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Eric Siegel
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Eric Siegel

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Trump Orders Regulatory Freeze: Lots of Moving Parts but Minimal

From the CRE Finance Council:

In one of the Trump Administration’s first official acts on January 20, executive departments and agencies were asked to freeze review and final publication of pending regulations. You can see the memo here. While the move is headline-grabbing, it should not be viewed as controversial; the Obama Administration issued a similar freeze request in 2009, available here.

This move essentially asks that President Trump’s appointees be given the opportunity to review any regulations in the pipeline, which the new leadership could subsequently withdraw, revise, or implement without change. In effect, this a temporary measure to pause regulations while the new administration is setting up shop.

The action is limited in scope primarily because it does not apply to the regulators that oversee commercial real estate finance. Specifically, Trump’s recent freeze does not apply to ‘independent agencies’, which include the FDIC, Fed, OCC, SEC, CFTC, and CFPB. Independent agencies generally differ from executive or cabinet agencies (like Treasury, Homeland Security, Labor, etc.) in that their leadership cannot be fired “at will” by the President. Some independent agencies are also insulated from annual congressional appropriations, i.e., they have the ability to self-fund through means such as assessments on industry or transactional fee structures.

Independent agencies may choose to put some regulations on hold, but they would not face any formal repercussions if they chose to move forward with rulemakings. For a deeper background on the applicability of the memo to independent agencies, see Executive Order 12866, which is referenced in the White House memo.

Pathway to Regulatory Reform
Since most of the relevant CRE finance rules are promulgated by the above-listed independent agencies, CREFC staff do not expect this action alone to divert rulemaking around any of the major items in the regulatory pipeline, such as the risk-based capital changes awaiting adoption in March by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the Net Stable Funding Ratio, scheduled to be adopted by the FDIC, Fed and OCC in 1H 2017.

However, pending leadership changes at many of the agencies could lead to delays or withdrawal of pending rules. In limited cases, leadership change at an agency could also result in revisions to standing rules. As of this writing, there is little known about pending leadership changes or any specific information to suggest that the pending rules will not be adopted.

EB-5 Visas
A narrow area of CRE finance applicability relates to some foreign capital inflows. The regulatory freeze does apply to a proposed rule relating to the EB-5 visa program, which grants foreign investors eligibility for permanent residence status if they make a qualifying investment in a commercial enterprise in the U.S.

Under current rules, the EB-5 visas are available to immigrants who invest $1 million in a commercial project that will create or preserve at least 10 jobs in the U.S. The threshold amount is reduced to $500,000 if the applicants choose to invest in a high-unemployment area. An investment can be made directly into the business or through an approved “regional center”, which is a third-party vehicle that handles the job creation aspects.

On January 13, the Department of Homeland Security proposed a new rule that would dramatically increase required EB-5 investment thresholds. Under the proposed rule (covered by the Trump freeze memo) the standard investment thresholds would rise to $1.8 million generally and $1.35 million in high unemployment areas. The thresholds in the proposed rule are higher than levels Congress currently is contemplating as it works to reauthorize a portion of the program, which lapses on April 28, 2017.

With the regulatory freeze, the Trump administration and new Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly will now take the lead in determining the fate of the rule, but the industry likely will have options to provide feedback. The proposal currently is open for comment until April 11, 2017. Moreover, Congress’s reauthorization efforts will provide a forum to examine parameters of the EB-5 program.

More to Come
The regulatory freeze memo was a first step in the Trump Administration’s (de)regulatory agenda. Expect more to come as appointments are finalized and Congress moves to its legislative priorities.



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Inflation in Venezuela is expected to reach 720 per cent this year, with the largest bolívar bill now worth just five US cents on the black market.
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They need to kidnap more people

Eric Siegel

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Just what NYC needs - another hotel created by the genius architect Gene Kaufman.
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Dear Sirs,


I need an intermediary for the sale of real estate.
I need a broker to find investors.

I have a plot of 65,000 m2, the city of Trogir in Croatia.

The implementation plan is set purpose - agriturismo.

Permission to build a hotel, castle or more villas.

Location and composition of the soil, give the possibility to produce - medicinal wine.!

All together, in every way, it's great.




Sincerely, Mr. Ante Bajic Tomasovic, owner
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Eric Siegel

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Really surprised to see this sort of reporting from the Real Deal. 
For both Hollywood and NYC real estate, January marks the self-congratulatory awards season, when the most talented and highest-paid stars come together to put on a feel-good, well-oiled show. But disruptions can happen. At last year’s Academy Awards, the dearth of minority nominees spawned the #Osc
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Saudi Arabia has voiced support for American efforts to nourish Afghanistan’s democracy, but it has also lavishly funded Sunni extremism under various guises.
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Eric Siegel

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This article has some decent data points on this wildly misunderstood asset class. 
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I wonder if this will help with the stigma of living in Staten Island.
Construction on new boats for the citywide ferry service slated to start in summer 2017 has begun.
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