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Other People's Money: Inside the Housing Crisis and the Demise of the Greatest Real Estate Deal Ever M ade [Kindle Edition]

Charles V. Bagli
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"It's been said that journalism is the first draft of history, but with his upcoming book Other People's Money, New York Times reporter Charles Bagli writes the most authoritative account yet of the failed Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village deal and the housing crises that rocked the world." - New York Observer
“The reader interested in New York real estate history, its moneyed elites, or even the self-contradictory aspects of social investment should find ample material for reflection and enjoyment in Bagli’s account.”
Publishers Weekly

“Bagli's sourcing is impressive, and readers will welcome his ability to make arcane investment dealings comprehensible.” —Kirkus

Other People’s Money delivers one of the great untold stories of the financial crisis—how greed, arrogance, and the distorted incentives of the commercial real estate market helped drive our nation’s economy off a cliff. Told through meticulous reporting of what was arguably the worst real estate deal of all time, in this vitally important book Bagli demonstrates how the well-heeled and well-connected walked away relatively unscathed from the wreckage that they created, leaving a devastated middle class holding the bag yet again.”
—Neil Barofsky, New York Times bestselling author of Bailout: How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street

“Charles Bagli does for the politics and economics of urban real estate finance what Jane Jacobs did for urban street life. Bagli’s new book, Other People’s Money, uses the sale of a major housing complex on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, to demonstrate how contemporary real estate speculators deploy international finance and local politics to change the housing options of more ordinary city dwellers. Bagli, a talented journalist, makes the street-level impacts of abstract global finance easily understood.”
—Elliott Sclar, professor of urban planning, Columbia University

 “Other People’s Money is a terrific book. With remarkable textual clarity and a fine-tuned dramatic sensibility, Charles Bagli has recreated the extraordinarily high stakes poker game that was the largest real estate deal in U.S. history. His characters include the biggest real estate players on the planet as well as middle-class residents desperately holding on by their fingertips to the only housing they can afford. A truly epic tale, one that systematically demonstrates the logic (and illogic) of the real estate bubble that set the stage for worldwide recession and that reveals the wild, unforgiving nature of twenty-first-century capitalism. It’s a powerful story and a great read.”
—Rick Fantasia, coauthor of Hard Work: Remaking the American Labor Movement and professor of sociology at Smith College


In just over three years, real estate giant Tishman Speyer and its partner, BlackRock, lost billions of investors’ dollars on a single deal. The New York Times reporter who first broke the story of the sale of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village takes readers inside the most spectacular failure in real estate history, using this single deal as a lens to see how and why the real estate crisis happened.

How did the smartest people in real estate lose billions in one single deal? How did the Church of England, the California public employees’ pension fund, and the Singapore government lose more than one billion dollars combined investing in a middle-class housing complex in New York City? How did MetLife make three billion dollars on the deal without any repercussions from a historically racist policy of housing segregation? And how did nine residents of a sleepy enclave in New York City win one of the most unlikely lawsuits in the history of real estate law?

Not only does Other People’s Money answer those questions, it also explains the current recession in stark, clear detail while providing riveting first-person accounts of the titanic failure of the real estate industry to see that a recession was coming. It’s the definitive book on real estate during the bubble years—and what happened when that enormous bubble exploded.


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4.0 von 5 Sternen Scheitern eines Business Plans 7. August 2013
Von DE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Das Buch erzählt die Geschichte der Errichtung der Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village durch die Versicherung Met Life, die lange Phase des Managements der Immobilie sowie der Verkauf des Objektes an ein Konsortium aus Tishman Speyer und Black Rock für unglaubliche 5,4 Mrd. bei lediglich 100 Mio. Mietüberschuss. Der Business Plan, Im wesentlichen die zügige und deutliche Anhebung der Mietüberschüsse ging nicht auf. Der Autor erzählt aber auch die Geschichte der Mieter, die nach dem Krieg vor allem Lehrer, Feuerwehrleute und Angestellte der Versicherung waren. Dieses soziale Milieu änderte sich jedoch mit Anhebung der Mieten, der Prozess der Gentrifizierung findet auch hier folgerichtig statt. Ein lesenswertes Buch über das Scheitern eines Business Plans im Immobiliengeschäft.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.3 von 5 Sternen  34 Rezensionen
21 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Straightforward, maybe a little too much so 7. Mai 2013
Von MT57 - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Three or four years ago, I read a brief mention in the New York Times that CalPERS had lost about $500 million investing in the Stuyvesant Town deal in New York City. I remember thinking at the time, what the f is CalPERS doing putting that much money into New York real estate? Wouldn't California public employees and taxpayers, the people CalPERS acts for, be better served by investing in California? I still don't have a good answer to the second question, but now I do to the first.

Last month I came across this book in a bookstore and realized that its author was the same who had written that Times story. So I picked it up.

As I've said in other reviews, there are two types of books about the financial crisis, the journalistic and the academic. (I'm ignoring the nuts). Journalists tell a story, focusing on key characters, and usually press a simple theme or maybe two. Academics review a lot of data and match it to selected hypotheses with lots of citations to academic papers. This is one of the journalistic approaches obviously.

The author apparently covers the NYC real estate beat for the Times, so knows many key developers personally and they appear to have cooperated with on the record interviews. They or others appear to have given him lots of financial information about the deal and the asset, both pre and post acquisition. So it appears authoritative from that side of things.

He also tells the tenants' side of the story through two or three tenant association leaders. So it is balanced.

He gives a very detailed account of the shopping and bidding for the asset. It is actually one of the best such narratives I have ever read. Maybe Barbarians at the Gate compares but it's been a long time since I read that. He really understands this stuff, unlike many financial jounalists.

It was a little slow in getting to the question that first prompted my interest. We don't get to the investors' perspectives until more than 200 pages have gone past. Still, the reporting is very good there as well. No anonymous sources or other short-cuts. Names are named and their mistakes are not whitewashed. So what was CalPERS thinking? Um, not much. They got good advice not to invest and disregarded it.

The book carries you right up to the end when the senior lenders foreclose on the equity of the borrower and return day to day management to the prior management company. I recently read an article that the property, as of mid 13, is now worth the first mortgage, more or less. The prior owner, Met Life, walks away with about a $3 billion profit and should be very proud of its timing; they were also very lucky in selling before a change in law further destroys the value of the buildings.

I don't grade this at 5 stars because (1) There really was no dramatic insight developed. People drank the Kool-Aid and then reality hit home is basically the message. Which is probably the truth, but it's hard to give 5 stars for plain meat and potatoes. (2) I found the writing a little hackneyed from time to time. The facts are reported well, but occasionally you have to sift through the cliches and so forth. Must every financial journalist's book open with a major protagonist in a tense moment on the telephone or waiting for it to ring,and then go back to an earlier point in time? Or, for example, when reporting $48 million in fees, does the phrase "a gusher of" add anything to the reader's understanding of the amount of fees? Lots of stuff like that.

Another small point: there is no index so, if you read something interesting, mark the page because you won't be able to find it again.

Last, there are several facepalm-worthy editing glitches in the book. An identical paragraph quoting Dan Fasulo, a real estate analyst, appears on both pages 96 & 114. Jerry Speyer's positions at such august institutions as the New York Fed, MOMA, and the Council on Foreign Relations and his stake in the Yankees are recited on both pages xvii & 129. At the top of page 119, you read the sentence "No real estate sector was immune from the deal mania." Just three paragraphs later, there it is again. There were likely others but those were the ones that I could trace without an index.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Read It and Weep 20. Juli 2013
Von Mcgivern Owen L - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
"Other Peoples' Money" contains 2 stories: The first is the tale of a huge real estate deal that went south in a hurry. A $5,400,000,000 investment shriveled in worth to some $3,000.000, 000. As the title states, the brunt of the loss was borne by outside investors-not the wheeler dealers behind the sale. Notable among the soaked investors were the Florida State Pension System, the Province of Ontario Retirement System, and the California State Teachers Retirement System. Those affected? The little people in those locations. It is also the tale of the often interesting, if vile personalities involved. Yet OPM is basically a dry business tale the type of which has been told better elsewhere

The other tale is for those of us who actually LIVE here in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village. Full disclosure: This reviewer has lived in the community since 1975 and is a building captain in the Tenants Association. For us, it is hard not to feel like a minnow swimming with barracudas. The wheeler dealers (no names mentioned-there is no need) simply don't care about the little folks like us. They never have and never will-especially here in New York City. Just ask the poor pensioneers. In the interest of brevity, this review will ignore the gory details. Very basically, the new guys had no idea what they were getting into. Also, the anticipated dragooned turnover of apartments did not materialize. Most of us are honest folks, living here legally, trying to be good tenants. This reviewer does not think that the new owners ever believed that. The foregoing is admittedly a vastly truncated version of the transpired events.

Author Bagli tells the full story, chapter and verse. Nothing is omitted. Late in the text, the author hits a depressing note: "The dynamic (the new owners) set in motion is changing the cultural and social significance of the complexes to New York City and the nation forever". That is the sad state of affairs for those seeking-or trying to hold onto-affordable rental housing in NYC.
15 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Bagli nailed the humanity of it all in this blockbuster thriller 6. April 2013
Von Stuy Town-Peter Cooper Village tenant - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Other People's Money starts somewhat like the movie, "Wall Street" (picture, if you will, a Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen type on their way to 200 Park to cut the deal with MetLife for the sale of the century...this was the Tishman team!). You are the fly on the wall, privy to these negotiations, step-by-step as it swiftly unravels.

Chronicling the creation of the complexes, the book delves into the holiest of holy reigns in NYC history...La Guardia and Moses with Ecker ...please genuflect now! The transition of MetLife being owned by policy holders to Benmosche's "sleeping giant's" transformation to a stockholder corporation is depicted, and why this redirected the mission of MetLife in regard to its real estate holdings and investments once, revered by insiders as cash cows and sacred.

Other People's Money: Inside the Housing Crisis and the Demise of the Greatest Real Estate Deal Ever Made Bagli nailed the humanity of it all in each tenant of Stuy Town-PCV he quotes; in relaying the history of the ground-breaking WWII veterans tenant-led successful desegregation campaign; and in the depiction of Al Doyle's and Dan Garodnick's leadership and profound integrity.

In interpreting the mega-complexity, of the mind-boggling, wheeling and dealing through the years of this historic sale, and the later monumental default that was prevalent and frequent at that time in the "Wall Street Casino," many readers [like me] will appreciate the explanation of the layer upon layer of complicated debt structure and how the bond holders now still expect to be compensated.

We are now forever in the history books for the notoriety of this infamous deal, but Stuy Town-PCV is our version of the "American Dream" that you hear frequently and vividly defined for the public by the finance community. Our dream is continuing to live in our beloved homes in the middle of marvelous Manhattan.
Bagli's book is a must read for Stuy Town-Peter Cooper Village tenants and those intrigued by this blockbuster event!
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Quintessential Real Estate Book 31. Mai 2013
Von BLevin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The title of the New York Times's Real Estate expert, Charles Bagli, tells it all - "Other People's Money." Could you buy a $500,000 house with a $5,000 down payment? Not likely? You want to read this book!

Bagli's well researched new book is the saga of the purchase and unraveling of the purchase of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, but more, it is a tale of racial discrimination, of displacement of hundreds of businesses and thousands of residents to create the largest housing development in Manhattan, and of the social and financial connections of the who's who of New York. It's a story of middle class activism and idealism, of thousands of municipal employees who lived there, and of the undoing of this idyllic community for people who are now priced out of the Manhattan rental market.

And who but Charles Bagli could get Rob Speyer, who aspired to own this prize, to sit for hours of interviews, knowing that he, Speyer, would not be the hero of this real-life tale?

This is a must-read for urban planners, affordable housing advocates, people who want to know the inside story of how real estate financing takes place behind the scenes, and even those in the real estate industry who already know. It's a story with drama and suspense - even though you think you know the ending.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen I Never Thought I Would Be Praising This Book 3. Januar 2014
Von Adam Leitman Bailey - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Being a real estate attorney and knowing most of the players in the story as well as having a small part in it, I expected to write in this review some more of the perspective and missing items. But I could not because Mr. Bagli covered every angle and gave complete coverage to all sides and even caught what I considered the secrets of rent regulation and the market in general.

This book is a must read for any real estate professional in New York. I add this to my list of must read foundation books including The Power Broker, Robert Moses biography, Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal, and my book Finding the Uncommon Deal (although I should not be self promoting my own book.) To become a success in New York real estate, one needs to understand its history, the politics and how business is conducted. No book does a better job of putting the history and complicated current events of the real estate crisis than Mr. Bagli. He has done a great service to New York and its citizenry and I applaud him. The book is also well written and a smooth read. I purchased the book for all of the attorneys at my firm as it will make all of them better real estate attorneys.
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