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The Fed Doesn't Know What to Do About the CRE Bubble


Fed economists are worried that the commercial real estate boom could lead to another recession—but they don’t have much they can do about it.

Commercial real estate value is up 93% (!) from 2010 with lending practices eerily similar to 2008 pre-crisis levels.

In Charlotte, NC, “war games” of this situation, Fed officials couldn’t agree on whether they need increased interest rates or other regulatory action, like higher capital requirements in banks, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

Kansas City’s Federal Reserve Bank president, Esther George, says that knowing which tools to use requires “policy analysis, discussion with other agencies,” which takes time

Other countries bulked up regulatory power after the recession, but in the US those tools are decentralized and slow on the draw.

George says “by the time you identify the issue you are already too late in many respects.” She says the war games reinforced her original fears over the economy. [WSJ]