One of the pleasures of life is re-encountering old friends, catching up on what’s happened while your lives have gone their separate ways, reminiscing about the good old days and reconnecting.  It comes back so fast, it’s like you never were apart.

Me and the Liquidating Trust had just such an experience the other day.Continue Reading A Walk Down Memory Lane with the Liquidating Trust

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come as no surprise that Jeff Sessions—the Attorney General who once opined that “good people don’t smoke marijuana”—rescinded the Obama-era guidance.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 real surprise is that it took him a whole year to do it.

Since at least 2013, marijuana-related businesses have generally been operating on predictable, albeit legally shaky, ground.  Dispensaries have expanded dramatically.  Though details vary wildly, nine states currently allow recreational use and medicinal use is currently permitted under the laws of all but four states.

As a result, commercial real estate lenders have to grapple with the increasingly common problem of the dispensary tenant, and a number of lenders are dipping their toes into lending in expectation of securitizing loans secured in part by dispensaries.  But given the January 2018 announcement that the Cole memo is no longer in effect, the question everyone’s asking is: are things really that different?  The answer, we think, is no—but with an asterisk.
Continue Reading Securitizing Marijuana Dispensary Properties in the Sessions Era

Well, we’ve had the big reveal and the administration’s new tax plan is out.  This plan, announced with a great deal of fanfare, feels more like a campaign promise than an actual executable plan.  At two hundred forty-six words from end to end (four different typesets, three different fonts, three colors, weird spacing and a sad little dash at the top), anyone who was hoping for clarity and a plan to go to the bank on, is either disappointed… or perhaps relieved.
Continue Reading Have Yourself a Very Trumpy Tax Plan

We at Crunched Credit have taken a bit of a pause of late.  It is, of course, the dog days of summer.  But it’s time to get back into the fray.  Let’s start by noting the doldrums seem to have taken a pass.  From where we sit, the markets seem to be in robust health.  As we look over this complex web of transactions, deal structures, innovations, capital flows, business plans, business goals, failures and successes that is our market, things look pretty damn good.
Continue Reading A Mid-Year Report Card on the Commercial Real Estate Capital Markets

During the past several years, CRE Securitizations were airbrushed off the financial products reviewing podium like a discredited Politburo member. Not here, never ever here; nope, never heard of it. This was a mistake rooted in populous politics and the conflation of the tools of finance with the tool users (okay, with some very unhelpful help from a few admittedly alarming design failures in the tool itself).

But now, eight years on, plenty of political and regulatory water has gone over the dam. As we said in a recent blog, it’s time for a reset and not just in the legal and regulatory arena, but in the market itself. Taking some liberties with recent news from Detroit, this nifty little coupe of a financial tool has had its successful recall, it’s new and improved, the engineering errors of the early models have been fixed and we’ve sorted out that neither the underaged nor the ethically challenged ought to be allowed to take this little guy out for a spin.
Continue Reading CRE Securitization: Rehabilitation Still In Progress