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NEW YORK CITY-State attorney general Andrew Cuomo told a UJA- Federation of New York audience that the nation forgot a basic lesson: effective government regulation ‘helps’ the private sector and it actually encourages competition.

Cuomo was featured speaker this past Wednesday at the annual Young Real Estate Executives luncheon, or REX, at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan. REX offers opportunities for young real estate professionals to help those in need build relationships with colleagues, develop leadership skills and explore philanthropic issues beyond the city’s real estate community. This year’s honoree was Jonathon Yormak, principal at private equity firm Broadway Partners.

The attorney general told the mostly under-40 audience, “I’m trying to sort through the economic issues, the Wall Street issues” adding that problems first have to be exposed, then people have to believe you understand them and that justice was done with the problem.

Comparing the rapid spread of the current crisis to that of a computer virus, Cuomo stressed that competition in business has to adhere to rules and penalties, much like those in the world of sports. He charged that allowing competition to go unfettered much as it had been during the past eight years, got us where we are today.

In the rapid cadence of a sermon, Cuomo recalled a pattern where “one party gets more aggressive, it causes the other party to get more aggressive, one person pushes the edge of the envelope while the competitor has to push the edge of the same envelope” and “then you get to the place where you have 110% loan to value on a mortgage,” to which he paused and asked the audience, “why?” then answered “because the housing value will always go up. Since when is that the new assumption we’ve accepted into the marketplace?”

Cuomo scolded everyone from government agencies, watchdogs and lending institutions for a lack of oversight and a rash of irresponsibility. He drew a comparison to the 1974 film Murder on the Orient Express, where all were guilty in the end.

Then, sounding like a pro at the political stump, Cuomo said he does not think New York State should raise taxes at this time. “This whole New York experience is beautiful but delicate, and if you continue to raise taxes and create an inhospitable atmosphere for business, don’t be surprised if you start to see individuals and businesses leave.” He argued that when income goes down, expenses have to go down and when the revenues decrease, so should the expenses.

Meanwhile, Yormak would not speak to GlobeSt.com about the debt problems facing Broadway Partners where he’s a principal. From December 2006 to May 2007, the company gained attention by its use of short-term debt to buy up more than $8 billion in trophy office towers. One ray of light arrived Thursday when, as GlobeSt.com reported, the company had reached an agreement to restructure debt on a 46-story office tower in Chicago. But the company reportedly faces steep loan payments and the possible foreclosure of high-profile properties like John Hancock Tower in Boston.

And Yormak acknowledged that the industry faces tough times. Still, addressing the talent present at the event, Yormak tells GlobeSt.com “there are going to be a lot of new faces in the industry in the coming years as the economy and the real estate industry itself changes.”

Of the current storm “nobody knows when we are going to be out of it, it’s going to be quiet some time for sure,” Yormak tells GlobeSt.com. “Ultimately, [the economic crisis] will turn around, and when it does, all the people [at the REX luncheon] are creative and smart enough to figure out how to take advantage of it and capitalize the net value for our city and country.”

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