1. Negative Rates in the U.S.? Here’s Why It Could Happen “Less than two months after the Fed enacted its first rate hike in more than nine years, market talk already has turned to whether the central bank's future may not be more hikes, but rather negative rates. Intensifying recession fears, volatile financial markets and moves toward negative rates by other central banks have triggered speculation over whether the Fed may have to reverse course on its tightening policy.” (CNBC)
  2. If There Is a Recession in 2016, Here’s How It Will Happen “What we’re dealing with isn’t just a run-of-the-mill economic slowdown in emerging markets, but the reversal of a 15-year cycle in which capital has flowed into emerging markets year after year while debt grew. Now that’s reversing, and we’re seeing a version of Warren Buffett’s maxim that ‘you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.’” (The New York Times)
  3. J.C. Penney Considering the Sale of a its Plano Headquarters “J.C. Penney is pursuing a possible sale and partial leaseback of its headquarters building in Plano as part of an ongoing effort to reduce debt and manage expenses. CBRE Capital Markets is representing Penney. New owners will also own part of the huge Legacy West project under construction next door that will include the North American headquarters for Toyota and others.” (Dallas Morning News)
  4. Bet Your Real Estate Dollars on Debt in 2016 “Wealthy investors who like real estate may wonder where to put their money this year as prices for high-quality properties in global developed markets top out. The answer could be private real estate debt funds that take the place of banks in lending to top-tier commercial properties in prime markets like London, Tokyo and New York. Real estate debt funds may also answer another conundrum for investors in today’s markets: where to get a decent yield. Expected returns on these funds are 8% to 10%.” (Barron’s)
  5. Colony’s Barrack Says Private Equity Undervalued Stock Sector “Private equity firms such as Blackstone Group LP and KKR & Co. are good investments for both stock buyers and pension funds seeking higher returns, according to Thomas Barrack Jr., founder and chairman of Colony Capital Inc. Their advantage is established records of sourcing deals, along with managers who have histories of turning around companies, fixing real estate and understanding credit as traditional banks limit lending, according to Barrack.” (Bloomberg)
  6. Sports Authority Preparing to File for Bankruptcy: Report “Sports Authority is preparing to file for bankruptcy, according to a Bloomberg report that cited sources with knowledge of the situation. The sporting goods retailer has a debt payment due in less than two weeks and is discussing a reorganization deal with lenders, the sources told the news service. Part of the plan includes the previously rumored move to close as many as 200 of its roughly 450 stores.” (CNBC)
  7. Commentary: These are the Types of Stores Amazon Should Open “It makes no sense for Amazon.com to open the type of physical bookstores it helped obliterate, not when the online giant already has the physical infrastructure in place to support a large scale rollout of another type of store in one of retail’s hottest sectors. The notion that Amazon.com wants to open hundreds of physical books stores has been fueled by several recent developments.” (Chain Store Age)
  8. TD Banks Ups NYC Real Estate Game “Mr. Gerken, TD’s head of U.S. commercial real estate, and Mr. Chin, regional director for commercial real estate in New York, didn’t quadruple TD’s New York real estate book since 2010 by recklessly leaping headfirst into luxury condo deals with breakeven prices that would make their bosses in Toronto blush. Yet, they also didn’t transform TD’s real estate business by avoiding risk altogether. Back in 2010, as the more established banking giants were still licking their wounds from the financial crisis, Mr. Gerken and Mr. Chin pounced.” (Commercial Observer)
  9.  The Temptation of Co-Working Spaces “Increasingly, these untethered employees are gathering in a new kind of office known as the co-working space. Surely, you’ve heard of these places. But their numbers have multiplied across the country in the last few years, filling a niche for those who need more than a cafe, but less than an office. They now come in a wide range of options. Some are fancy; some are not. Some require memberships; some do not. Some target technology workers; others are for writers or small businesses.” (The New York Times)
  10. Fatal Crane Collapse in Manhattan “One person was killed and three others injured – two seriously — when a massive construction crane collapsed in Lower Manhattan on Friday morning, officials said. The crane – which was swinging a wrecking ball — fell over at 40 Worth St. between West Broadway and Church Street in Tribeca at 8:24 a.m., crushing several cars parked on the street, according to witnesses and fire officials.” (New York Post)