Analysts at Fitch Ratings suspect the next big round of bad news for banks will come from commercial real estate loans. "Virtually all major property types [multifamily, office, retail and industrial] are suffering from rising vacancies and declining rents," a recent Fitch report warned. The ratings agency is performing its own analysis of U.S. banks' exposure to debt secured by commercial property.
Small-business owners could take several lessons away from a white-water rafting excursion, USA TODAY columnist Rhonda Abrams writes. Drawing parallels between the two, Abrams says entrepreneurs need to choose the right size and type of water, find a good guide and assemble a good team. When the waters get rough, there is a tendency to just hold on tight, but Abrams says that is when you have to navigate the dangers and keep on paddling.
The commercial real estate sector is not expected to get help in the form of a big government rescue package. "Housing probably gets more attention because it's a big part of household wealth and, at its peak, it was a much bigger portion of the economy than [commercial] real estate," says Abiel Reinhart, an economist at JPMorgan Chase.
Tesco said it would suspend the expansion of its Fresh & Easy stores in the U.S., specifically in Northern California, but the U.K. retail giant is continuing to invest in the division's growth. The retailer has 125 of its discount stores in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Southern California and was planning to enter Northern California. Then, the economic downturn hit, prompting the retailer to alter its plans. However, Tesco has since added nearly 50 locations in Northern California and Nevada.