From the Wall Street Journal:
With a record amount of commercial real-estate debt coming due, some of the country’s biggest property developers have become the latest to go hat-in-hand to the government for assistance.
They’re warning policymakers that thousands of office complexes, hotels, shopping centers and other commercial buildings are headed into defaults, foreclosures and bankruptcies. The reason: according to research firm Foresight Analytics LCC, $530 billion of commercial mortgages will be coming due for refinancing in the next three years — with about $160 billion maturing in the next year. Credit, meanwhile, is practically nonexistent and cash flows from commercial property are siphoning off.
Had Paulson and the White House stuck with the original TARP plan — the one authorized by Congress — they would have bought back the mortgage-backed securities that the government mandated from the bad loans purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The credit markets would have eventually stabilized and the credit would have been forthcoming. Instead, Paulson and Bush decided to convert TARP into a political support system, picking winners and losers among ailing entities for no better purpose than to shore up voter support.
Read their whole take!