As published in Scotsman Guide's Commercial Edition, March 2009.
In the past few months, it seems like President Obama has much in common with the character of Coach Taylor from NBC's "Friday Night Lights" -- or for that matter, most any prep football coach in the real world.
Each entered new positions with high expectations and what they believed to be a firm vision of success. But each also soon found how unexpected, influential sources could obstruct that view.
For Taylor, they came in the form of alumni and boosters, making their case for who should play what position and how to ensure that their beloved high school would again reach the state championship. For Obama, they came from all sides of the country and the economy, with each making its case for a chunk of economic relief or a plan for achieving stability.
Now the comparison only goes so far. Simply, the success of an economic policy is not determined by a simple tally of touchdowns and field goals, wins and losses. It'll be measured in whether the economic ice field defrosts. And in how liquidity returns, and where. And in how many jobs are lost and reclaimed, and in how many Americans can afford to come home to a home every day.
As we digest the regulatory changes of the past few months, it's likely important to keep these elements of the big picture in mind. The solution for your business could come from one economic-stimulus plan or from a variety of plans. Or from none. There might be a tax cut here or down the road, and there might not. Your favorite pundits will deem some ideas good and others bad.
Will it matter? Are you in the position to know?
As we look toward spring for various reasons, it's likely wise to realize that neither question comes with an easy answer -- at least not in the short term. And as much as lobbying or policy-related discourse can be entertaining and impactful, issues beyond the control of the average commercial mortgage broker should not be in the position to drive that broker nuts.
There's an interesting passage in the article by Secured Private Capital's Kurt Lefteroff in this month's Scotsman Guide that goes something like this: You know the real estate market has hit bottom when even unqualified laypeople speak freely about real estate trends. It's kind of a comforting thought. At the same time, it makes you think about just how much you say.