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Zuckerman Says U.s. Economy May Face `perfect Storm'

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March 12 (Bloomberg) -- Mortimer Zuckerman, co-founder of Boston Properties Inc., the largest U.S. office real estate investment trust, said the U.S. economy is in a recession and there's no sign of a recovery.

``We are looking at the worst set of macroeconomic conditions since the Great Depression,'' Zuckerman said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. ``I don't know where the bottom is. The federal government's going to have to do a lot more to contain what I think is the potential of a perfect storm.''

Employers are cutting jobs and demand for housing is tumbling. On March 7, the Labor Department said payrolls fell by 63,000 in February, the most in five years, after a revised decline of 22,000 in January.

U.S. economic growth slowed to a 0.6 percent pace in the fourth quarter of 2007 from a 4.4 percent rate in the prior six months, according to the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis. The share of economists in a monthly Bloomberg News survey predicting a recession rose to 50 percent in February from 40 percent in January.

``The most dangerous part in my judgment is what is going on in the housing world, where we're now running foreclosures at the rate of 2 million a year, where 9 million homes, according to the government, just slightly under 9 million homes, have either no equity in them or negative equity,'' he said.

That will go up to 15 million if housing prices continue to go down this year as they've done last year,'' Zuckerman added.

``We are clearly heading down. We are in a recession even if it's not technically a recession. The February unemployment numbers were terrible,'' he said.

Federal Reserve

Zuckerman said the Federal Reserve and the government need to take more action to stem rising foreclosures. He said the Federal Reserve's move yesterday to lend, in return for mortgage debt, $200 billion of Treasuries to the securities firms that trade directly with the central bank, was not enough.

The Federal Reserve can't solve the problems of banks that aren't willing to make loans, falling home prices or a lack of confidence in the economy over the next year or two, he said.

One bright spot, Zuckerman said, was the New York City office market, where the lack of new construction has helped keep prices high.

``The real question is, is there a shadow inventory of space?'' he asked. ``Because right now there's virtually no inventory of space and I assume at some point there will be some inventory of space built up from tenants who are putting space on the market as a sublease.''

Still, he said, ``clearly there is going to be a pullback from both commercial space and residential space over the next year. It's going to come about as a result of the recession that we are entering into.''

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recession or depression?

must be 50/50 now :(

Yes i agree and if the chance of me crashing my car in the coming year was 50/50 then i would sure as hell make sure i have some good car insurance and when it come to a depression i sure am stocking up on food whilst i can.

Did you know that people will kill to stay alive when they are hungry so try putting a price on food when a 5kg bag of rice from Teaco's costs about two quid and could feed you for a month.

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  • 293 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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