Monday, September 24, 2007

Thanks, Sam...

I have said before that I think Sam Zell is just an mega-genius, and that it was reaffirmed by the EOP sale to Blackstone. Never media-shy, Sam in lectures at Wharton is saying that we have a confidence crisis going on, not a credit crisis. If you read this blog, you know I agree. According to the Forbes story:

"We're not really in a 'credit crunch.' I think we're in a 'confidence crunch,'" said Zell, funder of the Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center at Wharton. "I would argue the excess liquidity that existed eight weeks ago still exists today. It has a different risk premium on it, but the actual amount of liquidity has not changed."

Zell said the slump should come as no surprise: "Over the last three years, people were flippant. They bought anything they wanted and were proud that they didn't do due diligence. I think they have all been chagrined and are scared out of their minds."


Sam also made me think about some things. Maybe I am overexuberant about real estate. It is what I do, after all. But "looking around the corner" is what sets the big boys from the others. And as a lawyer that is an especially important thing to keep in mind.