America’s Small Colleges Were Already Hurting Pre-Covid. Things Are About To Get Worse.

There was history underfoot at Vermont’s Marlboro College. Tucked away in the Green Mountains, the nonprofit institution founded at the end of World War II held its first graduation in 1948. Robert Frost read a poem at the ceremony and Life Magazine printed a picture of its lone alum: a former rifleman named Hugh Mulligan who spent the years after the war hobnobbing in Paris with the likes of Picasso and studied Shakespeare in operatic form. 

Mulligan died in 2008. And now Marlboro is gone too, shuttered after this year’s spring semester following years of fiscal turmoil. The bucolic 533-acre campus was sold for $1.725 million in cash and debt, plus operating expenses—a sum reportedly “far below the property’s assessed value.”

It’s hardly alone. At least a dozen independent, regional colleges are on the brink of collapse—mostly in the northeast—and all buckling from the one-two punch of dwindling enrollment

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America’s Largest Landlord Adds $1 Billion for Its House Hunt

Real-estate investors have a mountain of money looking for a home. Lately a lot of it is ending up in suburban single-family houses.

Invitation Homes Inc., the country’s largest rental-home owner, on Wednesday disclosed a joint venture with Boston property investor Rockpoint Group LLC that will result in more than $1 billion for the landlord’s ongoing house hunt.

Invitation, which owns about 80,000 houses, has been buying at a clip of roughly $200 million a quarter since a pause at the onset of the coronavirus lockdown. It sold $448 million of new shares in June to fuel its expansion, and the agreement with Rockpoint will add enough cash to buy about 3,500 more homes, said Dallas Tanner, Invitation’s chief executive.

It is the latest example of cash flowing from large money managers to single-family-rental companies. Financiers created the companies a decade ago to buy foreclosed homes by the thousand following

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‘The Con’: How 91-year-old Addie Polk’s suicide attempt in Ohio became a symbol of America’s home mortgage crisis

Addie Polk, a 90-year-old Black woman, shot herself twice in the chest as deputies were knocking at her door with eviction papers in hand. Polk, a widow, who lived in the house alone, knew when the foreclosure date of her home was and waited until the last moment before taking her own life in 2008. The Federal National Mortgage Association, Fannie Mae, foreclosed on Polk’s home in Akron, Ohio after acquiring a mortgage in 2007. 

Polk’s desperate measure made her a symbol of the nation’s home mortgage crisis, which saw hundreds of Americans rendered homeless. Polk was a deaconess at her church and was admired by her friends and fellow churchgoers. Some remembered her as a great cakemaker. Before the interest started piling up, Polk and her husband lived as a happy and loving couple. During the prime of their lives, the pair could have moved on to a bigger

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Home Depot Has Long Dominated America’s Newest Pastime: Home Improvement Projects

It all started with a firing—a very foolish one.

In 1978, Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank were executives at Handy Dan, a home improvement chain based in Southern California. Despite the business being very profitable, the pair had begun to tinker with a new idea. By lowering prices, they found, the stores’ volume shot up, making Handy Dan even more money. The executives had planned to implement that strategy systemwide, but they never got the chance. Corporate raider Sanford C. Sigoloff—who liked to call himself the “Skillful Scalpel”—took over the company, and deciding to save himself two salaries, got rid of Marcus and Blank.

That one decision probably prevented Handy Dan from becoming America’s home improvement leader. Instead, that honor would go to a place called The Home Depot.

Recruiting investment banker Ken Langone and retailer Pat Farrah, who’d run National Lumber and Supply Company, Marcus and Blank opened up

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