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Eight Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (Sept. 28, 2020)

The New York Times reveals findings from Donald Trump’s tax records. Official inflation figures are misleading, disguising a significant rise in prices on things people continue to buy during the pandemic, reports the Wall Street Journal. These are among today’s must reads for the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Inflation Is Already Here—For the Stuff You Actually Want to Buy “If it feels like the price of everything you buy has been soaring, that’s because it has—even as central bankers everywhere worry about the danger of deflation. The gap between everyday experience and the yearly inflation rate of 1.3% in August is massive. The price of the stuff we’re buying is rising much faster, while the stuff we’re no longer buying has been falling, but still counts for the figures.” (Wall Street Journal)
  2. No Forgiveness: Small Businesses Still on Hook for Rescue Loans “Banks say the process for converting the government-backed loans into grants has been frustrating because of a lack of communication from the Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department, which have run the effort since Congress created it in March.” (Politico)
  3. 18 Revelations from a Trove of Trump Tax Records “The New York Times has obtained tax-return data for President Trump and his companies that covers more than two decades. Mr. Trump has long refused to release this information, making him the first president in decades to hide basic details about his finances. His refusal has made his tax returns among the most sought-after documents in recent memory.” (The New York Times)
  4. Here's Who’s Giving What to Trump and Biden in Commercial Real Estate “When Donald Trump announced he was running for president in 2015, Elie Hirschfeld switched parties.” (Commercial Observer)
  5. A Hedge Fund Looks to Stop a Big Real Estate Owner from Breaking Up “On September 22, Land & Buildings sent a letter to the company’s board expressing its concerns with the company’s September 14 announcement that it plans to separate its business into two, separate and distinct, publicly traded companies, Apartment Income REIT (“AIR”) and Aimco, through a reverse spin-off.” (CNBC)
  6. Amazon Grows HQ2 Site Near D.C. with a Hotel Buy “Amazon’s massive HQ2 development outside Washington D.C. may be expanding. The e-commerce leviathan bought a Residence Inn by Marriott near the Arlington, Virginia site that’s earmarked for its second North American headquarters, the Washington Business Journal reported. Amazon plans to demolish the hotel. The seller is an affiliate of Blackstone Group, which let the property go for $148.5 million.” (The Real Deal)
  7. This University’s Closely-Watched COVID-19 Protocol Brought Positivity Rates Down After a Spike—But Will It Last? “Officials suspended a small number of students for violating COVID-related guidelines and threatened a return to remote instruction. First though, they implemented a two-week cool down period, asking students to limit their activity outside of their homes to attending class, grocery shopping, their twice weekly COVID-19 test and outdoor activity only with the people they live with. ‘It definitely had a good effect,’ Smith said of the lock down.” (MarketWatch)
  8. Grocers Stockpile, Build ‘Pandemic Pallets’ Ahead of Winter “Grocery stores and food companies are preparing for a possible surge in sales amid a new rise in Covid-19 cases and the impending holiday rush. Supermarkets are stockpiling groceries and storing them early to prepare for the fall and winter months, when some health experts warn the country could see another widespread outbreak of virus cases and new restrictions. Food companies are accelerating production of their most popular items, and leaders across the industry are saying they won’t be caught unprepared in the face of another pandemic surge.” (Wall Street Journal)
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