense and stability that would otherwise have to be paid out of their own pockets. The game will continue because no other Western power is ready to become militarily self-sufficient.”

        I wasn’t aware that Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa were Western countries. In case you didn’t notice, relations with these countries is far from ideal.

        As I have said elsewhere, ALL are working to end using the USD for foreign exchange, and China is already issuing sovereign debt in IMF special drawing rights, which are somewhat similar but less advanced than Keynes’ Bancor.

        Helmut

        July 28, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      • I wasn’t aware that Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa were Western countries.

        The only one of those 4 that could eventually challenge dollar hegemony is China. Brazil, South Africa, Russia, and India are irrelevant, the last two may well have incentives to support dollar hegemony to counter China.

        Our defense-dollar relationship with other Western nations ensures dollar dominance regardless of those other states.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        July 28, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    • In the near term, foreign dollars will likely be funneled through a UN body and used for infrastructure spending,

      Huh? No way America sells infrastructure rights to foreigners in big enough numbers to settle dollar balances. No way at all. And America is not going to manage the end of the dollar system through the UN! We’re far more likely to kick the UN out of the US altogether. But I’m sure Trump will let foreign dollars buy as much of our energy exports as we can pull out of the ground.

      Andrew E.

      July 27, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      • The huge balance of payments deficit MUST be settled. Whether it is with the UN or not, if the US wishes to be part of the global economy, these reforms will have to be made. Like it or not, there is a reason there are so many supranational infrastructure investment banks – this is the preferred way of integrating countries into supranational financial systems.

        Irrespective of that, the US MUST participate in this transition to a multilateral reserve currency system, otherwise it will be frozen out of foreign markets and will be isolated as the Soviet Union was; forced to barter.

        The BRICS countries are already on board. China has already started issuing sovereign debt denominated in IMF special drawing rights, which function somewhat like Keynes’ Bancor, but what will likely be replaced in time. How do know this? China has specifically called for the Bancor on many occasions

        http://www.e-ir.info/2009/04/12/the-return-of-the-bancor-chinese-ascendancy-and-the-global-monetary-system

        Helmut

        July 28, 2017 at 8:17 am

      • The Bank of International Settlements will handle the transition. And it’s much more likely that balance of payments will be settled in massively re-valued gold bulllion (gold as an asset, not a currency. big difference) than any kind of Bancor.

        Andrew E.

        July 28, 2017 at 9:31 am

      • It is absurd to suggest that gold will have any relevance. The original Bretton Woods system failed BECAUSE of gold. Moreover, *the major world powers are opposed to it*.

        Helmut

        July 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      • Bretton Woods failed because they treated gold as money(currency) instead of a wealth asset. Central banks have tens of thousands of tonnes of bullion on their balance sheets, collectively. How many bancors do they have? Regardless, we’ll find out soon enough.

        Andrew E.

        July 28, 2017 at 5:19 pm

  10. welcome to australia for the past 15 yrs.

    james n.s.w

    July 27, 2017 at 11:27 pm


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: