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WASHINGTON, DC-Alternative energy, infrastructure spending are key to President-elect Barack Obama’s plan to revive the economy, according to a speech he made this morning at George Mason University. To be sure, he has discussed these economic avenues many times on the campaign trail and after his election. However their appearance again–this close to his assumption of the presidency–suggest that significant investment will be made in these areas.

Obama also delivered a wallop of a warning: the fiscal stimulus bill must be passed speedily, or the recession could linger for years. “That is why I have moved quickly to work with my economic team and leaders of both parties on an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that will immediately jumpstart job creation and long-term growth,” he said.

Much of what he said elaborated upon previous plans. For instance, he would like to see the production of alternative energy doubled in the next three years. The Washington, DC-area also took note of comments Obama made about the federal office buildings–specifically, that he expects to modernize more than 75% of federal buildings. He also wants to improve the energy efficiency of two million American homes.

“In the process, we will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced–jobs building solar panels and wind turbines; constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings; and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings, and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain.” His plan also calls for the country to build a new smart electricity grid.

Obama also referred to TARP and its mission of bolstering the financial and banking system, although he did not provide much more than broad mission support for these goals. A recovery plan would have to prevent “the catastrophic failure of financial institutions whose collapse could endanger the entire economy, but only with maximum protections for taxpayers and a clear understanding that government support for any company is an extraordinary action that must come with significant restrictions on the firms that receive support.

“And it means reforming a weak and outdated regulatory system so that we can better withstand financial shocks and better protect consumers, investors, and businesses from the reckless greed and risk-taking that must never endanger our prosperity again.”

It is notable what Obama did not address in his speech: tax cuts–specifically the capital gains. Of course, by this point, based on comments from his advisors and other media leaks, it would be surprising if he did implement his original plan to raise the capital gains rate.

While Obama has raised the political stakes by warning of a–if possible–more grim immediate future than we currently envision, much of the final outcome of this plan will depend on what Congress chooses to do. Many in the industry are wondering if Congress will have the fortitude to take on the commercial real estate industry. Rob Little, head of Babson Capital Management’s Real Estate Finance Group, tells GlobeSt.com that his company believes that the bulk of any assistance to the real estate sector will be aimed at the residential markets.

If that is so, it does not bode well for CRE, Mark Edelstein, chair of Real Estate Finance practice at Morrison & Foerster, tells GlobeSt.com. Increasingly the industry is eyeing the due dates of CMBS and other loans that were made in earlier years–and are set to come due over the next year or so.

“With the massive amounts of commercial real estate debt coming due over the next three years some solution will need [to be] created, because the private lenders–banks and life companies–will not have the capacity to replace not only their own prior financings, but those financings which ran through the CMBS capital markets.”

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