Articles About General

Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
06.23.2009

Social Media Shines a Bright Light on Iranian Revolution

Generally, political events, unless they affect our industry, are beyond the purview of the AlterNow blog.  However, the news from the Middle East gives us pause because our country has become, quite remarkably, an actor in one of the most stirring displays of courage and political defiance in recent memory.  We may not fully realize […]

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Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
06.19.2009

Hooray for Hollywood

Hollywood’s Blockbuster Year “Hooray for Hollywood”, said the 1937 lyric by Johnny Mercer, sung during the depths of the Great Depression.  It appears the one industry that’s recession proof has done it again.  While the world’s economy has gone into free fall, Hollywood is in a state of euphoria right now, buoyed by a box-office […]

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Author:
Matt Ward
Posted:
06.17.2009

Deal or No Deal?

Chicago’s iconic post office that straddles the Eisenhower Expressway has been vacant since a new facility replaced it in 1995, and the U.S. Postal Service has decided it’s time to sell the deteriorating structure at 433 West Van Buren Street. On August 27, the Postal Service will auction the 77-year-old, 3,000,000 SF, 14-story building.  The […]

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Author:
James I. Clark III
Posted:
06.15.2009

Local Banks Facing Significant CRE Losses

Toxic commercial real estate loans could create losses up to $100 billion for small and mid-size banks by the end of 2010 if the economy worsens.  According to a Wall Street Journal report – which applied the same criteria used by the federal government in its stress tests of 19 big banks — these institutions […]

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Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
06.12.2009

An Apple a Day

Apple may be the Great American Company — the heir to the spirit of Henry Ford who revolutionized corporations worldwide by modernizing the assembly line to facilitate production of his legendary Model T car.  Similarly, Apple under Steve Jobs’ leadership expresses everything that Americans naturally do well — innovation, high quality, smart growth, and nimbleness. […]

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Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
06.05.2009

Calatrava’s Quadracci Pavilion a Sculptural Addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum

The opening of the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago spurred me to finally trek out to the other great piece of museum architecture in the Midwest, Santiago Calatrava’s Quadracci Pavilion, a sculptural addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum which opened in 2001, and cost approximately $121 million. The museum initially hired […]

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Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
05.21.2009

“The Giant Pool of Money”

$70 trillion dollars.  That’s all the money in the world, or to get technical, the subset of global savings known as fixed-income securities.  And it almost doubled from $36 trillion in just six years.  How did this happen? The Federal Reserve presided over the creation of what we have learned (the hard way) is a […]

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Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
05.20.2009

There’s Method in Warren Buffett’s Madness

Warren Buffett’s loyal followers are wondering what got into the Oracle of Omaha when he told CNBC  that this is “a great time to be in banking”, praised Wells Fargo’s massive earning power, and said that the government doesn’t need to provide capital to or nationalize banks. Although some critics dismissed Buffett’s statements as biased because […]

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Author:
Tom Silva
Posted:
05.15.2009

Geithner: The Patient is Out of Intensive Care

It’s been a long, strange ride, but the nation’s financial system is finally starting what is certain to be an extended healing process. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner believes that “the financial system is starting to heal” as he promised to move returned bail-out funds to community banks that need help. Improved lending circumstances are tempering […]

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Author:
James I. Clark III
Posted:
05.13.2009

Sovereign Wealth Funds Still Interested in U.S. Real Estate

Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) have been closely watching the credit crisis evolve, according to a Deloitte LLP report.  The good news is that they haven’t entirely lost their taste for American commercial real estate. Consider that two of 2008’s highest profile transactions were the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s $800 million acquisition of the iconic Chrysler […]

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