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Six Must Reads for the CRE Industry Today (October 17, 2019)

The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book shows the U.S. economy slowing at a modest pace, reports MarketWatch. SoftBank, J.P Morgan Chase are both submitting bids to bailout WeWork, according to CNBC. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Fed Beige Book Reports ‘Slight’ Growth in Some Regions “The U.S. economy seem to be slowing a bit, only expanded at ‘a slight to modest pace’ since early September, according to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book. The report, basically a summary of anecdotes collected by the central bank from its business contacts across the country, was slightly weaker than the previous report for the summer. Business activity varied across the country, with Midwest and Great Plains report more downbeat than the southern and western regions.” (MarketWatch)
  2. SoftBank, JP Morgan to Submit Separate WeWork Bailout Proposals in Coming Days “SoftBank and J.P. Morgan Chase will submit separate funding packages to WeWork’s board in the coming days, and the office-sharing company will choose between the two or a combination of both, according to people familiar with the matter. WeWork’s board is prepared to see both proposals by the end of the week, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. SoftBank, WeWork’s largest external shareholder, may float a combined package of debt and equity and is also talking to outside investors about putting in money, the people said. J.P. Morgan’s proposal is expected to be all debt.” (CNBC)
  3. Barneys Enters Deal to Sell Assets to Authentic Brands, B. Riley for $271 Million Cash “U.S. luxury department-store chain Barneys New York Inc has reached an agreement to sell its assets to brand developer Authentic Brands Group and investment bank B. Riley Financial Inc (RILY.O), a court document showed. The deal comes as a ‘stalking horse purchase agreement,’ with the price estimated to be about $271.4 million in cash, according to the court filing on Wednesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Poughkeepsie.” (Reuters)
  4. Never-Before-Seen Trump Tax Documents Show Major Inconsistencies “Documents obtained by ProPublica show stark differences in how Donald Trump’s businesses reported some expenses, profits and occupancy figures for two Manhattan buildings, giving a lender different figures than they provided to New York City tax authorities. The discrepancies made the buildings appear more profitable to the lender — and less profitable to the officials who set the buildings’ property tax.” (ProPublica)
  5. Airbnb’s Quarterly Loss Reportedly Doubled in Q1, a Bad Sign as Investors Grow Wary of Money Losers “Airbnb’s losses doubled year-over-year in the first quarter to $306 million, as the home-sharing start-up ramps up marketing spend ahead of a possible IPO in 2020, according to a report in The Information. The company’s sales and marketing investments rose 58% year-over-year to $367 million in the first quarter and marketing spend is expected to come in above the $1.1 billion spent in 2018, The Information said, citing undisclosed financial data. Revenue reportedly grew 31% year-over-year to $839 million, while expenses climbed 47%.” (CNBC)
  6. The 25 Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities, Ranked “Millennials are ditching giant hubs like New York City and San Francisco and looking to shack up elsewhere. Rapid economic growth plays a key part in what makes up-and-coming cities attractive potential landing spots. WalletHub recently analyzed 515 US cities to identify the locales that experienced the highest levels of economic growth over the last seven years.” (Business Insider)
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