he said then, "isnot the most effective way to use TARP [Troubled Asset ReliefProgram] funds."

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That has not kept the commercial real estate industry fromhoping--and lobbying--the government to participate in CRE debtpurchases in one form or another. Along with TALF's roll-out, thegovernment also announced plans to buymortgage-backed securities and debt obligations of thegovernment-sponsored housing enterprises.

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Pleased with this development, which will give multifamilyfinance a boost in the form of lower rates, the Real EstateRoundtable is hoping to see additional overtures to the CREindustry. Specifically, it would like the government to expand thisprogram to include secured and unsecured commercial real estateloans.

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"We are very pleased by the decision to purchase debt andMBS-issued by housing related government sponsored enterprises,"Roundtable SVP Clifton Rodgers tells GlobeSt.com. "Our view is, ifthose programs are structured correctly, they will helped restoreconfidence in the consumer loans and residential mortgage markets."Twenty-four hours after that initiative was announced, spreads onresidential mortgages have already come in significantly, he notes."It seems to be having a positive impact."

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However the liquidity issues facing the CRE industry still havenot been addressed, he continues. "There are some $400 billion incommercial mortgages that will be maturing over the next severalmonths and if these were to go into default, it could introducewidespread systemic failure."

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The solution, as the Roundtable sees it, is obvious. "SecretaryPaulson indicated in his remarks that TALF may be expanded toinclude other assets," Rodgers says.

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Although he declines to provide specific details, Rodgers saysthe Roundtable is in discussions with the federal government aboutexpanding the program. "We have had a number of constructivemeetings both with the Federal Reserve Bank and other regulatoryagencies and we will continue to meet with them in the days aheadto develop an effective federal credit facility that could supportcommercial real estate debt."

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According to Rodgers, the government "is open to discussing theproblem and potential solutions--but we don't have any indicationof timing or a structure that might be implemented."

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