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There's been a bit of generational divide in reaction to last week's blog about “gray and wrinkles”–early 1990s experience coming in handy as we get ready to confront the ugliness in institutional real estate and mortgage portfolios. The younger crowd shouldn't take offense just because they haven't had the opportunity to work through a cyclical low. And the older crowd has no reason to be smug–most went along for the ride in the last few years, as it turns out right off the cliff. I know of a few veterans who told me they were pulling back in '07 and warned others to do the same. But not many. And look at all the big “old” names facing defaults and losing properties with more to come. There are a few celebrated cases of Dads turning over the company reins and seeing their sons leverage up and overpay in '06 and '07,threatening carefully built family empires. But typically Dad wasn't saying no after sending his boy out to test his mettle. Out of control exuberance for making money (is that another way of saying greed?) has no age boundaries.

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