Category Archives: Commercial Mortgage Finance

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Beds without Heads: Hotels in the Era of the Coronavirus

The spread of COVID-19 has created a new reality for the hospitality industry. As of March 25, the CDC reported 54,453 confirmed cases in the U.S., and the number is expected to grow exponentially. In the hopes of slashing infection rates, governments have implemented international travel bans, shelter-in-place orders and other restrictive measures. The second-most … Continue Reading

OnPoint: Flood Insurance, Commercial Real Estate and Climate Change

The commercial real estate finance industry is facing substantial challenges due to climate change, particularly with respect to extreme flooding. As flood events continue to occur more frequently and with greater severity across the US, the role of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)—and its administration of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and flood … Continue Reading

Top 10 Things to Know About the Final HVCRE Rule

The Federal Reserve, OCC and FDIC have (finally) issued the Final HVCRE Rule (for background, our analysis of the 2018 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and 2019 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking are here and here), regarding High Volatility Commercial Real Estate (HVCRE) regulations that affect acquisition, development or construction (ADC) loans made by banking organizations that are … Continue Reading

Proposed Tax Rules on LIBOR Replacements Answer Some (But Not All) Questions

Last week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released proposed rules providing tax guidance around various LIBOR replacement issues.  Long anticipated.  The defenestration of LIBOR will leave considerable broken glass in its wake.  Perhaps just so the tax professionals wouldn’t feel left out, the end of LIBOR will create a series of tax problems.  Very … Continue Reading

Like Bonds, But Not Bankers, the CRE CLO is Maturing

With apologies to Madeline Kahn, in this case, it indeed is twu, it’s twu! The CRE CLO technology is maturing and evolving into the stable, match term, non-recourse, non-marked to market, dynamic portfolio lender lever technology that its fans (me among them) always thought that it could be. It’s just taken some time. Tainted by … Continue Reading

It’s Time to Fix Securitization: Are We Dinosaurs Staring Into the Tar Pit?

In order to avoid burying the lead, let me tell you where I’m going here.  The CRE securitization business is in trouble.  We need to throw out what biologists call the punctuated equilibrium, where once a system initially stabilizes, it thereafter changes little and resists radical change.  Elsewise, our business is at very material risk … Continue Reading

Contagion

Contagion, at least of the buggy sort, can make for a terrific, spooky movie. Remember Gwyneth Paltrow and Matt Damon in Contagion? (Spoiler alert – she dies early on.) Got to admit, I love The Stand and Captain Trips; we all love a good scare… in the movies. In reality, however, contagion means bad things … Continue Reading

Beany & CECL

Beany & Cecil was a cartoon.  The Current Expected Credit Loss accounting rules, better known as CECL, which the FASB is insisting will go into effect at the beginning of next year for publicly traded banks and lenders and a year later for all other GAAP reporting entities is not.  Now, heaven forfend that I … Continue Reading

Commercial Real Estate and Climate Change

God help me, I’m finally writing about climate change.  This commentary assiduously avoids the obviously political (we take the view that complaining about and belittling our elected representatives and the permanent bureaucracy for doing boneheaded things is entirely apolitical).  And while even the phrase “climate change” carries with it a certain frisson of a capital … Continue Reading

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones, But Words Really Matter

After an evening checking out my various high school and college yearbooks for any troublesome content, and checking Mom’s photo albums (I’m good on the yearbooks, but there were a couple cowboy and Indian pics from when I was about 7, that could be troublesome), it got me thinking hard about the power of words, … Continue Reading

The Boundaries of Risk Retention Now That the D.C. Circuit Has Spoken

In February, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled in The Loan Syndications and Trading Association v. Securities and Exchange Commission and Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, No. 17-5004 (D.C. Cir. Feb. 9, 2018) (the “LSTA decision”) that a manager of an open market CLO is not required to retain risk under the … Continue Reading

Securitizing Marijuana Dispensary Properties in the Sessions Era

In 2013, the Obama administration issued the Cole Memorandum, which called a truce between federal prosecutors and marijuana businesses operating legitimately under state law.  After regime change in Washington, however, it may come as no surprise that Jeff Sessions—the Attorney General who once opined that “good people don’t smoke marijuana”—rescinded the Obama-era guidance.  The only … Continue Reading

The Winter of Our Discontent May Be Over (If you are a Distressed Debt Investor)

You can never go wrong starting off a commentary with a butchered bit from the Bard, right?  “Now is the winter of our discontent” spake Richard III, an unamiable leader perhaps reminding us all today of our unamiable governing class.  Old Gloucester rhymed to presage war and chaos.  Apparently, all that happened because the poor … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit to CFPB: “Go forth and conquer!” CFPB Responds: “No thanks.”

In seven short years, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has managed to court controversy across the political spectrum.  Under the leadership of former Director Richard Cordray, the bureau (for better or worse) tested the limits of its jurisdiction and enforcement power in a wide range of areas, including the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and … Continue Reading

Morningstar Requests Comments on Proposed Rating Methodology for SASB Deals

Morningstar has published a proposed method for rating single-asset/single-borrower (SASB) transactions. The new approach is slated to replace the “U.S. CMBS Subordination Model” with respect to SASBs and other forms of CMBS securities with similar credit and diversity profiles, including large-loan transactions and rake certificates. Morningstar has issued a request for comments on the proposal. … Continue Reading

The Urge to Merge

Will 2018 be the Year of Concentration across our market?  “The Urge to Merge” was the title of a January 2, 2007 Economist article.  It resonates today.  The cover photo was two camels copulating, which some of the Economist readers, surely a high-brow and sensitive bunch, apparently found offensive, as the picture is nowhere to … Continue Reading

I Urgently Want to Report the Deaths of the Non-Con Opinion (But Probably Cannot…Yet)

Our friend, Dan Rubock, just inked an interesting and timely piece entitled, “Key pillars of loan structural quality are eroding, especially in single-borrower deals.”  As usual, Dan’s views at Moody’s are worth considerable attention.  That piece focused on bad-boy carve-out guaranties, the quality of borrower financial information, property release provisions, qualified transfer provisions and cash … Continue Reading

Third Party Purchaser Agreements Don’t Destroy Sale Treatment: A Victory for the Unintended Consequences Resistance

Every once in a while we get some good news around the capital markets hood and this is one of those times.  Admittedly, all we’re doing here is fixing a problem which was one of the unintended consequences of the Dodd-Frank regulatory regime and just gets us back to where we thought we were before … Continue Reading

A Tale of Two Years; This Time Will Be Different

The Wall Street Journal reminded us this month that it was ten years ago, August 9, 2007, that the first regulatory domino in The Great Recession fell as BNP Paribas froze a series of resi investment funds for lack of a functioning market to value the securities. One could quibble about whether The Great Recession could … Continue Reading

The Dilemma of the Really Annoyed Borrower

Since my earliest days in the CRE capital markets biz, there has always been a drumbeat of grumbling from the borrower community about the annoying complexity, expense and delay of having one’s loan serviced in a capital markets transaction.  It’s been going on forever.  Like noise, like listening to Brits complaining about their weather; it’s … Continue Reading

Observations from SFIG Vegas 2017 Conference

SFIG Vegas 2017, which took place last week at Aria Resort & Casino, was the largest capital markets conference in the world, according to the Structured Finance Industry Group. With over 6,300 registered attendees, and I suspect thousands more who came to Vegas to attend meetings without registering for the conference, it’s hard to imagine … Continue Reading
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