Agassi should have stuck with tennis

As we wrote on July 26, 2007, Agassi made a horrible bet on property (development of a Fairmont hotel) at the peak of the cycle.  Less than 7 months later, the resort itself is now filing Chapter 11.  Makes you wonder about “financial advisors.”

Tamarack Resort In Idaho Files Chapter 11

New West Business is reporting Tamarack Resort Owners File for Bankruptcy Protection

The majority owners of tony Tamarack Resort in west-central Idaho, owing more than $300 million to lenders and international banks, filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Boise late last week.

According to Tamarack Resort CEO Jean-Pierre Boespflug, the Chapter 11 filing will have no impact on the resort’s day-to-day operation. “You can continue to do business with Tamarack Resort in a complete and normal way,” he said in an interview.

Boespflug said the resort was counting on a $118 million dollar loan from the French bank Société Générale to complete the resort village, but the financing fell through. Société Générale is reeling from the loss of some $7 billion in a trading scandal, and banks around the world are pulling back from many types of loans in the wake of the sub-prime mortgage crisis and related problems in the finance world.

Because Tamarack did not receive the money by February 15-the day the bankruptcies were filed-the companies sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to avoid foreclosure by creditor Credit Suisse, which is owed $262 million. Credit Suisse could have ended up with 75 percent ownership of the resort, and been “able to sell the company to whoever it wants,” Boespflug said.

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Default swaps intensify credit crunch

February 11, 2008 (Rob Roy) – Over the past several years my firm has highlighted the risks in the sub-prime sector, the lax lending standards, and the housing bubble that peaked in 2005. The residual effects of these have been vast and continue to support our view that the unraveling of the debt issue is not contained.

Housing is clearly in a near-death spiral with inventories rising on months of available supply basis, despite many homeowners de-listing their homes and waiting for a turnaround. Here in Orlando there is 5 years worth of available home lot inventory waiting for developers to fill in the new suburban subdivisions that were developed. According to my firm’s industry sources, a real turnaround in housing on a macro level will not likely begin until 2009-2010. This is sobering stuff to be sure, but the truth usually is in the markets. Continue reading