Banks and Commercial Lending Bust

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Yesterday, seven more banks were closed — quietly — as the number reached 106 for the year. The Wall Street Journal has an interactive map of bank failures (131) since the beginning of 2008. On a related note, as the commercial real estate bust heats up, Capmark Financial Group, Inc.  (formerly GMAC Commercial Holding Corp.) one of the largest commercial real estate lenders in the U.S., is heading into bankruptcy.

Capmark has originated more than $10 billion in commercial real-estate loans, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

It also represents a blow to the company’s private-equity owners. In 2006, a group led by KKR & Co., Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Five Mile Capital Partners acquired the lender GMAC LLC’s commercial-real estate business and renamed it Capmark. As of March 31, the investor group owned about 75% of the company, with GMAC and its employees owning the balance.

The Horsham, Pa., company recently reported a $1.6 billion second-quarter loss and warned it might be forced to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. KKR has already written down its investment in Capmark to zero.

5:45 pm on October 24, 2009