From a small northwestern observatory…

Finance and economics generally focused on real estate

Now where was I?

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I’ve been gone an embarrassingly long SIX MONTHS (or about that)… let’s see, what have I been up to?

First, Greenfield is still around and busy. Like so many other firms, we had to do some belt-tightening in early 2009, and that left a lot more stuff on my desk. Ergo, this blog (and a lot of other “important but not urgent” stuff) got left on the back burner.

Second, it’s increasingly hard to write ABOUT the economic turmoil when you’re PART of the economic turmoil — or at least ADVISING clients who are deep in the depths of the front-page issues of the day.

So, I’m back — at least I’m going to TRY to be back, on a regular basis this time. Recent event number one — I’ve now spoken at two different conferences on the Chinese Drywall matter — both legal CLE conferences and both, coincidentally, in New Orleans. For the uninitiated, Chinese Drywall (“CDW”) was imported a few years ago, at the height of the housing boom, when U.S. supplies of drywall simply couldn’t keep up with demand. The shortage was exacerbated by the numerous hurricanes (Katrina, Wilma, etc.) that hit the southeastern U.S.

Now, apparently, CDW contains impurities which are allegedly linked to other problems, both structural (degradation of copper elements) and health/safety. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed, and the Federal District Court in Louisiana has been assigned oversight under what is known as a “multi-district litigation” or MDL. They hope to conduct bellweather trials in early 2010, although the venue isn’t yet known (probably state court in Florida). Naturally, Greenfield has been involved since the onset with position papers on the economic and valuation implications. For a pdf copy of our most recent white paper on the topic, please click here.

Written by johnkilpatrick

November 27, 2009 at 11:49 am

Posted in Real Estate, Valuation

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