Using Veritas to Construct the "Per…

29-04-2017 Hits:82049 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Using Veritas to Construct the "Perfect" Digital Investment Portfolio" & How to Value "Hard to Value" tokens, Pt 1

The golden grail of investing is to find that investable asset that provides the greatest reward with the least risk. Alas, despite how commonsensical that precept seems to be, many...

Read more

The Veritas 2017 Token Offering Summary …

15-04-2017 Hits:77699 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

The Veritas 2017 Token Offering Summary Available For Download and Sharing

The Veritas Offering Summary is now available for download, which packs all the information about Veritas in a single page. A step by step guide to purchasing Veritas can be downloaded here.

Read more

What Happens When the Fund Fee Fight Hit…

10-04-2017 Hits:77269 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

What Happens When the Fund Fee Fight Hits the Blockchain

A hedge fund recently made news by securitizing its LP units as Ethereum-based tokens and selling them as tradeable (thereby liquid) assets. This brings technology to the VC industry that...

Read more

Veritaseum: The ICO That's Ushering in t…

07-04-2017 Hits:82016 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Veritaseum: The ICO That's Ushering in the Era of P2P Capital Markets

Veritaseum is in the process of building peer-to-peer capital markets that enable financial and value market participants to deal directly with each other on a counterparty risk-free basis in lieu...

Read more

This Is Ground Zero for the 2017 Veritas…

03-04-2017 Hits:78603 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

This Is Ground Zero for the 2017 Veritas Offering. Are You Ready to Get Your Key to the P2P Capital Markets?

This is the link to the Veritas Crowdsale landing page. Here is where you will be able to buy the Veritas ICO when it is launched in mid-April. Below, please...

Read more

What is the Value Proposition For Verita…

01-04-2017 Hits:80903 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

What is the Value Proposition For Veritas, Veritaseum's Software Token?

 A YouTube commenter asked a very good question that we will like to take some time to answer. The question was, verbatim: I've watched your video and gone through the slides. The exchange...

Read more

This Real Estate Bubble, Like Some Relat…

28-03-2017 Hits:47782 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

This Real Estate Bubble, Like Some Relationships, Is Complicated...

CNBC reports US home prices rise 5.9 percent to 31-month high in January according to S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller. This puts the 20 city index close to an all time high, including...

Read more

Bloomberg Chimes In With My Warnings As …

28-03-2017 Hits:79605 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Bloomberg Chimes In With My Warnings As Landlords Offer First Time Ever Concessions to Retail Renters

Over the last quarter I've been warning about the significant weakness in retailers and the retail real estate that most occupy (links supplied below). Now, Bloomberg reports: Manhattan Landlords Are Offering...

Read more

Our Apple Analysis This Week - This Comp…

27-03-2017 Hits:79135 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Our Apple Analysis This Week - This Company Is Not What Most Think It IS

We will releasing our Apple forensic analysis and valuation this week for subscribers (click here to subscribe - lowest tier is the same as a Netflix subscription). As can be...

Read more

The Country's First Newly Elected Lame D…

27-03-2017 Hits:79681 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

The Country's First Newly Elected Lame Duck President Will Cause Massive Reversal Of Speculative Gains

Note: Subscribers should reference  the paywall material here for stocks that should give a good risk/reward scenario for bearish trades. The Trump administration's legislative outlook is effectively a political desert, with...

Read more

Sears Finally Throws In The Towel Exactl…

22-03-2017 Hits:84639 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

Sears Finally Throws In The Towel Exactly When I Predicted "has ‘substantial doubt’ about its future"

My prediction of Sears collapsing once interest rates started ticking upwards was absolutely on point.

Read more

The Transformation of Television in Amer…

21-03-2017 Hits:81606 BoomBustBlog Reggie Middleton

The Transformation of Television in America and Worldwide

TV has changed more in the past 10 years than it has since it's inception nearly 100 years ago This change is profound, and the primary benefactors look and act...

Read more

I was just warning readers to beware of believing the hype behind financial name brands when I came across the following WSJ.com article. If you have followed this blog regularly, you would have been first warned of the CRE overvalution as early as September of last year, and had access to what I consider a fairly intensive amount of fundamental analysis and opinion on the topic, not to mention the banks that will suffer from it such as Bear Stearns, Lehman (contributed by a reader) and Morgan Stanley . Name brands issue the same warning 6 months later, in substantially less detail.

  Wall Street Gears for Its New Pain

Commercial Real Estate
To Yield Write-Downs;
Defaults Slim So Far

After suffering a beating from their exposure to home loans, banks and securities firms are about to take their lumps from office towers, hotels and other commercial real estate. And the losses could last longer than those from the subprime shakeout.

As the economy wobbles and financing costs rise because of the credit crunch, commercial-real-estate values are starting to slide, with analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. projecting a decline of 21% to 26% in the next two years. That means misery for securities firms with exposure to commercial-real-estate loans and commercial- mortgage-backed securities.

William Tanona, a Goldman analyst, expects total write-downs of $7.2 billion by Bear Stearns Cos., Citigroup Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co. and Morgan Stanley in the first quarter. Those firms had combined commercial-real-estate exposure of $141 billion at the end of the fourth quarter.[Chart]


A team of Goldman analysts predicts the financial damage from commercial real estate could last as long as two years, which would mean "a significantly longer tail than subprime." That is because only 28% of commercial-real-estate loans have been packaged into securities since 1995, while about 80% of subprime loans have been securitized; the higher level of securitization subjects the subprime assets to more-immediate mark-to-market accounting, which is playing out in the form of the write-downs that are dominating headlines.

Wall Street has set itself up for a hard fall in commercial real estate. Banks and securities firms are facing exposure from loans and financing commitments made on commercial-real-estate projects, property they own directly and commercial-mortgage-backed securities that no one wants to buy.

How much worse the write-downs get likely depends on the economy. "If we go into a deep recession, as implied by the various indices looking at the fixed-income market, the write-downs could be bigger in coming quarters," says Richard Bove, an analyst at Punk Ziegel & Co.

If there is a silver lining, it is that the excesses that overtook the U.S. housing market aren't as prevalent in commercial real estate. Overbuilding of shopping malls, office parks and other commercial property hasn't been rampant, although vacancy rates are climbing in such markets as Orange County, Calif., and Las Vegas, which have been hit by the weak housing market.

Market values of commercial-mortgage-backed securities, which are pools of mortgages that are sliced up and sold to investors as bonds, are down about 5% since late last year, compared with declines of roughly 50% or more last year for some collateralized debt obligations. CDOs are debt pools of repackaged residential-mortgage bonds, and they have been brutally hit by losses on mortgage investments.


Overall, commercial-real-estate write-downs in the first quarter are expected to rival those for CDOs and leveraged loans. Mr. Tanona predicted write-downs of commercial-mortgage-backed securities should "intensify" in the first quarter to $7.2 billion from $1.8 billion in the fourth quarter. By comparison, he foresees first-quarter write-downs of $10 billion in CDOs and $5.8 billion in leveraged-loan commitments.

So far, default rates on commercial-mortgage-backed securities are a slim 0.4%. But that is likely to rise as loose lending standards on some commercial-real-estate loans come back to haunt lenders and investors. More than $50 billion of five-year, full-term interest-only loans written at aggressive loan-to-value ratios could turn into defaults "at a significant level" if the loans can't be refinanced this year, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, a real-estate brokerage and money-management firm in Chicago.

The sluggish economy will add more stress, because demand for office and retail space is likely to suffer. On the other hand, the commercial-property market hasn't seen the kind of excessive supply that caused property values to tumble in the last recession, which could help maintain real-estate prices.

Tough to Assess Impact

It isn't easy to size up the potential damage. Financial firms' public reports "don't paint a full picture," says Peter Nerby, a credit analyst at Moody's Investors Service. For example, Morgan Stanley reports commercial-mortgage exposure before and after the effect of offsetting transactions, or hedges, while Bear, Goldman and Lehman don't...


Problem With Leftovers

An even bigger problem is the firms' own holdings of leftover, unsold commercial-mortgage-backed securities. Because the market for these bonds has virtually shut down and made it hard to determine what they are worth, Wall Street firms are being forced to rely on the CMBX index, which tracks the performance of commercial-real-estate bonds with different credit ratings.

Portions of the index have more than tripled this year, indicating soaring perceptions of risk. The index's movement implies a 5% loss rate, pressuring banks to mark down the value of their bonds even though the underlying properties are still generating cash.

Morgan Stanley, last year's No. 1 underwriter of commercial-mortgage-backed securities, cut its exposure to such mortgages by 52% to $17.5 billion after hedges in the fourth quarter, compared with three months earlier. That might have pointed investors to the spot where Morgan Stanley expects the "next shoe will drop," Guy Moszkowski, an analyst at Merrill Lynch, said in a report.

Another trouble spot is the debt financing provided last year to facilitate leveraged buyouts of real-estate concerns. One of the biggest examples: A group led by Bear still is trying to sell the debt offered to Blackstone Group LP for its $20 billion takeover of Hilton Hotels Corp. In December, Moody's cut its ratings on Bear, partly blaming the firm's "concentrated risk" from the Hilton deal.

"You couldn't have been a player in this market without having legacy deals [that you're stuck with], because the market collapsed so quickly," said an executive at a large bank.