Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Morgan Stanley Failed $ 6.5 Billion Commercial Real Estate Flip......

SCHADENFREUDE! This story rivals almost the latest CRE epsiode from Deutsche Bank ( see Deutsche Bank Is Doubling Down In Vegas..... )

SCHADENFREUDE! Das nimmt es sogar mit der letzten Episode der Deutschen Bank auf ( siehe Deutsche Bank Is Doubling Down In Vegas..... )

Morgan Stanley's Waning Crescent WSJ
Real-Estate Deal May Lead to More Write-Downs -- And Shareholder Griping
When Richard Rainwater, the renowned Texas investor, sold Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. to Morgan Stanley for $2.78 billion early last year, some Crescent shareholders complained the price was too low.

Now it looks like Morgan Stanley's shareholders are the ones who should have been griping.

Morgan Stanley, one of the largest real-estate investors among Wall Street firms, originally planned to put Crescent's office buildings, resorts, housing projects and other properties in one of the real-estate funds it manages for institutions and wealthy individuals.

But the firm decided to keep what is now $4.6 billion of assets on its balance sheet instead, exposing Morgan Stanley to potential losses. The company didn't disclose the value of the assets at the time, but the overall deal was valued at $6.5 billion, including the assumption of $3.1 billion of debt.

The reason? Morgan bought Crescent before the credit crunch hit and commercial-real-estate values started to fall. It was also before Morgan was able to launch the fund that it hoped would own the properties. That left Morgan trying to persuade investors to buy into a fund including properties with top-of-the-market prices, something Morgan was unable to do.

A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman declined to discuss Crescent. In a securities filing, the firm cited "current market conditions, valuation, size of the investment and timing of the fund" as reasons why it held onto Crescent.

'Peak-Market Price'
"It's likely that investors didn't want those properties or Morgan Stanley couldn't distribute those properties into the fund at a price that investors were willing to pay," says Cedrik Lachance, an analyst with Green Street Advisors Inc., a Newport Beach, Calif., real-estate research and trading firm. "Investors didn't want to pay the peak-market price."

Morgan Stanley marked down the value of the Crescent properties by $150 million in its fiscal second quarter ended May 31, deepening losses for its asset-management business. Additional write-downs are likely if commercial-property values keep declining.

> Click to see more details of the Cresent Portfolio.... Looking at the locations it is almost guaranteed that a massive write down is already in the cards.... But with Level 3 assets and their "unique" underlying models you never know..... :-).

> Hier geht es zum Cresent Portfolio... Alleine der Blick auf die Karte genügt um zu erkennen das die Immobilien in den zum Teil besonders überhitzten Teilen des Landes stehen. Die nächste massive Abschreibung ( und ich meine damit eine richtig schmerzhafte ) dürfte damit bereits in Stein gemeißelt sein. Obwohl man bei der ganzen Level 3 Bilanztrickserei da heutzutage nicht sicher sein kann.....


The Crescent deal is yet another example of the damage being done to Wall Street firms by their aggressive push into commercial real estate when money was easy and prices were rising. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. has been hammered by ill-timed investments in California land and New York City apartment buildings. Commercial banks Wachovia Corp. and Bank of America Corp. have high exposures to deteriorating construction loans.

So far, Morgan Stanley's reported real-estate losses have been relatively small. The firm has significantly reduced the amount of commercial-real-estate debt on its balance sheet without taking the sort of painful write-downs that rivals have.

Morgan Stanley made headlines late last year when a venture led by the firm bought 11,000 house lots from home builder Lennar Corp. for $525 million, about 60% less than where Lennar carried the land on its books. While that land has likely fallen further in value, Morgan Stanley isn't at risk. The firm was able in that case to put the holdings in an investor fund, according to people familiar with the matter.

Morgan Stanley has been one of the most active real-estate fund managers. As of June 30, the New York company had $96.4 billion in real-estate assets under management, according to the firm. Morgan Stanley is about to close an approximately $1.5 billion commercial-real-estate debt fund and is in the process of raising a global real-estate fund with $10 billion in targeted equity capital, according to Real Estate Alert.

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2 Comments:

Blogger jmf said...

More fun.....


Berkshire, in Blow to Banks,
Reins In Its Deposit Insurer


Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has told one of its subsidiaries to stop insuring bank deposits above the amount guaranteed by the federal government, dealing a fresh blow to the financial-services industry as it tries to assuage anxious customers.

The subsidiary, Kansas Bankers Surety Co., is notifying about 1,500 banks in more than 30 states that it will no longer offer a program called "bank deposit guaranty bonds." KBS is an 18-employee subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, according to the parent firm's 2007 annual report. It is one of a handful of firms that offer such insurance, a big selling point for banks trying to attract wealthy customers.

That Mr. Buffett is withdrawing from this insurance market is an indicator of how many in the industry are worried about future bank failures.

In some cases, companies that acquire failed banks will buy all the deposits, making the government insurance limits irrelevant.

But customers with large deposits can lose money if the acquiring bank doesn't take on the extra deposits. When Columbian Bank & Trust Co., of Topeka, Kan., failed Aug. 22, there were about 610 accounts with $46 million total that potentially exceeded government insurance limits, the FDIC said.

KBS insured some deposits at this bank and lost money in the failure, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Towle declined to comment on whether the bank was a customer.

1:21 AM  
Anonymous Dave Keys said...

Temecula web design by Dave Keys
We're all gonna pay. Any time Warren Buffet's holdings move away from insurance float, watch out! I'd move away from anything they do as fast as possible.

6:18 PM  

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