SOFR Transition: It’s Not Done Yet!

We’ve written before about our anxiety regarding the fact that SOFR does not really seem fit for purpose to support commercial mortgage lending or indeed any cash product.  (The nonsense about charging interest in arrears should have been a tell, to be honest.)  Of course, the real problem is the absence of a credit-sensitive component to the new index, particularly in this time and place.  That strikes me as almost fatal to the ambitions of the ARRC to remake the market in its image.  SOFR is an open invitation for value transfer from lenders to borrowers at a time when inflation is closer than the horizon and an inexorable climb in the short end of the yield curve is most certainly on offer.

Continue Reading

A Modest Proposal: Why Can’t CRE CLOs Be More Like Corporate CLOs?

Here at Dechert, we have market-leading practices in CRE CLO as well as corporate CLOs, including broadly syndicated and middle market structures.  So, every day that I peer into these two alternate universes, I’m astonished at how different these two fundamentally similar leverage technologies really are.  Certainly, even at a modest remove, they look pretty much the same.  A sponsor is looking for match term leverage and has developed a healthy disquietude about the mark to marketness of the repo market and has read CrunchedCredit assiduously and understands that portfolio lenders need multiple modalities of leverage.  Said well-educated sponsor conveys financial assets into a securitization vehicle which issues time and ratings tranched debt to a wide range of investors seeking exposure to the space in a more liquid and more focused risk/yield return way.  Tada!

Continue Reading

We All Need Practice Spelling ESG

Let me first apologize to my readership. I have been very dilatory in getting this commentary done and this topic is… a bit daunting. In my defense, working for a living can get in the way of thinking and writing. In any event, I have been doing some considerable reading about Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues recently. It had not really been on my screen, in a big way, but has been bubbling along as a thing, important to some, but not so much for us denizens of the commercial real estate finance space. Continue Reading

Rick Jones Q&A with the Mortgage Bankers Association

Crunched Credit’s own Rick Jones spoke with the Mortgage Bankers Association about both the threats and opportunities facing the CMBS market as the global pandemic rages on. Covering everything from the Biden Administration, and what it means for regulation in the banking industry, to the “hot mess” that is the LIBOR transition, the interview discusses a host of relevant topics. For more, including Rick’s optimistic outlook for 2021 and beyond, be sure to read the entire interview here: The CMBS Market During the Pandemic: Q&A with Dechert’s Richard Jones.

LIBOR: First They Blinked and Now Some Hope, But a New Problem and It’s Big

First, the ARRC, playing Charlton Heston, playing Moses, brings down from on high the ten commandments of SOFR and lo, we were sore afraid and with veneration, professed we had no God but SOFR.  A solution of sorts to a somewhat self-inflicted problem.  As we have observed before, we continue to think the solution to the problem of bankers diddling LIBOR is to punish bankers and shore up the system to make it more robust and not to blow up trillions of dollars of transactions and 40 years of precedent.  But that train has left the station.

Continue Reading

CREFC Annual Conference: The Virtual Edition

Last week, over 4,200 of our closest friends met virtually for the annual January conference by the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council, which is usually held in Miami. While we have all learned to go without in the last year, going without seeing the “smart resort wear” of our colleagues was almost too much to bear. Thankfully, CREFC put together an informative and interactive conference – complete with a virtual lobby that played in between sessions featuring a guy on his cell phone walking in circles. Talk about realistic! Best of all, CREFC honored the real reason we attend conferences and provided a “virtual swag bag.” All in all, CREFC did the best they could under the circumstances and we agree that’s all we ask of anyone or thing at this point. Continue Reading

Highlights Of The Latest COVID-19 Relief Bill

The New Year is already proving to be a busy one. A new Congress, new COVID-19 strains and vaccine promises, and a new stimulus package making its way to American citizens and businesses. The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 was signed into law just before the New Year. And while the $600 checks being sent directly to the American people and the extension of additional unemployment benefits seems to have captured the national attention, the $900 billion relief package will provide support to much more than the personal pocketbook.

Continue Reading

Elections Matter: My Dead Nuts Certain Guarantees for 2021

Happy Inauguration Day (I hope).

Every turning of the year makes for a convenient point to look backwards, and of course, forward, but this year seems to actually denote some sort of inflection point and, as a card-carrying member of the blogosphere, I feel compelled to burden you with my views as to what the next year will hold for us all.  I am unburdened by anxiety or discomfiture in doing so, as the prediction business is one of asymmetrical risk and reward.  An anodyne exercise, I trust.  No one actually expects talking heads to be right, and no one remembers when you’re wrong; but in the blind cat finding a dead mouse type of way, if you are right, you get to annoyingly trumpet your breathtakingly erudite and accurate prediction over and over again for the rest of the year.

After predicting a terrific 2020 last January, how wrong could I be this time? Continue Reading

LIBOR: They Blinked!

My, my, my! Another governmental red line looks to be breached; at least this time no one gets hurt. We, at CrunchedCredit, have in some sense been carrying the government’s water about LIBOR transitions. We have been talking about how to prepare for transition, how to move current loan production onto a sound non-LIBOR basis and how to address legacy assets. In other words, we had taken seriously the warnings of the FCA and the Fed, as well as others upon the regulatory heights who assured us that the LIBOR transition would arrive in early 2022. While we had heard stray musings from the regulatory establishment throughout, we all took on board the assurances from the regulatory doyens and rebroadcast their message, that everyone’s “central assumption” should be that they “cannot rely on LIBOR being published after the end of 2021.”

I gotta tell you, I feel a little bit like Charlie Brown with the government playing Lucy.

Continue Reading

LexBlog