Bear Stearns, The Broker, And Real Estate Fallout

Bear Stearns
Jin Lee
Bear Stearns

I have to give a shout-out to Ray Schmitz, an associate broker at Coldwell Banker Previews International in New York City.

A week ago last Monday, when several employees of Bear Stearns were leaving the building with cartons and plants, Schmitz was standing outside the building, handing out his business card.

“There were some people who were not happy about their own circumstances,” Schmitz told me this morning, “and sure there were people who didn’t want to talk to me and some who didn’t want to look at me.”

I called Schmitz this morning because I wanted to see if his effort had paid off. I knew he had gotten two phone calls initially.

“For the most part people haven’t lost their jobs yet,” Schmitz told me. Also, since the stock purchase price went from two dollars to ten dollars, that lessened the bite a bit, so no actually listings yet.

Schmitz says he’s waiting for the fallout, not just at Bear, but up and down Wall Street and beyond. The housing bubble that inflated hedge fund coffers is now doing just the opposite on the way down, and that threatens the up-‘til-now unshakeable Manhattan real estate market.

“Time on the market has increased,” admits Schmitz, “and there’s been nervousness.”

Questions? Comments?