Friday, April 16, 2010

Whitehall Bests MSREF For "Worst Real Estate Fund Ever"

So the conversation must've gone something like this:

GS exec 1: This commercial real estate fund needs to sound very exclusive. Because everyone wants in but we definitely want the riffraff to know they're not good enough.
GS exec 2: Right! It needs to sound pure from the taint of retail investors.
GS exec 1: How about White Shoe?
GS exec 2: Yes, I like the "white" part. But "shoe" is not highbrow enough.
Gs exec 1: White House?
GS exec 2: Too political.
GS exec 1" White Door? White Room? White Bridge? White Street?
GS exec 2: No. Something more grand, impressive. I've got it "Whitehall"
GS exec 2: Perfect!

For all those rich folks lucky enough to get in on Goldman's snooty sounding Whitehall Street international real estate investment fund, you should give them a call. Your two cents are waiting for you. For two cents on the dollar, or $30 million, is about what is left of the $1.8 billion in equity that the fund started with back in 2005, when piling leverage on to a bunch of commercial real estate investments at the peak of a bubble still sounded like a great idea. Anyone keeping score, and Wall Street loves to keep score, should note that this bests the 70% or so loss revealed yesterday by Morgan Stanley's international real estate investment fund. But the fund doesn't expire until 2014, so they have plenty of time to make it back.

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