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It was about this time last year the storm clouds were gathering. People in the debt markets were getting nervous, the subprime mortgage market was collapsing as housing prices declined and interest rates ticked up. The National Realtors and other trade groups had earlier prognosticated housing prices would be increasing by then and that any housing downturn would be shallow, but no such luck. Despite the CDO market blowing up and widening CMBS spreads many players put on brave faces and figured the credit markets would settle down in a few months (by year end) and the strong fundamentals in commercial real estate markets would hold the day. It would be a repeat of the 1998 Russian credit crisis, some short term pain, but a bump in the road.

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