I was researching the state of the CMBS market today to do some offbeat coverage here on HW, and came across a very well written story from Reuters on how the CMBS market is facing a long, cold winter this year. I think most HW readers knew about the fact that commercial mortgages were also struggling in the secondary market — if you didn’t, you do now. But a little further reading led me to this post over on the Rueters Dealzone blog — a real gem for anyone who has ever worked on the secondary markets side of the mortgage industry:

So who is “Big Loanâ€? Verrone? We first bumped into him while looking into Lightstone’s $8 billion purchase of Extended Stay from Blackstone, which has a press release on its website saying that lead mortgage financing for the deal was provided by “Rob ‘Big Loan’ Verroneâ€? of Wachovia. Intrigued, we found that Big Loan last month was named as co-head of Wachovia’s Real Estate Americas group. And he goes by “Large Loan” too — as in a 2006 Wall Street Journal article titled The Tough Guy of Mortgages Boosts Wachovia, which says Verrone is known for his “irreverent, tough-guy demeanor, and for quoting lines from ‘The Godfather’ in deal negotiations.”

There are plenty in the industry who refer to the Wall Street securitization machine as “the mafia,” and Verrone — recently promoted at Wachovia — looks like he might actually embody that sort of ethos. I don’t know Verrone myself (I’m pretty much residential all the way), but it’s something when one guy gets this sort of press attention. The rest of the post talks about how the slowdown in the CMBS market might spell big trouble for the man known as “Big Loan.”

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