Lennar Picks Calpers Pockets

Let’s see if this one gets by the politicians. It has all the earmarks of something that will make their blood boil.

The WSJ is reporting that home builder, Lennar, is close to getting its hands on some land that it sold at the height of the market. In a smart move they sold their interest in LandSource Communities Development LLC for $707 million. This company owns some really valuable developable land in Southern California. The hitch? The buyer of the land in 2007 was Calpers, the giant California pension plan.

Lennar has bought some of the company’s debt and negotiated a deal with the creditors committee to take the company out of bankruptcy. You know who stands to lose most of close to three quarters of a trillion dollars don’t you. Calpers, of course, or rather all of the school teachers and other California state employees who depend on them for their retirement.

Lennar was smart, knew that things were out of control and found a willing but foolish borrower to take them out a couple of years ago. So do you think this just moves along without any interference? I’d guess that the chances of that are pretty close to zero in this environment.

Not only are they going to face the wrath of the locals in California but some of the biggest dogs in Washington hail from the Golden State. They are not likely to take this lying down particularly given the story they can spin.

I wish Lennar luck and commend them for being good businessmen. They will need the luck.

Just an aside, but this does say something as well about all those articles predicting the end of suburbia as we know it. It looks like some smart guys still think Americans might want to buy a house with a commute.

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