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Considering the current state of the economy, it’s not surprising that finance professionals are looking for answers. And given the level of anger that most Americans have about the financial meltdown, they may prefer to share their issues online. According to a USA Today/Gallup poll released earlier this month, 53% of Americans describe themselves as “angry” about the financial crisis gripping the nation.

But now bankers and related professionals have a new place to share their issues, best practices, deals and even job vacancies–and commercial real estate professionals are welcome to drop in. The venue is a social networking site called Bankers Avenue. It was founded by a Monaco-based banker, who says he wanted to give bankers and financiers around the world opportunities to share both experiences and emotions as the credit crisis continues.

“It’s an informal place to talk about serious things, a one-stop-shop for all information related to the financial industry,” states founder Emiliano Caradonna, trader at Compagnie Monégasque de Banque, one of the leading banks of the Principality of Monaco. For CRE pros, it’s an opportunity to network with and observe potential deal makers and breakers, the bankers and lenders.

Caradonna conceived the idea for Bankers Avenue during a finance forum in London in Dec. 2006, beta tested the site in 2007 and launched it this year. “It’s important for financial professionals to share information, talk off the record and sort out this huge flow of rumors,” he says.

“Newspapers are full of complaints about financiers. But nobody explains that we arrived at this point because of the extremely competitive banking environment. Banks and financial institutions have had to fight to keep customers from going to a competitor around the corner who offers 1% more.

“You always hear about the grandma who lost her retirement fund,” he explains. “I’m very sorry for her. But today, more than ever, you have a mass of small investors who forget risk when they earn money and blame their banker when they lose money.”

“So the basic role that Bankers Avenue can play is to allow bankers and financial people to discuss solutions and have a place where they can be treated the right way,” he continues. “The concept works. After Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11, many of the members as well headhunters offered assistance and opportunities.”

The site has slightly more than 1,000 members to date, including 225 from the UK and 141 from the US. “The geographical segmentation is very wide,” Caradonna says. The members represent local, regional and global companies such as Bank of America, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Barclays, Renaissance Capital and New York Life. Although most members are from the banking and finance industry, the membership is open to virtually anyone. Some of the current members work in real estate. A few are students and some are unemployed.

The site includes members’ pages, complete with profiles and blogs, a world index page, which lists selected worldwide economic indices, a report on the subprime crisis dating to March 2007 and forums to exchange information.

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