You’re falling, maybe from a tall building, like in the intro to Mad Men. Panic seizes you because the term paper you know you finished in college doesn’t get done, keeping you from graduating. Someone’s chasing you through a maze, getting closer, and it’s impossible to shake the pursuer. But then you wake up relieved, realizing it was just a dream.

Most of us have nightmares from time to time. Unfortunately, for those who handle the purse strings of commercial real estate firms, sleep disturbances aren’t as abstract. And since the financial meltdown of 2008, many of those bad dreams are becoming reality. recently conducted a survey to find what keeps commercial real estate finance executives up at night. The nearly 300 respondents were asked to choose their top three fears from a list of several potential calamities. Three of these scenarios were overwhelmingly at the tops of executives’ minds.

The winner, gathering 23% of the votes, was a stalled US recovery. Followed by the upcoming election, at 14%, and consumer confidence, with 13% of the votes. The European economic crisis, public and private debt levels, and rising interest rates followed the top three. (See the full survey here.)

When taking the survey, respondents were able to leave comments about why particular topics concerned them. Few of the anonymously given remarks, similar to the heated comments one sees on an online news story, held much back…

…To read the rest of the story, please visit the October 2012 issue of Real Estate Forum.