From a small northwestern observatory…

Finance and economics generally focused on real estate

Archive for June 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Conference

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Congrats to the folks at HB Litigation Conferences for a superbly organized and run conference in Atlanta this past week. For two days, a veritable who’s who of top litigators outlined the issues, the scope of the problem, and the direction all of this is headed.

I had the pleasure of going on the first day, right after Michael Rozen (law partner to Ken Feinberg, who will administer the $20 Billion fund) and right before Robert Kennedy, the famed environmental attorney. Rozen presented an indepth Q&A on what is known today about the Fund, which frankly isn’t all that much. Big questions loom on whether BP can or will attempt to use the fund to offset their remediation costs, and how claimants will be compensated for ongoing economic disruption which may not be fully knowable today. Kennedy’s luncheon address was more forward looking — really focused on the opportunities to get the world off of its dependency on carbon-based fuel.

Naturally, my own talk was focused on the economic and valuation questions — both what we need to do and how we will go about doing those things. As I noted, much of our scope of work over the coming months won’t be knowable until the MDL panel reaches its conclusions, hopefully before the end of July. However, much can already be done, and needs to be accomplished aggressively before a judge is appointed so that in the initial meetings, the litigants will be able to show the judge that the valuation questions are actually answerable.

From a purely practical perspective, we came away from the conference realizing that we were probably the only firm of our kind in the country capable of taking on this project. Apparently, most of the attorneys in the room seemed to aggre with that assessment. We will keep you posted as this case progresses.

Written by johnkilpatrick

June 26, 2010 at 1:52 pm

and…. yet more on the Gulf Oil Spill

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I gave a 30-minute talk yesterday in a conference-call setting to over 100 bankers and other folks in the lending industry (public policy types, regulators, etc.) sponsored by the Collateral Risk Network (CRN), a group which focuses on real estate in the bank lending setting. Thanks to our good friend, Joan Trice, the head of CRN, for getting us involved in this.

One of the CRN affiliates, FNC, is in the appraisal management business. Needless to say, the impact of the Gulf Oil Spill has an immediate and significant impact on they way they do business in the affected areas. They have established a web site with information about the crisis. Click here to access their site and blog directly,.

Written by johnkilpatrick

June 17, 2010 at 7:44 am

Yet more on the Gulf Oil Spill

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The promised white paper is still in the works — plan to finish it this weekend. Unfortunately, this project seems to be evolving in real time. Putting a “freeze frame” on it is problematic, but doable. We’ll unquestionably need to update this as the summer progresses.

Also, as many of you know, I’ve been s-l-o-w-l-y working on a book on Real Estate Litigation Valuation. It’s actually coming together a bit better now, and so I hope to have more info on that soon.

Written by johnkilpatrick

June 10, 2010 at 10:26 am