Monday, November 23, 2009

Banks at Risk

Reports indicate that 2009 will see one of the highest numbers of bank closings in US history. According to reports the hundredth bank will be closed and taken over by the FDIC next weekend. Just about a week ago the FDIC closed the ninety-ninth bank for the year. California in particular, has been one of the hardest hit states with one of the higher bank failure rates in the country.

The FDIC took over the San Joaquin Bank in Bakersfield, California, making it the tenth bank closing in the state. There are reports of more closings to come within the state.

Even with this grim news, many believe that 2009 will not have as many bank closings as there were in 1980, which had 534 failures. Reports indicate that 2009 should do better than 1992 as well, which had 181 banks fail. 2009 may not be as bad as previous years, in history, but according to the FDIC, currently there are 416 banks in its “at risk” category.

This indicates that there are many more bank failures to come in the months ahead. FDIC does not indicate which banks are in this category, to curb the mass withdrawal of money from the banks at risk of failures. Many bank closings have been caused by the real estate boom of the mid-2000s. It is clear that many banks are still at risk and will continue to be at risk of failure for some time.

Written By: Maulik Shah, AVP, Sperry Van Ness | Better Capital Partners.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

CCIM Black Diamond Annual Awards Dinner

On Friday November 20th I had the privilege of attending the CCIM annual Black Diamond awards dinner held in Chicago at the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) on South Wacker Drive. The event had an amazing venue at the Metropolitan Club on the 67th floor. Somehow the weather cooperated for a change and the clouds disappeared to reveal beautiful sunshine for my drive to Chicago. When I got to the 67th floor I could hardly believe my eyes! Breathtaking (in this case) is not a cliche. One could see for at least ten or twenty miles! The city lights laid out like electric jewels twinkling against the darkness of the crisp cold fall night. What really made the event special for me was the people who were attending. Lloyd Berry from Colliers had graciously invited me to share a seat at his table. He is an extraordinary professional and human being and I always enjoy being around him. I was seated next to Polly Parchem (Winner's Edge) and her erudite husband on one side and Thomas Bothen (UIC) and his lovely wife on the other. One might think that this would be a rather stuffy affair but such was not the case. Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening and hours passed like minutes. Of course it wasn't all just a party. There was some necessary business which required our attention including the awards. There was also a summary of the past year by out going chapter president John Joyce of Epic Realty Partners. He spoke humbly but with a measure of accomplishment for his time in office. The incoming president will be Michael Lunn (ReMax) who also spoke to the group. He promised to continue the legacy established by the past presidents. I have been asked to chair the Candidates committee for 2010. This was an amazing group. I could not be more impressed with their professionalism, their standing in their respective market niches and their genuine warmth as people. Being a country boy from a smaller market I was a little intimidated to go to the big city and meet all the "Chicago" people but I couldn't have had a more pleasant experience. I was not only made to feel right at home but instantly felt I was among friends. We have a fantastic CCIM Chapter!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

California Here I Come!

I recently spent four days in Palm Springs California at a national exchange meeting. It was a fantastic experience. I stayed in a hotel which had received the benefit of over 90MM in renovation costs. It was all done in a retro style with the intent to emulate the fifties or sixties. It was impressive. Most of the people that were there were professional investors, developers, principals and brokers from all over the country. In these trying times in the economy these are the folks that are still making things work and getting deals done. People often ask why I spend the time, money and resources to get myself to these events when it seems that they occur in so many disparate parts of the country. There are a host of reasons. The first relates to what I said earlier. The people that attend these events are the real deal. They are the folks that have the cash, have the property or have the expertise to make transactions occur that might otherwise never happen. They also happen to be of the highest integrity of anyone you will meet in the industry. The second is that I want to do all I can to help my clients with their real estate goals. I can't do that sitting at home at my desk waiting for someone to call on a sign. Especially in today's market! I feel strongly that getting out around the country and talking up their property in front of serious players is a big advantage to my clients and that is something very few brokers are capable or willing to do. Whether its IREX, KREE, NEC or SEC I try my best to be there for my clients!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New episode of Alex Ruggieri's One on One

November 3, 2009: My guest is Craig Lindvahl, Educator/Filmmaker. I want to tell you all that this was one of the most interesting stories that I have ever had the privelege of bringing to you on the show. Craig is not only a very dedicated and gifted teacher, he is also doing something that is really amazing with the young people in his class. He is teaching them about life by teaching them about business in the real and immediate context of actual businesses. This pragmatic approach to teaching assures learning and retention for students in ways that wrote memorization and conceptual theory does not even approach. As I say in the interview Craig's style of teaching is akin to telling someone about what a beach is by having them put there toes in the sand-not just show them a picture post card of the tropics. I hope you take time to view his interview. I firmly belive that if we had a program like his for all our kids in high schools everywhere our society and communities would benefit tremendously. WATCH NOW!