Much ado is being made about the Obama's Administration'sproposal to overhaul the financial sector. To be sure, for thecommercial real estate industry there is much to fret about - andhope for. So far, industry representatives are getting what theyhave lobbied for. CMSA, for instance, was delighted that the Houseversion of the bill grants regulators the flexibility to allow athird-party investor - namely a B-piece buyer -- to satisfy thelegislation's new retention requirements. 1031 exchangecompanies, for their part, are happy to see that that same bill hascarved out regulatory oversight for their piece of the industryunder this new agency.All of this is important, but at the sametime, new regulations in other quarters of Washington are quietlybeing redone or formed. The American Council of Life Insurers, forexample, has been considering new capital guidelines for mortgagesthat insurers directly provide for commercial buildings, accordingto a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. The rules wouldcall for establishing risk profiles of the individual mortgagesrather than benchmarking insurers' mortgages to an industryaverage.Life insurance companies, never the most transparent abouttheir investment allocations, are nevertheless showing signs ofinvesting more in commercial real estate this year. How theserules, if implemented, will impact that remains to be seen.

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