Staying connected, even in Europe’s no-go zones
1 The annual EPRA (European Public Real Estate Association) conference in September covered what you’d expect — future prospects and opportunities for commercial real estate, investor insights and global trends in listed funds. But the presentations that stayed with me the most had nothing to do with real estate, at least not directly. They were, instead, an overview of economic issues and the trends affecting business growth. And they stayed with me because the two presentations were so much of a whiplash moment that they’ve had me thinking and trying to reconcile them for weeks now. The conference started out with Dr Ian Shepherdson, founder and chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. Shepherdson is known for putting the dismal in the dismal science. Based on his past presentations, he was relatively optimistic on the state of the economy in most European countries. But being optimistic for Shepherdson doesn’t really translate into how most of us define optimism.