New Year! New Administration! Same EB-5 Dilemma!

Since 2015, we here at Crunched Credit have tracked, followed and discussed the developments (or lack thereof) concerning the Immigration Investor Program, more commonly known as the “EB-5 Visa Program.” Throughout the past year, we’ve witnessed the approval of several extensions of the EB-5 Visa Program and in each instance, no substantive changes were included—these extensions were solely put in place in order to prevent the expiration of one of the most successful investment programs. Continue Reading

Alternative Facts? A World Without Dodd-Frank and Basel III

What if Dodd-Frank and Basel III were to largely go away? Eliminating Dodd-Frank has been a hobbyhorse of Representative Hensarling, the chair of the House Services Committee, for several years and has figured prominently in President Trump’s campaign talking points. But the conventional wisdom has been that any sort of transformational uprooting of the Dodd-Frank and Basel III thicket was unlikely.

That’s what I thought, too. In fact, I have bloviated to that point in the press and on podiums many times. From the moment when everyone’s thinking was refocused that November 9th morning, I had thought that while major disruptions of many things were in the cards, Dodd-Frank and the Basel III architecture really weren’t on the menu. Now I’m starting to wonder. Sure, I still think major retrenchment is not going to happen, but my conviction that it’s impossible is what now gives me pause. Let’s face it, while rarely in doubt, I’m wrong a lot.

So just in case I am wrong, yet again, and some version of repeal or replace happens for Dodd-Frank and Basel III is rejected or slow-walked to death, what might that mean? It’s time to start planning for alternative facts. Continue Reading

Substantive Consolidation: It’s Alive and Well (or Maybe Just Alive)

The doctrine of substantive consolidation (generally- the power of a bankruptcy court to consolidate the assets and liabilities of affiliated entities in bankruptcy) is a recognized remedy exercised by bankruptcy courts – one that strikes fear into the hearts of many lenders. Justifiably so. The doctrine can be employed to order the substantive consolidation of related-debtor entities in bankruptcy and it can also be employed to substantively consolidate the assets of a debtor in bankruptcy with those of a related entity that is not a debtor in bankruptcy. Picture this: A parent entity files for bankruptcy and all the goodies are in a series of subsidiaries and the companies have never respected corporate niceties. The bankruptcy court presiding over the bankruptcy of the debtor-parent entity orders that the non-bankrupt SPE borrower will be dragged into bankruptcy and its assets used to satisfy the creditors of both the SPE borrower and the parent. Ta da. Continue Reading

Dechert’s Financial Regulation Reform Tracker: An Essential Tool for an Uncertain Time

Financial Regulation Reform Tracker

The Trump administration and Republican Congress have big plans for the next four years.  The financial industry could face a complete policy 180 faster than the POTUS can tweet out 140 characters.  Or a delicately crafted executive order could have no actual real world impact at all.

To keep up with it all, we at Dechert are proud to introduce the Financial Regulation Reform Tracker, a tracking tool we developed to keep you abreast of executive actions, legislation and regulations from announcement to enactment and beyond.  Our Tracker aims to give you the right amount of information to help you understand what’s happening and how it could affect you.  Subscribe to receive email alerts with the latest developments or visit the Financial Regulation Reform Tracker website for more information.

For more information about finance, real estate and securitization matters related to our dynamic legislative and regulatory landscape, please contact Rick Jones or Devin Swaney.

What’s To Be Done about a Rule That Doesn’t Work?

HVCRE

Adding to the mountain of uncertainty for 2017 is how to interpret and implement (and…what is the fate of) the HVCRE (High Volatility Commercial Real Estate) regulations that came into effect January 1, 2015 (yup…that’s right…2 years and still no clarity) and which were implemented as part of the Basel III regulatory framework.  So what to do next? First, see the Q&A with the co-chairs of the CREFC HVCRE working group—Krystyna Blakeslee, Partner at Dechert, and Marci Schmerler, Shareholder at Carlton Fields—in the latest issue of CREFC World. And then, please don’t hesitate to contact Krystyna Blakeslee or Rick Jones to discuss HVCRE. For more background on the HVCRE regulations, see previous Crunched Credit posts here and here.

Hey Guys, Let’s Sue a Financial Institution! Our Government at Play

This is all about the difficulty of taking the punch bowl away from a roaring good party. Over the past several weeks a number of major banks folded under enormous pressure from the US DOJ to settle fraud claims resulting from the sale of bonds prior to the financial crisis of 2008. The allegations here were that, as they have been in many many cases over the past several years, the banks knowingly sold bonds backed by crappy residential mortgage loans. Apparently, no one else had a clue that this stuff was crap! Who knew? These last suite of deals were relative bargains for the banks because, reportedly, the DOJ was highly motivated to get these deals done before Mr. Trump took the helm at the White House.

For some reason this calmed investors’ concerns.

I don’t get it. Continue Reading

2017 CREFC January Conference – Primed for a Comeback

The 2017 CREFC January Conference, which took place last week at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, provided an opportunity for those in the commercial real estate finance industry to reflect on an eventful 2016, and look ahead to 2017.  Although attendance was down by almost 11% this year (we’ll blame Zika), around 1,600 people attended this year’s conference.  The mood of the conference was generally upbeat, with most attendees expressing cautious optimism for 2017.  As usual, the parties were lively, and 435 people attended Dechert’s reception at the SLS Hotel on Monday night to indulge in sushi surfboards and the national championship game.

While the panels, meetings and forums provided an opportunity to take the pulse of the industry, and we will get to 2017 and beyond shortly, we need to pause for a moment and look back at a year which may be an inflection point in our industry, our country, and possibly the world.

Continue Reading

All You Villainous Bankers: Time to Take Off Those Black Hats

Standing on the beach and gazing at the exotic and unmapped shores of Trumpania (the land remade by the orange swan on November 9th), I am struck by the discontinuity of having watched our government and chattering class looking at our banking sector exclusively through the lens of risk and distrust these past 8 years only now discovering that it might make sense to look at the banking sector through the lens of growth. Headline News! The banking sector is a critical component of a growing healthy economy! Who would have thought! The signs are already there that the focus of the government will be significantly less on bolstering prudential regulation and materially more on empowering the banks to provide liquidity needed for the economy to reach that magic 4% place that Mr. Trump has told us that we will achieve. Continue Reading

CrunchedCredit.com’s 7th Annual Golden Turkey Awards

As is our tradition here at Crunched Credit, each year, about this time, we present our Golden Turkey Awards. In a year of monumentally bad surprises, we truly had difficulty narrowing our list down to only the exceptionally worthy candidates. Voters, governments and regulators sent shockwaves throughout the world in 2016, upending markets and throwing much of what we thought we knew into the proverbial dumpster fire of society. If what we know now we knew when we last gave the Golden Turkey Awards, we may have taken a pass on 2016. It can’t get any worse, right? As we get ready to step into the unknown of 2017, here is our list for 2016: Continue Reading

Love (Financially Speaking) in the Time of Trump

This commentary is not customarily about politics, although those with a subtle cast of mind might get an inkling of some my personal views from my always dry and balanced language.  However, right now, it’s hard not to think explicitly about politics and the new Trump administration.

Continue Reading

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