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IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT CONDITIONS TODAY, things probably look pretty familiar. The “recovery” still doesn't feel like one; Congress is still bickering; the Eurozone is getting hammered; the unemployment rate has averaged almost 8.3% for the past six months and job growth is modest, at best; office absorption isn't improving by much; capital, unless you have a best-of-the-best deal, is still not easy to obtain; and the only transaction activity and price growth that's occurring is being fueled by interest rates, which remain at record lows.

Well, so far, 2012 hasn't been a savior year, but neither was there heaven in 2011, and the prior year also fell short of expectations. As one of the speakers at our recent Institutional Insurance Symposium in DC stated, it feels like Groundhog Day for the third year in a row. And yet, there are those who believe 2013 will be better.

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