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If You Believe All The Negative Hype About Commercial Real Estate, I've Got A Few Thousand Vacant Office Buildings To Sell You

Benjamin N. Dover III's picture

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Wed, 09/09/2009 - 19:31 | 64316 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

If you think this guy is funny then you should read this jokers comments. Priceless


Sun, 09/06/2009 - 10:18 | 60800 Missing_Link
Missing_Link's picture

Pure poetry.  Well played, sir, well played!

Sun, 09/06/2009 - 09:27 | 60776 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

No one wants your crap? There must be a market for it somewhere, therefore it has value, somewhere?

Only in the greater, greater, greater FOOL theory...

Sat, 09/05/2009 - 18:02 | 60116 Oso
Oso's picture

love it.  perfect analogies!

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 23:28 | 59587 Silver Bullet
Silver Bullet's picture

Nice work Mr. Colbert.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 22:32 | 59549 arnoldsimage
arnoldsimage's picture

pete stark... " you don't fucking understand, jan. the more worthless cre we have, the wealthier we are. what fucking school did you go to... idiot. i ought to throw you out the fucking window."

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 21:34 | 59507 gookempucky
gookempucky's picture

KA KA fuckin funny-great stuff ---MN you left off lickety split

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 20:36 | 59457 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Kudos Mr. Dover Sir!

I shall forward this to our very nervous mortgagees... I am certain that they will feel very relieved. Kudos!

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 18:15 | 59342 Nictrades
Nictrades's picture

Utterly brilliant and perfect for a holiday weekend. 

Nice one ZH and Mr Dover ;)


Fri, 09/04/2009 - 17:19 | 59300 McLuvin
McLuvin's picture

Ben, thank you for your insight.  Like you, I've been quite puzzled by all the pessimism found on this site, but have not been able to articulate my thoughts.  Sometimes I feel that my life partner Steve Liesman and I are the only ones that truly understand.  I too, am an occassional producer/collector of steaming turds, so I thought we might be able to structure some kind of a deal, as I feel an affinity towards you.  Would you be willing to carry a note on your steaming pile if I commit to a 20% down payment?  I have an investment banker friend that could securitize that note for you as well should you not want to hang on to it till maturity.  He has many private equity clients that have been trying to hedge their exposure US Treasurys, and I think that CDOs of steaming turds, although very highly correllated to Treasurys, can diverge in the near to intermediate term.  If you are interested, please email me at larrykudlow@hotshemale.com.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 21:04 | 59475 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture


20% down payment? are you crazy?....what
dinasaur finance did you learn?

i am expecting a more heavily engineered cds
(credit derivative shits) more in the ninja
style - none of that down payment crap...

call pom pom queen larry when you get it right - he will
handle sales...

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 20:50 | 59465 MinnesotaNice
MinnesotaNice's picture

Hysterical...  now we have Mr. Dover, Mr. Gramm, and now McLuvin... perfect!

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 20:45 | 59463 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture


Fri, 09/04/2009 - 16:21 | 59237 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

putting up silly parodies on this site makes it less useful for people who come here to get information. this contains no information and I thought this site was not an entertainment site.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 20:52 | 59466 MinnesotaNice
MinnesotaNice's picture

Clearly you were wrong... the site lives and breathes sarcastic humor...

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 17:19 | 59301 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

blow it out your ass bitch

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 15:10 | 59130 walküre
walküre's picture

It's interesting that anyone wouldn't get the sarcasm but still able to answer the Captcha question.

Could be either accountants or engineers posting here?

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 14:51 | 59111 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Better than Mogambo Guru! Maybe the best post so far on ZH.
Never laughed so hard. The truth stinks, alright!

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 14:20 | 59073 Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture

"Later on, that fetid stool I produced might just be used to fertilize a garden, and what seems like worthless shit today might end up smelling like a bouquet of flowers tomorrow. "


Wall Street understands:


Turn your lie-abilities into an ASSet.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 14:18 | 59068 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I'm with Z.

There is so much debt, there are so many too many retail and office buildings, and there is so little demand. All of these properties should be priced realistically. I live near Lowell MA. Let me tell you about distressed real estate values for an entire city - they fell fifty years ago and have yet to come back. You can get old office space for a song.

By the way, in Detroit, hasn't the old Packard plant resisted all attempts at modernization. If the economy is in bad shape, this distressed real estate stays bad as well.

I have no idea what banks and REITs are up to, but there sure is a lot of commercial real estate that is basically worthless out there.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 14:16 | 59066 Rusty_Shackleford
Rusty_Shackleford's picture

"And just like an unheard tree falling in the woods makes no sound, if a borrower fails to repay but no one marks down the loan, there really hasn't been a default."


I'll just tuck that little piece of gold away for later use.

Brilliant.  Love it.


Unfortunately, that simple point seems to be the central theme in the current conflagration.  I can just see it in my mind.  All the powers that be are seated around a table.  Brows are furroughed and tiny drops of sweat are forming on every neck in the place.  Someone pipes in and says, "What if we just ignore it and just tell people that everything is fine.  We'll use the Fed and the banks we bailed out to ramp up the stockmarket; and everyone judges the economy based on government reports and metrics, right?  Well, we're the government right?  Let's just make the reports say what we want them to say.  It can't lose.  We'll bring back prosperity just like those cargo cults brought back the B29's and John Frum"


Fri, 09/04/2009 - 13:47 | 59015 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Ok, let me get this straight, we are now living in a satire?

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 15:16 | 59138 aldousd
aldousd's picture

Stephen Colbert says "No."

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 13:35 | 58989 djchill2
djchill2's picture

I can' t say enough about this article...simply fucking hilarious...the real shocker though is the comment stream...come on space monkeys....get your shit together....I doesn' t get anymore sarcastic than this!

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 13:15 | 58950 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Great article! You had me going, albeit dubiously, until the "wisdom in mobs" bit. Obviously you've fooled a lot of other people completely.

I totally agree with #58644 - change the pile of crap analogy and you've got a list of talking points ready to be repeated on TV or on the CRE brokerage firms' sales calls.

"If a borrower fails to repay but no one marks down the loan, there really hasn't been a default."

Unfortunately, this is the approach that the CRE firms and banks are actually taking - a friend of mine works as a CRE broker, and the line I've heard is this:

"A rolling loan gathers no loss"

They actually believe this and think this approach is sustainable. Ridiculous. Unbelieveable. Absolute rubbish, laddie!

Finance Hype:

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 13:06 | 58939 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

"where today's turds are tomorrow's tulips."

Nah, todays turds are today's tulips.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 12:50 | 58908 FredFubar
FredFubar's picture

Fucking brilliant. I realy enjoy Ben's posts.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 12:43 | 58900 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

rotflmao...always wondered where green shoot fertilizer was coming from....

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 12:41 | 58892 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

ABSOLUTELY your best work yet, Ben. It takes a rare talent to take a kernel of truth and create a right-brilliant skewering. You might be finance's Samuel Clemens.

On the other hand, to the various anons that disagree with Ben's very cogent post, I'd like to point you to a new multimedia outlet called The Onion (www.theonion.com) you might want to check out. The Onion always seems to be first with any major story, and I recommend that you trade based off their news.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 12:25 | 58874 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Although I'm anything but a "green shooter," CRE will have value again some day (after the Greater Depression). Your teaming turds will never have any value except for, perhaps, compost. That's the fallacy in your argument against intrinsic value.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 12:46 | 58902 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

cre has value now....it's just not as high as
it used to be....and how many years do you want
to wait before it returns to those highs?

i'm betting on the turds...

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 12:04 | 58848 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Best piece of prose I have read on this thread. That was beautiful. The crap analogy was priceless.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 11:43 | 58789 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Ditto for Nashvill, Atlanta, and Chicago. Commercial "For Lease" sign are popping up new everyday. The author must live in a Manhattan condo. The real worls is out there.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 11:34 | 58773 pooplagrande
pooplagrande's picture

Wow...that is hardcore sarcasm....adult rated.

BTW, I was recently in Orange County (and the surrounding areas)...I have never seen something so depressing in my life. There were For Lease signs every 30 yards in some areas...even "Free Lease for 6 months" signs. Yikes...

Sat, 09/05/2009 - 10:33 | 59828 Chumly
Chumly's picture

Add once affluent North Scottsdale (everything north of Camelback) to that list - quite remarkable.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 11:26 | 58760 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Every underwater CRE developer would love to have some flight skilled middle east terrorists eyeballing his towers right now. Get some of that sweet insurance money, so long as they're backstopped and he has an ironclad contract.

They'd prolly underwrite the flight schooling for that.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 11:19 | 58741 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Mr. Hanke, and the cast and crew of South Park, salute you!

Headlines reported a $4 billion dollar drop in 1-30 delinquencies but 99% of this is attributable to one company that reclassified all such delinquent loans as "interest only".
Luckily, this mega corporation is already under bankruptcy protection and highlights the irony of their push "Forever 21".

If only I could delude myself and shove my fat ass into into that belief!

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 11:24 | 58740 Hondo
Hondo's picture

That was a load of crap.  The reason equity REIT holders are allowing themselves to be diluted is that they are told by the REIT scammers that they are going to use the monies to buy a pile of crap at 15 cents on the dollar and it will rise to 30 cents on the dollar and....presto we'll make you some money to offset the loses we gave you earlier.

They analyst are scam artist.........give me a break haven't you analyzed anything!  The relationship between the debt holder (who also employs the analyst) and the REIT and the upgrades they get right before they toast you....I mean dilute you.

I've looked at many recaps in the last 6 months all the majority have failed based on too much of kool-aid drinking.  This sector is hurting badly and there is very little new capital going in except at distressed prices.

As deals fold because of insufficient cash flows this puts pressure on surrounding property to lower rents which feeds on itself until everyone has adjusted their rents and costs to compete with competitors.  This will take a while to work through but believe me it will continue to flow down hill.



Fri, 09/04/2009 - 12:29 | 58879 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

So, scam the scam artists

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 11:16 | 58735 Dr Horace Manure
Dr Horace Manure's picture

As an international expert in pre used equine food, I believe Mr. Dover should use my wife's name, Piza Manure, as his nom de plume.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 11:04 | 58713 texpat
texpat's picture

Solid, sensible analysis. Expect further and continuing REIT upgrades as the economy recovers, and people get back to work and spending.

Indeed, we can see from the birth/death adjustments that this is already happening, although the adjustments are distorted downwards by job losses in the real economy.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 10:54 | 58696 DaddyWarbucks
DaddyWarbucks's picture

Real information and great writing. You just can't beat ZH. By the way, I suggest a double latte enema to enhance that GST value.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 11:07 | 58718 dnarby
dnarby's picture

...And don't skimp on the cream!

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 10:33 | 58666 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Great piece. Just add a bit more sarcasm the next time, so everybody will get that you are in fact joking.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 10:24 | 58660 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The Irvine Company located in Southern Califoria is a large commercial property owner, Bren, Gross, and other competent people are involved. Over the past several weeks they have defaulted on numerous large commercial buildings in Orange County and San Diego County due low cash flow from rents. Businesses are moving out! This is objective, this is real, this is not a subjective value that has no market or is not tangible. The Irvine Company is a well run institution. If this company is starting to default your subjective econ POV does not hold water, no matter what pump and dump processes Wall Street is providing for REITS. It is possible spring 2010 will provide another leg down on both commercial and residental real estate in the US. I hope not. I hope there is light at the end of the tunnel and not a bunch of moldly old builtings that smell like !!! and are objectively generating negative cash flow for the next ten years.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 15:34 | 59160 Strom
Strom's picture

Ah! I found it. They're not in default, but Fitch is concerned they will default. See:


They responded by basically saying, "We haven't defaulted in 145 years, and won't now". We'll see what happens...

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 15:23 | 59147 Strom
Strom's picture

Where have you seen the Irvine Company defaulting?  Link? They own many of their buildings all-cash and the company is privately held and very low-leverage, so I would be surprised at defaults.

They're also the 800-lb gorilla in OC and can buy tenants...or just wait.

Fri, 09/04/2009 - 23:07 | 59573 Anonymous
Fri, 09/04/2009 - 10:17 | 58646 KeyserSöze
KeyserSöze's picture


Fri, 09/04/2009 - 10:16 | 58645 tradertim
tradertim's picture

"Suppose I produce a giant steaming turd. Now if I put that turd up for sale, I probably wouldn't get any offers."


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