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- May 2012: Vol. 24 No. 5

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Where’s the Gusher?: Investors Hoping for a Repeat of the RTC Heyday Have Been Disappointed

by Peter Ingersoll

1 When the full impact of the financial crisis began to unfold in early 2009, I must confess I rubbed my hands in anticipation of a flood of buying opportunities, as did many in the commercial real estate market with access to cash. I envisioned a wildcatter’s dream with deals gushing forth like oil raining on James Dean in the 1956 film Giant,where he played opposite Elizabeth Taylor. During this time of anticipation, many private equity firms, individuals and other deal hounds rushed to position themselves to take advantage of the gusher that was surely going to shower the market with opportunities similar to those produced during the heyday of the Resolution Trust Corp. (RTC). Unfortunately, the gush of deal flow has been far less than satisfying — really only a trickle — and now only a lonely contingent of stragglers waits beside the wellhead. Although many deals have been made — particularly in the arena of trophy properties — the

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