Boston Properties

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Frontrunning: December 6





  • MSM discovers window dressing: Fund Managers Lift Results With Timely Trading Sprees (WSJ)
  • White House Unyielding on Debt Limit (WSJ)
  • Obama, Boehner talk; Geithner prepared to go off "cliff" (Reuters)
  • Republicans urged to resist tax rises (FT)
  • China looms large over Japanese poll (FT)
  • As predicted here two months ago, Greek Bond Buyback Leads S&P to Cut to Selective Default (BBG)
  • Japan opposition LDP set to win solid election majority – polls (BBG), but...
  • Japan Opposition LDP’s Main Ally Cautions Abe on BOJ Pressure (BBG)
  • U.S. and Europe Tackle Russia Trade (WSJ)
  • King Seen Maintaining QE as Osborne Extends Fiscal Squeeze (BBG)
  • Syria pound fall suggests currency crisis (FT)
  • Irish budget seeks extra €3.5bn (FT)
  • U.K. Extends Cuts Due to Poor Outlook (WSJ)
  • ECB Seen Refraining From Rate Cuts as Yields Sink on Bond Plan (BBG)
 
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New York's Ultraluxury Office Vacancy Rate Jumps To Two Year High As Financial Firms Brace For Impact





Traditionally, when it comes to reading behind the manipulated media's tea leaf rhetoric and timing major inflection points in the economy, the most accurate predictor are financial firms, whose sense of true economic upside (or downside) while never infallible, is still better than most. Yet unlike employment, which is usually a lagging, or at best concurrent indicator, one aspect that has always been a tried and true leading indicator, has been real estate demand, in this case rental contracts. Due to the long-term lock up nature of commercial real estate contracts, firms are far less eager to engage in rental transactions (and bidding wars) when they expect a worsening macroeconomic environment. Which is why news that office vacancy in Manhattan's Plaza district, the area between Sixth Avenue and the East River from 47th to 65th streets, anchored by the landmark Plaza Hotel at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South which is home to some of the nation’s most expensive and prestigious office towers, and where America's largest hedge funds and PE firms have their headquarters, has just risen to 12.3%, or a two year high, is probably the most troubling news for the economy and a real indicator of what to expect of the immediate future.

 
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Zuckerman To CNBC: "The Recession Never Ended"





Everyone's favorite perma-bullish stand-in for Cramer, Fast Money's Scott Wapner, seemed lost for words when Boston Properties CEO Mort Zuckerman laid down some basic truthiness on the state of the US economy "We have the most stimulative fiscal and monetary policy in the history of this country and here we are three years into the recession and it's not ended. I think we may be heading for an even weaker economy this year than people expect." The righteous REIT ruler went on to note that it is not just the US but Europe (ridiculously high unemployment rates) where he analogizes (rather picturesquely) that it reminds him of "the man who jumps off a 25-story building and as he's hurtling by the sixth floor he says 'don't worry, nothing has happened yet'." Wapner is silenced and changes the topic as we suspect he is stunned at the honest sentiment given the nominal three-year-highs in REIT indices. Truth is indeed stranger than fiat-fiction.

 
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Boston Properties' Mort Zuckerman Obliterates Barack Obama





Media and real estate tycoon Mort Zuckerman, who recently admitted he helped write Obama's speeches in the past, has come out blazing with easily the most damning missive of the president and his legacy to date. Mort joins such other distinguished and notable CEOs as Steve Wynn to openly blast the administration and its policies. In the meantime, the president has surely not made many new friends in the executive offices of the E&P space. Before all is said and done, look for letters such as the one attached to become a daily occurrence.

 
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Boston Properties Rating Revised To Negative By Moody's





Well, we did throw them in the TBTF category yesterday, and this could be the first step. Moody's just out with an outlook revision to negative on its current senior unsecured rating (Baa2).

 
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