2008-09-18wsj.com

The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. is adding pressure on banks and other financial institutions to sell off their holdings of commercial real-estate debt, as they try to stay out ahead of the Wall Street firm's expected liquidation of its $30 billion portfolio.

The likely rush to sell is driving down the already battered market, forcing financial firms to take additional losses on the estimated $150 billion worth of commercial real-estate debt on their books as the once relatively resilient pocket of the property sector now comes under heavy fire.

...

"It sure doesn't feel like the real-estate markets are improving anytime soon, and we will reduce that class going forward even if we think they are good assets," said Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer David Viniar. "Those assets are marked where they can be sold."


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