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From the Current Issue

Beam me down, Scotty: Pentagon and European space-based solar projects making strides

by BBC and CNN

Though it sounds like science fiction, scientists working on behalf of the Pentagon have successfully collected solar energy in outer space and beamed it back to Earth. A panel the size of a pizza box, known as a photovoltaic radiofrequency antenna module (PRAM), was first launched in May 2020, attached to the Pentagon’s X-37B unmanned drone, to harness light from the sun and convert it to electricity, according to a CNN report.

From the Current Issue

The distress around distressed debt funds

by Steve Bergsman

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced dislocation within real estate markets, and lending markets have experienced some shake-ups. That has meant potential debt-investment opportunities. “The current commercial real estate lending market is favorable and offers attractive risk-adjusted returns for investors who are well capitalized and able to respond nimbly to what we expect will be an evolving opportunity set,” says Matt Salem, partner and head of KKR’s real estate credit business. In mid-autumn 2020, the Federal Open Market Committee warned small- and medium-size banks could face stress from defaults on loans to commercial real estate if consumers continued to avoid traveling and shopping. That was also a concern for the real estate debt–fund industry; in the aftermath of the great financial crisis, more stringent banking regulations were put in place, and since then, banks have been underwriting the most secure property loans. In short, the banks had the best pricing and the best transactions. So, if the banks were stressed, where does that leave other types of lenders?

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