Category Archives: International Economies

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Welcome to the New Normal – Funny Times Revisited

Several weeks ago, I wrote a commentary called Funny Times in which I bemoaned the complete lack of coherent data, making the process of predicting the course of interest rates, cap rates and transactional velocity over the next couple of quarters awfully hard.  This uncertainty, itself, contributes to a knock-on doom cycle sort of way … Continue Reading

Funny Times

What funny times in which we live; an observation perhaps highly dependent upon your notion of fun.  Maybe curious is the better description.  Daunting?  Frightening?  Opaque and unknowable?  All probably good descriptions.  True of politics.  True of business.  Sticking to business, it’s hard to get conviction around anything right now.  Nonetheless, we must.  Everyone needs … Continue Reading

Sometimes, It Really Is a Duck: What If Things Are About to Go Bad?

Conspiracy theory fans, tin-foil hat wearers everywhere, Nostradamus wannabes, the broadly unhinged and, of course, our professional purveyors of doom and gloom roosting on evening cable news see patterns where there are none, embrace straight-line projections based on disparate and unrelated data and loudly and often shrilly bleat that the end is nigh.  That’s all … Continue Reading

My Hair Is Not on Fire…Yet

I’m back from vacation in the English countryside, away from the hurly burly of life in our capital markets.  While I tried hard not to obsess on the news whilst away, bad news has a way of slithering into your peripheral vision, doesn’t it (I stuck to the English papers which are great fun, and … 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

The Next Recession: Something…Perhaps Not Really Wicked… But Certainly Annoying…This Way Comes

With full and complete credit to the Bard (Macbeth), and to Mr. Ray Bradbury who repurposed this line as the title for his 1962 dark fantasy (of which I was and still am a huge fan), there is just not a better title for this note. Trust me. A few weeks ago, I inked a … Continue Reading

Night of the Living Dead: LIBOR Playing a Zombie in a Reality Near You!

  LIBOR is going away, but that’s sort of old news at this point.  However, it has been received wisdom that only after the Bank of England stops imposing an obligation upon member banks to publish LIBOR quotes as at the beginning of 2021, would LIBOR go away and then we would need a replacement.  … 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

God Hates Securitization?

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the Papacy has denounced securitization characterizing it (in such an intellectually balanced way) as tainted by “predatory and speculative tendencies.” Good Lord! Now, I’m not perfect — I can’t remember the last time I participated in a black mass, inverted a crucifix or committed any of the more striking … Continue Reading

Remember Europe? Harshing My Mellow

Maybe it’s because I have been in Europe this past week (Munich at Octoberfest actually – Men in way-too-short leather shorts, dirndls, beer steins the size of a politician’s ego, the most astonishing amount of drinking, etc. Good heavens.) I have been wondering: Has anyone been paying attention to what’s happening in Europe lately? You’ve read … Continue Reading

A Trip Through the Labyrinth – The Regulatory Man in Full

And now to return to our commentary a few weeks back about the stultifying impact of ill-thought through rules and regulations (at best) (Brexit has intervened).  This is our Regulatory State which broadly attempted to pick winners and losers and modify market behavior, to get an engineered outcome by using the blunderbuss of proscriptive rules … Continue Reading

CREFC Annual Conference 2016: Headwinds or Head First Into the Wall?

The slow start to 2016 did not dampen the enthusiasm at CREFC’s Annual Conference, held last week in New York City.  The conference saw record attendance, with standing-room-only crowds at virtually every panel.  As with the Industry Leaders Conference in January, the hot topics on people’s minds were risk retention (and the rest of the … Continue Reading

Risk Retention: It’s the Fourth Quarter and the Home Team is Getting Glum

We thought it would be useful to give a quick, interim update on the slow-motion train wreck that is our industry’s response to the upcoming effectiveness of the Risk Retention Rule.  For those of you who have been blessedly snoozing under a rock these past couple of years, the Risk Retention Rule becomes effective on … Continue Reading

Bail-In, or Just Bailing?

You know, there’s never a dull moment when one reports on the regulatory states’ endless and so often fruitless and wrong-headed tinkering with the global economy. So now… let’s talk bail-in. The bail-in regime, which was adopted by all European Union countries (other than Poland) and implemented on January 1, 2016 (European Economic Area (EEA) … Continue Reading

Cuba and the Booming Commercial Real Estate Industry to Come

On March 20, 2016, President Obama became the first United States president in almost 90 years to visit the island of Cuba, located a mere 90 miles from the coast of Florida—signaling not only a renewed diplomatic relationship between the United States and the communist country, but also, the dawning of a new commercial age … Continue Reading
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