Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Whither Armageddon (Quick Hits)

Armageddon was originally slated for last Friday. Then Monday. Now Thursday.
Maybe those predicting Armageddon are wrong. I’m just sayin’.

I’m all for some kind of rescue plan. Is it too much to ask that the nature of the problem be explained to the voters so that the proposed solutions can be evaluated? If the $700 billion dollar checkbook for Hank P. is so unpopular but also so necessary, why isn’t the corrective educating the public? Might also work on some of the nay-sayers in Congress…

Debates are unlikely to have much impact. They’re the potato chips of political seasons – craved, savored, gone quickly and without much in the way of nutritional value. My guess is that Palin in fact does fine, Biden probably manages a gaffe or two so that the newspapers can have a “on-the-one-hand/on-the-other-hand” tone, and come next Monday we’ll have forgotten all about it.

I keep seeing real progress in the polls, but worry that McCain will mount a comeback on the next Obama gaffe. (Sen. Obama is only almost perfect.) Plus, as I’ve said numeous times, there’s no inbalance that I would find acceptable except 299,999,999 to 1. (You see, I want Cindy Lou to vote for out guy.) Perhaps I’ll start to feel more confident once Obama is north of 60%.

Commercial real estate is the next great crisis. In addition to the new slums of abandoned and half-built exurbs, we will soon face block after city block of empty retail as the explosion of retail bank branches becomes an implosion and the current lack of other credit-worthy tenants worsens. And then we will have yet another new class of asset owners – people who own buildings with retail spaces – desparate for help. Having spent years essentially hoarding valuable assets, these guys are next in line to learn the lesson that assets lose their value if not put to productive use.

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