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What would Alan do? According to Alan Greenspan, this was an accident waiting to happen. “If it wasn’t subprime, it would have been something else,” he is quoted as saying. The current issue of Fortune Magazine features an interview with Greenspan that rings so true. “We get into a state of extraordinary exuberance that, when confronted with reality, turns into unrelenting fear, huge withdrawals, extraordinarily little liquidity and considerable credit fears.” Sound familiar? Yes, but, notwithstanding the current credit crunch, some interesting buy-side action is already beginning to emerge. In the same issue, there was a report stating that the likes of Apollo, D.E. Shaw, the Rockefeller Group, Starwood Capital and Fortress are allocating a significant amount of capital to acquire large land tracts in Florida, Colorado and California. The depressed housing market has left homebuilders and bankers long on land, and smart investors are partnering with local developers and brokers to play the land game in a big way. It’s not quite happy days are here again, but these are smart guys and they obviously are betting that these markets are bottoming-out. What do you think, Alan?

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
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