Landlords Take Tough Stance on Concession; Bank Executives Struggle to Understand Commercial Real Estate Exposure (Wednesday's News & Notes)

These have been an uneventful few days so far this week, but that gave media outlets covering commercial real estate some time to ponder our current situation. Below, The New York Observer takes a look at the government's efforts to reform credit rating agencies, while Reuters reports that retail landlords are beginning to say, "No" to rent reduction requests.

  • Inman News offers a useful post on the best strategies for using Twitter as a tool for real estate professionals.
  • In a bit of good news, Retail Sails reports that September retail sales will likely show an increase from last year, albeit a modest one.
  • In a column at the New York Observer, Sam Chandan takes an in-depth look at the Obama administration's efforts to reform credit rating agencies. The agencies' lax rating policies played a key role in creating the financial panic that paralyzed Wall Street last fall.
  • On a somewhat related note, Business Insider reveals that two years into the credit crunch, many U.S. bank CEOs still don't know the extent of their bank's exposure to commercial real estate risk. This post looks at how JP Morgan head Jamie Dimon was looking zip code by zip code through the country trying to understand the real estate situation. Scary.
  • There is hope, however, the industry may not suffer as much as previously feared. Reuters reports that retail landlords are beginning to deny more calls for rent reductions. If they do grant reduction requests, they ask that tenants offer something tangible in exchange, for example, longer lease terms. That underscores some of what we wrote in our September cover story.
  • And USA Today reports on efforts to revive struggling restaurant chain Boston Market.
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