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CREFC Takeaways: Addressing Divisive U.S. Politics Weight on Commercial Real Estate

The current political climate was a top line topic among panelists at the CREFC Miami conference, a discussion that immediately focused on the ongoing government shutdown. A summary by Morningstar Credit Ratings, LLC notes participants were concerned about the long-term ramifications of the conflict.

Morningstar’s Caitlin Veno writes the panel of industry experts also debated on how the new Congress will handle issues related to the commercial real estate industry, such as the National Flood Insurance Program and the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. Both are set to expire in the coming years.

But front and center was the shutdown and its ramifications. To be sure, many commercial real estate professionals likely experienced the effects of the government shutdown firsthand as they convened in Miami Beach, points out Morningstar’s Veno. During a panel on the unpredictability of the political landscape titled “Politics as Unusual,” Compass Point Research & Trading’s Isaac Boltansky noted, “Just today, one out of 13 TSA screeners didn’t show up for work.”

CREFC’s Marty Schuh believes that the most likely scenario for ending the shutdown remains the emergency option. That would involve President Trump declaring a national emergency, and Congress passing a bill to reopen the government either before of after the emergency declaration. To block the wall, the Democrats would likely sue, pushing the issue into in the courts for the foreseeable future.

Boltansky agreed that the emergency power avenue was the only way, because it will end the shutdown and move the immigration debate to the courts and away from the newly-formed Congress. Panelists conjectured what kind of precedent would be set under that scenario. Boltansky noted Republicans he spoke with are worried that the emergency option could have long-term repercussions. It would bring up the question of what constitutes a national emergency, and if it could apply to other hot button issues like gun control and climate change?

Boltansky’s main concern was the debt limit, which is slated to be reinstated on March 2 after being suspended last year. He lacks confidence that navigating the debt ceiling will be an easy process, and he believes the fallout would be far more consequential to the financial services industry.

Morningstar’s Veno writes panelists were also concerned about the effectiveness of the new Congress on issues relating to the commercial real estate industry. High-profile topics, such as the investigations into the Trump Administration, may overshadow issues of importance to commercial real estate. Other than “must-pass bills,” Schuh is fearful that “we’ll miss the opportunity to be a constructive Congress” until 2020.

That may impact the National Flood Insurance Program, which expires after May 31, 2019, as well as the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, which was extended again through Dec. 31, 2020. Not funding these programs would be a major disruption to the industry. Boltansky also believes that these issues are of crucial concern to the commercial real estate industry.

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About Dennis Kaiser

Dennis Kaiser is Vice President of Content and Public Relations for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Dennis is a communications leader with more than 30 years of experience including as a journalist and in corporate and agency marketing communications roles. He is responsible for Connect’s client content operations and is involved in a range of initiatives ranging from content strategy, message development, copywriting, media relations, social media and content marketing services. In his most recent corporate communications roles, he led a regional public relations effort across Southern California for CBRE, played a key marketing role on JLL’s national retail team, and was responsible for directing the global public relations effort at ValleyCrest, the nation’s largest commercial landscape services company. In addition to his vast commercial real estate experience, Dennis has worked on communications and launch strategies for a number of residential projects such as Disney’s Celebration in Florida, Ritter Ranch in Palmdale California (7,200 homes, 22,000 acres), WaterColor in Florida and PremierGarage in Phoenix. Dennis’s agency background included firms such as Idea Hall and Macy + Associates. He has earned an outstanding reputation with organization leaders as a trusted advisor, strategic program implementer, consensus builder and exceptional collaborator. Dennis has developed and managed national communications programs for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, both public and private. He’s successfully worked with journalists across the globe representing clients involved in major-breaking news stories, product launches, media tours, and company news announcements. Dennis has been involved in a host of charitable and community organizations including the American Cancer Society, Easter Seals, BoyScouts, Chrysalis Foundation, Freedom For Life, HOLA, L.A.’s BEST, Reach Out and Read, Super Bowl Host Committee, and Thunderbirds Charities.

  • ◦Economy
  • ◦Financing
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