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SAN DIEGO-When King Kong had his grip on that screaming woman, many didn’t know if she would escape, said John Courson, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association. And like what happened with the screaming woman, “this grip on our industry will be released, our screams will stop, and they will turn into cheers,” he explained.

Courson launched the general session and start of MBA’s Commercial Real Estate Finance/Multifamily Housing Convention & Expo on Monday. The event, held here at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, attracted an audience of more than 2,000, and nearly every seat in the session was filled.

“We’ve taken responsibility for our piece in all of this,” said David Kittle, chairman of the MBA, who followed Courson’s introduction. Kittle, who also serves as EVP of Vision Mortgage Capital LLC, added that “We must deliver on the right approach, right now.” Kittle provided a bit of optimism, or at least some uplifting words of wisdom, as to how to move forward in today’s environment. “There is no easy fix. We must take action,” he said. “And if those actions don’t work, move on to new actions.”

Courson and Kittle set the stage for the main event: a political debate between analysts, who discussed views on President Obama, our nation’s politics, bank regulation and the idea of liquidity in the marketplace.

The panel began by revisiting the election. Paul Begala, political analyst at CNN and former aid to Pres. Bill Clinton, called Obama’s successful election bid “a brilliant campaign,” while Tucker Carlson, senior campaign correspondent of MSNBC, said that “although there is a lot to admire about the new president, he won because he was incredibly lucky.” Carlson added that the message he presented throughout his campaign “does require him to follow through on his message.”

Begala quickly noted that the expectations placed on the president are extraordinary, but Carlson believes there is no way that any person could successfully shoulder those expectations. “Part of it was Obama’s making,” Carlson said, “although part of it was not.” He added that “it is misleading to suggest to your followers that you can change people. He raised expectations too high.”

Although the session didn’t focus specifically on commercial real estate, the topics discussed have direct impact on the commercial real estate market. There was some discussion about how the Obama Administration is set to soon reveal the formation of a “Bad Bank,” which will be a hybrid of government and private funds designed to relieve the banking industry of billions of dollars in bad debt.

Begala noted that further banking regulation is necessary as long as it is smart. “The pendulum swing too far one way,” he said. “You do not want to be on the wrong side of that pendulum.”

Carlson put in that the lack of regulation is not why we got here. “That’s just not true. It’s more complicated than that.” Carlson explained that the bottom line is that it’s not a question of whether there is a need for more regulations. It is a question of restoring public confidence. Carlson continued that “convulsions like this leave the major challenge of restoring confidence.”

Carlson said his main concern is not about Obama’s decency. “I get a good vibe off of him, don’t get me wrong, he is a smart guy, but my concern is that he knows literally nothing about economics. He seriously thinks that government spending will help the economy get stronger and that is troubling to me.”

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