March 3, 2010

Dodd Urges Action On Commercial Real Estate

U.S. regulators need to “redouble” their efforts to deal with the still shaky commercial real estate market, a top U.S. Senate Democrat said Monday.

Sen. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.), who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, said in a letter released by his office that he was concerned about the potential effects of commercial real estate woes on the broader economy.

“I believe that the weakness in the CRE market requires prompt and robust responses from the regulators to guard against harmful effects on financial institutions and the economy,” Dodd said in the letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Similar letters were sent to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Office of Thrift Supervision, among others.

U.S. regulators have been warning about problems in the commercial real estate market for months. FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, speaking at a conference in Washington last month, said that regulators expect banks to report higher delinquencies and charge-off rates for commercial real estate properties in the first three months of 2010. Even income-producing properties have seen a decline in credit performance, Bair said.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2010

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