Run-don’t-walk to read Jesse Eisinger’s article, Wall Street’s Next Crisis:
"In their own way, however, commercial-real-estate loans were no less foolish than those made to home buyers with speckled credit . . . The implosion is going to be a refreshingly simple and familiar story.
In 1995, $15.7 billion worth of commercial-mortgage-backed securities were issued. Through the third quarter of 2007, $196.9 billion was issued, according to Commercial Mortgage Alert, a trade publication. That amount means 2007 will be a record year, even though issuance collapsed in the fourth quarter as investors panicked over the credit crunch. Right now, there is about $730 billion in commercial-mortgage-backed securities outstanding. "Not only have we been in a rising tide, but the loans are very different in underwriting standards than even five or 10 years ago," says Alan Todd, head of commercial-mortgage-backed-securities research at J.P. Morgan. "We haven’t been through a cycle yet" with these new structures, he adds ominously."
Wall Street’s Next Crisis
Portfolio, January 2008 Issue