Explaining Southern California's economy

LA rent: New UCLA study confirms LA is least affordable city in US

Vacancy Rate For U.S. Apartments Reaches Highest Rate In 20 Years

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The twist with this new study from UCLA is that it highlights the fact that affordability is not a new post-recession problem, but one that has been getting worse for decades.

A new UCLA study confirms that Los Angeles is now the least affordable rental market in the country, based on the portion of a renters’ income that goes to pay rent.

The study from UCLA's Ziman Center for Real Estate shows that the average renter in Los Angeles, which has the highest percentage of renters in the country, devotes 47 percent of his or her paycheck to rent. (You can read the full study at the end of this post.)

It's the latest depressing news about L.A.'s rental market, and it comes with a twist: affordability is not a new post-recession problem, but one that has been getting worse for decades.

RELATED: How affordable is rent in your neighborhood?

“Our studies show a severe housing burden among poor renters has existed since 1970,” said Paul Ong, professor of urban planning, social welfare and Asian-American studies, who co-wrote the study, in a statement.


USC's Haden unsurprised by O'Bannon decision, but what exactly is the decision?


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File: Then UCLA forward Ed O'Bannon cuts down the net after their 89-78 victory over Arkansas in the NCAA final at the Kingdome in Seattle on April 3, 1995.

For months – even years – people have been eagerly awaiting a decision in former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon's case against the NCAA.

O'Bannon argued college players should be allowed to profit off their own likenesses, and the case has been seen as one of several that could cause the NCAA's amateur model to come crashing down.

"This is the most threatening lawsuit the NCAA has ever faced," Michael McCann, a University of New Hampshire sports law professor, told SI.com last year. "If O'Bannon prevails, it would radically change the economics of college sports."

But so far the decision, more than anything, has left people scratching their heads, except for apparently, USC's Athletic Director Pat Haden, who was a practicing attorney in the 1980's.

"The decision is not a surprise and something many of us anticipated," Haden said in a statement. "This will still play out for some time and while it does, USC will remain committed to doing as much as we possibly can for our student-athletes within the NCAA rules."


Clippers begin search for new ad agency to 'rebuild an established, well-known brand'

Clippers Paul Basketball

Mark J. Terrill/AP

The Los Angeles Clippers logo during an NBA basketball news conference to introduce Chris Paul h on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Los Angeles Clippers are looking for a new marketing agency as the team looks towards life in the post-Donald Sterling era. 

AdAge reports the Clippers are currently conducting a "review" of agencies, led by Boston-based Pile and Company, which specializes in searches for agencies and marketing executives.

According to a Request For Proposals quoted in AdAge, the Clippers want to hear from agencies with relevant experience in "rebuilding an established, well-known brand." 

"It's not surprising," said Paul Swangard, Managing Director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon. "If everything plays out as everyone hopes, it’ll be a whole new cast of folks who are helping this franchise come out of what has been a very dark period of its history." 

In May, Donald Sterling's wife, Shelley Sterling, made a deal to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Donald Sterling challenged the sale and his wife's authority to approve it in court, but a judge dismissed his arguments and upheld the sale.  


Russia's ban on imported farm products won't affect California growers

Almonds on the tree


The biggest export from the Golden State to Russia is almonds.

Russia retaliated Thursday for sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine by banning most food imports from the West, including the U.S., Canada and Australia.

But it turns out, Russia is a small buyer of California agricultural products, only ranking 15th in the world.  The biggest export from the Golden State to Russia is almonds.     

Dan Sumner, director of the University of California Agricultural Issues Center, says only 3 percent of almonds shipped overseas from California go to Russia.

“That’s not a trivial market,” Sumner said, “It’s important to some exporters, but it’s not a big deal.”

The ban, announced by a somber Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at a televised Cabinet meeting, covers all imports of meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, milk and milk products from the U.S. and Canada; all 28 EU countries, plus Norway; and Australia. It will last for one year.


Could California's film tax credit get a new script?

Hollywood Sign

Vlasta Juricek/flickr Creative Commons

The suspense has been building this week in the plot to expand California's Film and Television Production tax credit program.  

The bill has made its way through the California Assembly and is awaiting consideration by one last committee in the Senate - Appropriations - before going to the full Senate floor for a vote. AB 1839 was originally on the committee's crowded agenda for this past Monday, but was pushed back until next Monday.

Then came word that Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) had serious concerns about the bill.  Since he's the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations committee, those concerns commanded focus in Sacramento, reported Deadline Hollywood on Tuesday. 

“His conclusion is that the existing credit has too many weaknesses to be substantially expanded this year. At least not in the range the advocates are currently pushing,” said Dan Reeves, Chief of Staff to Senator de León, according to Deadline.