All in all, Finn said, "This presents a unique window ofopportunity for our industry." He added that "this is the time wesee to make money"--at the bottom of the market, not the top.

Nonetheless, Finn emphasized that what started as a malaise inthe subprime market has long since become a global contagion."Almost everybody in the world is feeling pain; it's only a matterof degree," he said. Dr. Peter Linneman, NAI Global's chiefeconomist, pointed out that the recession has hit Europe and Asiaharder, because those regions have slower fundamental growth tobegin with.

A particularly negative effect on European and Asian economies,Linneman said, was the startling increase in the price of oil: from$50 to $150 per barrel in 14 months. With a ratio of 30 basispoints in GDP gained or lost for every $10 decrease or increase inoil prices, Linneman said the dramatic spikes--which he cannotexplain--wiped out the growth rate in many countries.

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.