Millennials – Lazy And Entitled – Tired Of It!

millennial lawyer happy businessperson in a suitEveryone knows that millennials are lazy and entitled – it is common knowledge!

I really hate it when people say that kind of thing. It is just the same sort of stereotyping that you hear about races, religions, and other groups of people. Stereotypes, as we all know so well, don’t just insult people; they are worse than that because they start a harmful cycle of a self-fulfilling prophecy in a negative direction.

It is the opposite of the wise Dale Carnegie’s advice – given close to 100 years ago in his amazing book, How to Win Friends and Influence People (affiliate link). He says:

“Give a person a fine reputation to live up to.”

Negative stereotypes do the exact opposite.

So for some reason, some people – who I assume are from my amazingly wonderful baby boomer generation — have labeled millennials as lazy and entitled. I have one word to say about that:


We all do our best not to fall into traps laid by others and make our own decisions and determinations. As for myself, I am confident in saying that I have personally interacted with a great number of millennials, both in the workplace and in my personal life. Some are indeed lazy and entitled, and some are super-hardworking people who want to set the world on fire. But I don’t see any reason to believe the dispersion between lazy and entitled versus super-hardworking is any different from my (truly extraordinarily wonderful and amazing) baby boomer generation.

And – let’s be honest – what did our parents think of us baby boomers when we were growing up? Didn’t we get the odd butt-kicking to get off our lazy asses and mow the lawn?

Bottom line is that millennials are just people like everyone else. There is absolutely no reason to group them in the first place. However, if you feel the need to group them and come up with some stereotypes for millennials, for heaven’s sake please follow Dale Carnegie’s advice and come up with some good things to say.

This is a bit of a rant – and I am sorry for that – however, I really see something needlessly negative going on, and I think we all have enough to think about and worry about without creating needless troubles for ourselves and others.

Finally, I conclude with a recommendation to read Dale Carnegie’s book. It is a treasure. If you don’t believe me, ask Warren Buffett, who (it was reported in a biography of Buffett) read it over 100 times, and he hasn’t done that badly.

What is Up with China? Effect on the Real Estate Deals? News from the Real Estate Front in NYC

My law firm is in NYC handling real estate transactions in the US that originate from counterparties based all over the world.  A bunch of these transactions depend on money coming in from China (debt or equity or other structure).  It used to be there was always a degree of uncertainty about the viability of this capital, but this uncertainty was gradually diminishing as more Chinese players developed stature and reputation in the US.

However, there are some recent events that are hitting US real estate pertaining to the use of Chinese capital.  I cannot say we are a canary in a coal mine, but as a law firm in the thick of deals in NYC and other places in the US, I have seen the following just in the past couple of weeks:

A China law firm that I have been dealing with regularly had a client planning on doing US deals.  We were moving forward together until I received the following email:

“As you may know, recently China is facing to the emerging issues of increasing Chinese capital outflows and devaluation of the RMB.  Therefore, the Chinese government has tightened the regulation policies on out-bound investments in recent days, especially the investments by Chinese [investment funds] in the form of partnership and investments into foreign real estate markets.  This makes it difficult for the client to move forward with their US real estate projects.  They are now under internal discussion and evaluation of the situations so we may have to wait for some time.”

A friend of mine in China who is very connected to the US and the Chinese real estate industries gave me the following quote.  I respect him highly but he did not want attribution.  He said:
“….. the open tap of Chinese money for US real estate was if not shut completely this week then it is now at best left a dripping faucet.  The authorities may backtrack, or not fully implement the announced draconian controls, but the atmosphere has changed beyond recognition.”

A client of mine had its Chinese financial partner drop out of a deal due at the last minute due to the counterparty’s China office overruling the New York Office, which had approved and strongly backed the deal.

There is much more going on as well, including the new Presidential administration, the sharp rise in interest rates, general volatility in the markets due to a possible belief that the up-turn in the US economy is getting long in the tooth, public  statements from companies like Starwood that they are hitting the “pause button” on real estate acquisitions, stalled sales of luxury apartments in New York City, and much more.

As per prior Real Estate Philosopher articles, I do NOT make predictions about the future, except to state with certainty that neither I (nor anyone else) has a crystal ball; however, anecdotally it seems to be true that a fair number of investors in US real estate are indeed pulling back right now.  And the China money spigot slowing to a trickle may have a deleterious effect on pricing, deal flow and other matters pertaining to US real estate transactions.

Of course, one party’s troubles is often another party’s opportunity; accordingly, potentially all of this may spell a chance to make advantageous US real estate investments for opportunistic real estate players.  That is not of course a formal prediction but seems to be getting more likely every day.

One last point I will make about Chinese money is to distinguish between money that is “on-shore” (in mainland China) and money that is “off-shore” (outside of mainland China).  If the money is “on-shore” that likely means that it will be a lot harder to have it show up in a US real estate deal.  If it is already “off-shore” that likely means it will be a lot easier.  I don’t have the skillset to be able to dig much deeper here, but the foregoing is generally an accurate statement.  So, if you are a US player working with the Chinese right now, this should be a threshold question that you might use to gauge the likelihood of the investment succeeding.

Finally, if you have anecdotes you would like to share, I would certainly appreciate learning as much as possible.

Finally, finally, here are links to some recent articles on this subject: