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10 Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (April 2, 2020)

Washington is weighing a new infrastructure plan to help create jobs, reports The New York Times. FHFA chief warns this crisis might be worse than the subprime mortgage meltdown, according to the National Mortgage News. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Amid Growing Financial Fears, Washington Weighs a Jobs Program “In Washington, there was growing concern that the $2 trillion stimulus package enacted last week could be insufficient to bolster the economy as the crisis mushrooms. Democrats and Republicans in Congress, as well as President Trump, are increasingly looking toward enacting a huge new infrastructure plan that could create thousands of jobs.” (The New York Times)
  2. FHFA Chief: Coronavirus Delinquencies Could Outnumber Subprime “Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria said a virus-induced financial crisis might give rise to more delinquencies and foreclosures than the 2007 subprime mortgage meltdown.” (National Mortgage News)
  3. April 1, Rent’s Due: Many Struggle to Pay in Virus Outbreak “It’s the first of the month, and everybody knows the rent’s due. For millions of Americans, Wednesday is the first time the landlord is knocking on the door since the coronavirus outbreak turned the economy upside down. Many of those renters are without jobs - nearly 3.3 million people in the U.S. filed for unemployment the week of March 16, about five times the previous high in 1982. Most state and local governments are putting evictions on pause as states prepare to pay unemployment and the federal government prepares to send stimulus checks. So for most, April’s knock won’t come with a notice to get out.” (Associated Press)
  4. JP Morgan: The Best Possible Outcome for a Quick Market Recovery Is Shaping Up as Signs Emerge Globally “Early signs of a V-shaped bounce are showing up in certain investments. The Federal Reserve's unlimited purchases of Treasuries, mortgage-backed securities, and municipal bonds helped the related markets recover about half of their virus-related losses, JPMorgan said. High-grade US corporate debt and equities have already retraced one-third of their losses.” (Business Insider)
  5. Macy’s Shares Tumble to Record Low After Iconic Retailer Dumped from S&P 500 “Macy's Inc. shares slumped to an all-time low Wednesday after the icon department store retailer was dumped from the S&P 500 after shedding more than 70% of its value since the start of the year. S&P Dow Jones Indices said Macy's, which has a market value of around $1.5 billion, will be added to its small-cap index on April 6, while HVAC equipment maker Carrier Global will replace it on the benchmark S&P 500 on April 3.” (The Street)
  6. Grocers Are Trying New Strategies to Handle Increased Demand for Online Orders “The coronavirus pandemic is pushing consumers to avoid stores and limit their contact with others, but they still need groceries, likely explaining the recent increase in grocery app downloads reported by Apptopia. But some grocers are struggling to keep up with the demand for online grocery, leading firms to introduce new initiatives that could help them fulfill more orders in a timely manner.” (Business Insider)
  7. What Do Department Stores Do Now? “Every department store in America, from the low end to the high, has tried some way to drag the retail concept into the 21st century. It's a monumental task, considering the model was born in the 1800s, and enjoyed its last heyday in the 1950s. The effort has had mixed results. Now COVID-19 has introduced new urgency, and possibly new goals. J.C. Penney partnered with Sephora, and later added, then dumped, appliance sales.” (Retail Dive)
  8. B6 Real Estate’s Paul Massey: Hold Off on Major Decision Making “Paul Massey, CEO of real estate advisory firm B6 Real Estate Advisors, is advising clients to wait 60 days on making all major decisions as it pertains to their portfolios. The market has been sent into a frenzy over the coronavirus, causing fear and uncertainty amid the ambiguous economic landscape. To ease concerns and bring clarity to the current times, Massey and the B6 team are communicating, often via virtual video calls, to clients regularly, and keeping such things as its charity outreach in Brooklyn, called Brokers United that B6′s DJ Johnston leads, on their radars.” (GlobeSt.com)
  9. Insights from Experience: How to Build a CRE Network for Growth “My passion for commercial real estate began early with my very first internship in college at a CRE firm. From that point on, I became determined to become a leader in the industry and support companies in their CRE needs. I dove in headfirst and grew my career by focusing on mentorship from other women, constant education, building a strong network, and maintaining a growth mindset, all the while working to inspire inclusion along the way.” (Dallas Morning News)
  10. Amazon Warehouse Workers Protest Near Detroit “Amazon.com Inc on Wednesday said a handful of workers staged a demonstration at one of its warehouses near Detroit, reflecting the ongoing concerns among its staff about contracting the coronavirus on the job. Less than 15 of Amazon’s more than 4,000 employees at its Romulus, Michigan fulfillment center participated, following confirmation that a worker based there had tested positive for the virus, the company said.” (Reuters)
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