Part 1: Japan

American exceptionalism is a gift and a curse. On the one hand, the belief that the United States is singularly suited to solve the world’s problems gives us the confidence to tackle big issues and helps foster incredible breakthroughs- like ushering in the information age or tackling complex challenges related to renewable energy, more efficient transport, or logistical hurdles like delivering more than half a billion packages a year to consumers ala Amazon.

On the other hand, a fervent and unquestioning belief in exceptionalism is by definition myopic, and a lack of interest or understanding of the successes of other…


If you ask nine out of ten people how McDonald’s makes a profit they might mention something about Burgers and fries or Mcflurries. They would not, however, start talking about McDonald’s Franchise Realty Corporation or their multibillion-dollar property empire.

Of course, McDonald’s sells a lot of Mcflurries, not to mention burgers and fries. However, many are unaware of the far-reaching extent of the McDonald’s property empire.

McDonald’s started very small- as companies tend to do. The brothers McDonald opened their first restaurant- a hot dog stand- in 1937. They experienced some success in Pasadena, CA and chugged along until 1953…


The real estate industry is on fire throughout much of the country. For real estate industry professionals and current property owners that is a good thing. For rapidly growing ranks of folks who rent- it is not such a good thing. Rents are increasing drastically in every major metropolitan area in the country. Coastal cities like Seattle, Portland or San Francisco have seen the most dramatic rises. In San Francisco, a typical home that would have sold for roughly 650,000 at the height of the 2009 recession now sells for close to 1.5 million. …

UnReal Estate: Greed in the Real Estate Biz

Welcome to UnReal Estate: Scams, Scoundrels, and Scofflaws by me, your humble reporter and real estate insider. Don’t miss the dish, follow meeee.

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