Vultures circle the hedge fund capital

Federal officials, from President Obama down, assure the public at every turn that our economy, though fragile, has been stabilized. Yet bank failures in 2010 are expected to blow past last year's 140 and the root cause, as Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner admitted this week, is the ongoing crisis in commercial real estate. With shorter-term mortgages and income calculations based on leases signed at the top of the market, commercial real estate investors are starting to face the grim facts: they just can't afford to hang onto their property. This happens every real estate bust to hoteliers, office owners and warehouse buyers. But it doesn't always happen here: in Greenwich, Conn., the hedge fund captial of the world. Now, in a place where a payouts are measured in the billions of dollars, vulture investors are finding good pickings.

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