Commercial real estate developers are trying to get themselves in line for a bailout, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription only).
Hey, why not? The developers say that "thousands of office complexes, hotels, shopping centers and other commercial buildings are headed into defaults, foreclosures and bankruptcies." Sounds like as solid an argument as GM and Chrysler have, no?
Actually not, in my view. A GM bankruptcy around this time could deliver a punishing blow of the sort that the economy as a whole would have difficulty absorbing. That said, the case for GM is purely pragmatic, as was the case for propping up the banking system, and has a lot to do with the size and consequence of the companies involved. The individual merits of this or that company or industry have precious little to do with it, unfortunately. Developers and all the rest of us will suffer more if the recession is deeper and longer.
Anyway, if bailouts were based on merit, it's clear to me that my personal bailout should be right of there at the top of the list!