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Cornell Real Estate Review

Abstract

[Excerpt] The recent real estate finance debacle has starkly demonstrated the failure amongst segments of the financial markets, and more importantly, the systematic weaknesses of the market. Factors contributing to the crisis included excessive leverage, degraded lending standards, a compensation structure at financial institutions which promoted inordinate risk assumption, the lack of transparency in available market information, dubious security ratings, a confusing and inefficient regulatory structure, and the growth of increasingly complex structured securities. There appears to have been a collective inability to identify not only specific risks but also systemic risk in the real estate financial markets, including the CMBS securities market. The underlying tenets of free market theory, market discipline, and market efficiency have been severely challenged.

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