Why Falling Oil Prices And China's Volatility Won't Slow Down LA
More than 660 commercial real estate professionals joined us this week for Bisnow’s LA State of the Market to hear experts talk about what the coming year will bring. Among the economic luminaries was Mosaic Real Estate Investors founder Ethan Penner, who had an interesting take on the last cycle.
Ethan said he thinks the last cycle was not terribly natural as the imposition of the Fed and global central bankers created a fake one. He said the question should be how long this type of benign environment will continue.
Ethan also expressed concerns that we are too dependent on Janet Yellen, who has a certain degree of control over the fate of the world economy, which he called scary. Ethan thinks raising interest rates in December was a terrible mistake, which is impacting financial markets.
The panel Ethan spoke on was moderated by Parkview Financial CEO Paul Rahimian, and included Ocean West Capital Partners principal Russ Allegrette and Eagle Group Finance president Brian Good. In classic real estate fashion, Paul kicked off the discussion with the good old inning question.
Russ said we're in the seventh, adding the last few weeks in particular have been a little scary in terms of watching the stock market go down every day and all the doom and gloom with respect to oil prices and what’s going on in China.
He said real estate still looks pretty attractive, and the industry remains a safe haven for foreign investment.
For his part, Brian said the economy is in the sixth or seventh inning of a very slow game. He also said his business doesn't mind turmoil because it kind of lends itself to getting more transactions done. "We’re not the first choice. We’re the last choice for most borrowers," he said.
Paul said he sees the economy offering a mix of good and bad news with historically low interest rates, high consumer confidence last year, the lowest unemployment rate in nine years and the news of at least one NFL team headed to LA.