Real fun yet to come on commercial real estate



Commercial real estate

Fig. 1. The confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, with the “Golden Triangle” and downtown Pittsburgh. Photograph by author, October 15, 2023.

A strong economy is helping to delay the day of reckoning, as most tenants are still paying the rent. Pressure is building slowly as leases expire: Many companies are reducing their space by 30% to 40% when their contracts end.

Lenders are also eager to kick the can down the road. They don’t want to force borrowers to sell buildings into a weak commercial real-estate market, which would lead to punishing losses.[1]

There is an awful lot of need for an awful lot of distressed financing for an awful lot of office space. The reckoning may be delayed but Carol Ryan argues it is still coming.[2] What’s catching my eye here is a somewhat irregular drumbeat. Whatever is going on here, it doesn’t seem to ever quite go away.

Carol Ryan, “America’s Office Fire Sale Has Barely Begun,” Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2024,



Fig. 2. John Bolton and Binyamin Netanyahu at a press conference. Office of U.S. National Security Advisor, August 20, 2018, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

Andrew Silow-Carroll, “How Israel’s Black Panthers radicalized its Mizrahi Jews, and changed the country,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, March 17, 2024,


Fig. 3. The ruins of a terminal at the Gaza airport. Image by Said Khatib (Agence France-Presse) on September 9, 2018, via the Times of Israel,[3] fair use.

Paul Ronzheimer and Carlo Martuscelli, “Netanyahu vows to defy Biden’s ‘red line’ and invade Rafah,” Politico, March 10, 2024,

Roya News, “Exposé reveals list of essential aid items banned by ‘Israel’ from entry into Gaza,” March 10, 2024,

Eric Lutz, “Joe Biden’s Delicate Dance With Netanyahu Can’t Go on Forever,” Vanity Fair, March 11, 2024,

Claire Parker, “Israeli pressure on Palestinian economy pushes West Bank to the brink,” Washington Post, March 11, 2024,

Nataliya Vasilyeva and Tony Diver, “Israel could see Netanyahu ousted from power, US predicts,” Telegraph, March 11, 2024,

Adam Taylor, “Biden has huge leverage on Israel. He hasn’t really used it yet,” Washington Post, March 12, 2024,

Times of Israel, “Biden mulling conditions on Israel military aid if Rafah assault goes ahead — report,” Times of Israel, March 12, 2024,

Times of Israel, “‘Very senior’ Israeli official accuses US government of seeking to oust Netanyahu,” March 12, 2024,

Andrew Lapin, “80+ bands pull out of South by Southwest to protest festival’s ties to Israeli military,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, March 13, 2024,

Stephen Collinson, Caitlin Hu, and Shelby Rose to Meanwhile in America list, “A momentous twist in US-Israel relations,” CNN, March 14, 2024,

Liz Goodwin, “Schumer calls for ‘new election’ in Israel in scathing speech on Netanyahu,” Washington Post, March 14, 2024,

Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling, “Surprise, Surprise: AIPAC Flips Out Over Schumer’s Netanyahu Comment,” New Republic, March 14, 2024,

Shia Kapos and Adam Cancryn, “Arab, Muslim and Palestinian leaders refuse to meet with White House aides in Chicago,” Politico, March 14, 2024,

Barak Ravid, “Schumer’s anti-Netanyahu speech stuns Israel,” Axios, March 14, 2024,

Luke Tress, “Chuck Schumer calls for new elections in Israel, says Netanyahu has ‘lost his way,’” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, March 14, 2024,

Gershom Gorenberg, “Why Biden and Bibi Are Tangling, and Why Biden Could Win,” New Republic, March 15, 2024,

Times of Israel, “Biden hails ‘good speech’ by Schumer criticizing Netanyahu, says many Americans agree,” March 15, 2024,

Luke Tress, “Chuck Schumer called for elections in Israel. What did he hope to achieve?” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, March 15, 2024,

Lauren Gambino, “Top senator calls on Biden to ‘use all levers’ to pressure Israel over Gaza,” Guardian, March 16, 2024,

Nicholas Vinocur, “Belgian PM warns Israel against using hunger as ‘weapon of war’ in Gaza,” Politico, March 16, 2024,

Steve Hendrix, Susannah George, and Missy Ryan, “As Gaza war rages, U.S. military footprint expands across Middle East,” Washington Post, March 17, 2024,

Rachel Leingang, “How the uncommitted movement rocked Biden over Gaza,” Guardian, March 17, 2024,

  1. [1]Carol Ryan, “America’s Office Fire Sale Has Barely Begun,” Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2024,
  2. [2]Carol Ryan, “America’s Office Fire Sale Has Barely Begun,” Wall Street Journal, March 17, 2024,
  3. [3]Agence France-Presse and Times of Israel, “20 years after its opening, destroyed Gaza airport embodies grounded peace hopes,” Times of Israel, September 12, 2018,

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