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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Commercial Real Estate Debt Crisis and Online Law Reviews

The Harvard Business Law Review Online just published a short essay that I wrote about the commercial real estate debt crisis.  As readers of the blog may recall, I am working on a much larger piece that will analyze the current problems suffered by the commercial real estate sector and evaluate potential policy responses.  I'm trying to get that finished within the next month or so.  (One problem with writing an article so focused on numbers -- you have to update it every quarter.  I just need to finish it before first quarter is over!)

Anyway, the piece published at HBLR.org focuses on one sliver of that larger paper -- understanding what the commercial real estate debt crisis is and why it happened in the context of considering an the appropriate governmental response.  I think that some policymakers have adopted the narrative of the residential crisis (irresponsible borrowers, greedy banks) and applied it to commercial real estate, without supporting empirical evidence.  Because that narrative assigns moral blame to the borrowers and banks for their respective roles in the crisis, it impacts policy choices and political support.

This is the first of two pieces that I wrote specifically to be published in online law reviews (the second will be published by Columbia Law Review Sidebar in a few weeks).  Both are off-shoots of larger pieces that I'm working on.  It wasn't too time-consuming to write them, and I think that the vehicle is well-suited for smaller, more concise arguments that may be more widely read because they are shorter. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts, either about the HBLR piece, or the idea of publishing in online law reviews at all.

Tanya Marsh

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