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Philip Freyre

Minneapolis, MN
Commenter for
3 years 20 weeks

Recent Comments

In 2010 Meredith Whitney predicted that there would be a string of municipal bond defaults. Her timing was wrong, and the ZIRP (zero interest rate policy) held by The Fed harmed her prediction, however she will be right at some point. Lately, Warren Buffet has jumped on the bandwagon predicting the same:


The one thing that downtown Minneapolis has been missing for most of its existence is a town square.

I don't know if there is enough activity at the southeast intersection of Hennepin & Washington, but this would be the perfect place if the buildings that surrounded it were surrounded by enough activity to make people feel safe.

Posted on 06/06/12 at 11:13 am in response to Ron Paul and the Fed: how we got to this point

Great article! I'm glad you're talking about this.

I generally side with Ron Paul on the Fed issue, however for me it goes further. I would argue that the place of banks in society is to act as utilities, just like Xcel Energy acts as a utility company for generating electricity - banks should act as utilities for people wishing to safely deposit their money.

The problem with The Fed is that all their money (currency and credit) is loaned into existence, and it must be paid...

Posted on 05/24/12 at 10:28 am in response to Agenda 21 and looming battles over urban development

I would like to argue that traditional urban development occurred naturally without any zoning, regulation, transit subsidies, mortgage interest-rate deduction, affordable housing, or government intervention in prior decades such as the 1910s. This was a time of small federal government, no income taxes, no United Nations, no Agenda 21, and small or nonexistant planning departments. We didn't need the government telling us how to build quality places.

In the 1910s transit ridership...

College attendance continues to climb because in our FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) economy, a college degree is mandatory. Attendance climbs because easy credit (student loans) are widely available and nearly all students are told that a college education is the best investment anyone can make. Well, it is... until the time comes that it isn't. While the Return On Investment for college may still be positive, we are now experiencing diminishing returns, because of the debt taken out...

Posted on 05/10/12 at 11:28 am in response to Rethinking Hennepin Avenue with urbanist Charles Landry

Yes, I like the idea about thinking small, we are done with mega developments for quit a while. Also, why don't we focus on temporary uses, and filling up empty spaces for now. I think its embarrassing that we have any empty frontages on a major downtown street like Hennepin or Nicollet (I'm primarily taking about the empty former record store on Nicollet & 10th Street, and the abandoned Chevy's Restaurant on Hennepin & 7th Street). We could at least put up temporary art, or rent the...

Posted on 04/18/12 at 08:22 am in response to Walking St. Louis with artists — and making back-home comparisons

I always wished that we had more density and older brick buildings in Minneapolis. I think I'm really drawn to older cities of the midwest and east coast for that reason. Here, it seems that anything south of Franklin Ave is primarily bungalows, except for a few nodes like Uptown - and all the other dense neighborhoods are within walking distance from downtown.

Of course, cities are products of their time, and as such its obvious that St. Louis has an older housing stock as it was...

Posted on 04/09/12 at 10:36 am in response to Twin Cities’ exurban housing boom stalls — perhaps for good

Just wait until gas hits $5, $6, $7 or $8 per gallon permanently in 5-10 years from now - then we'll have to question suburban developments like Eagan, or Blaine, or even Bloomington. Exurban developments are finished, period.

As James Howard Kunstler said, "suburban sprawl is the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world." The irony about the suburbs in my opinion is that technically there is nothing conservative or traditional about the living arrangement of...

Posted on 03/30/12 at 10:23 am in response to Why we don’t need to worry about inflation

I understand that part of economists’ roles is to provide a pleasant view of the markets, so people keep consuming, but its the bad stuff that goes unmentioned:

The Federal Reserve has unleashed two rounds of Quantitative Easing (money printing) as well as a third round called “Operation Twist” – it is the only reason the S&P 500 has been on a bull run lately.

Posted on 03/21/12 at 09:45 am in response to Are rising gas prices a sign of inflation?

First off, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) does NOT count food or energy prices.

Second off, oil is a finite substance. We have "extracted," rather than "produced" the cheap, easy to find light, sweet crude oil in domestic places such as Texas, Pennsylvania, and Alaska. We are now either seeing declines in major oil fields like Ghawar (Saudi Arabia), Cantarell (...