Government's "Plan C"; Vornado's Bet on Distress; JC Penney Takes Manhattan (Wednesday's News & Notes)

The Washington Post reported on the government's "Plan C", which will reportedly be focused on distressed commercial real estate markets, the high rate of delinquencies among homeowners, and the struggles of community and regional banks.

The story is vague on details. It seems almost like a trial balloon. Some basics were leaked and now we'll see what the response is. The story seems very focused on commercial real estate and it seems the government is now worried about the drop in commercial real estate lending to the point that they're creating a whole new program to address it. This is interesting considering that TALF and PPIP have had very little time to work. Perhaps there's little confidence that they ever will.

In fact, CNBC reported on how the plan designed to rid banks' books of the troubled assets will end up doing little to address fundamental weaknesses at financial institutions or the economy at large.

This is all very hard to keep up with. No sooner does one plan come into place then it proves to be inadequate and rumblings begin for something larger and broader. This is also coming at the same time that a debate is emerging about whether a new stimulus package is in order given the weak Junes job report and other signs that the economy has not stabilized.

All that's clear is that the government is not done coming up with programs to try and boost the economy. The uncertainty is what form the next efforts will take.

Here are some other news and notes on retail and retail real estate from around the Web today.

  • Vornado Realty is seeking to raise $1 billion for a private-equity fund to invest in the wave of distressed properties expected to hit in the next few years. The Wall Street Journal broke the story and Bloomberg has a piece as well.
  • NAI Global posted a free two-part economic outlook presentation with Dr. Peter Linneman. You can see part one here and part two here.
  • The New York Times reported on how JC Penney is prepping its first Manhattan opening. The store will be at the Manhattan Mall. That site has had a lot of problems over the years and a high rate of turnover. Perhaps JC Penney will bring it some much needed stability.
  • National Public Radio did some commercial real estate coverage today as well. It had a report on the perks landlords are offering tenants.
  • Lastly, we posted two pieces late yesterday. The first is a feature exploring the benefits of fountains at retail properties. It turns out they're not just for decoration. Owners feel they bring--at worst--intangible benefits by creating a more pleasant atmosphere. But one owner thinks that fountains can end up boosting sales because of this. Secondly, we posted a preview of the back-to-school shopping season.
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