The ‘walkaway’ double standard

Mood of the Market
Published on Feb 1, 2010

The traditional American set of values includes liking things big. We like extremes. The biggest, best, fastest, record-setting specimen of anything tends to get our attention.So, in 2006, when Tishman Speyer Properties led a group of institutional investors in purchasing the 56-building, 11,232-unit Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town apartment complex in New York City for $5.4 billion dollars (that's not a typo -- it's billions, with a "b"), eyebrows went up, jaws dropped, and the deal was duly noted in the record books as the largest residential property purchase in the nation -- ever. You know what they say: "The bigger they are, the harder they fall." In that uncanny way those old clich├ęs have of so often being correct, the biggest residential property purchase is on its way to being the biggest residential mortgage walkaway. Last week, the group of investor-owners, including the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) strate...