NOT NEWS – The Proverbial Envelope


As the Real Estate industry has become increasingly corporate, MBA’ed and spreadsheeted, mythic honor is granted to the “back of the envelope” as in, “he made the offer from the back of the envelope,” or “no due diligence; just the back of the envelope.” You’re a gunslinger if you’re willing to make a deal relying on back of the envelope calculations, a gambler who’ll take a chance on whether financing will be available so that he may get in there fast and tie it up. They’re also thought to be a little dumb (“more balls than brains”) and a little archaic which conveys nobility but also tragedy, like contemplating the disappearance of the dinosaurs. And they are becoming extinct. The prices have gotten so large and the layers of financing so complex, what lender is going to take a risk on anything less than a ream of analytics. Big risk takers lose at an alarming rate. I mention this because DJT is clearly a back of the envelope kind of guy. When your tax plan is about 250 words, it’s because you haven’t done enough of what you need to do in order to have more to say – crunch the numbers. It’s a hint as to why all of his development projects have failed. He’s stuck in the envelope when he should be pushing it.

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