The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
The economic crisis and the bursting of the local real estate bubble have left San Diego developers reeling. Many, like the fiery Mick Pattinson we profiled, have watched their companies crumble as the banks that fueled their fortune turned off the spigot.
But one local developer is doing very well thanks to the banks — getting loads of business and attention as the “go-to” guy for banks trying to manage the properties lenders are thinking about seizing. Wilson long ago carved out a niche business as someone investors could turn to when the projects they financed go underwater.
What’s not mentioned often in the reports about Wilson’s surprising success amid so much failure, though, is the fact that many of his own properties locally have wound up in serious trouble too.
Wilson responds to a series of difficult questions about that irony in a fascinating story today.
Here’s a rundown of other news this Monday morning:
- Speaking of the economy, Rich Toscano has a new graph today showing what passes for good news today in the employment numbers. The year-over-year rate of job losses seems to be slowing and there were actually 900 more jobs in September than there were in August.
Toscano had forecasted that the measurement of this year compared to last would start to look better when we started to get into the later months of the year — when we would be comparing the jobs situation to a time right after the economy started its brutal correction.
- Lastly, on the economy front, you might want to check this out: Leonard Baron, a professor of finance at San Diego State who makes frequent appearances in our pages, gives The Wall Street Journal advice about buying a condo.
- As you no doubt have seen, we’ve been running in-depth obituaries of some very interesting people in San Diego — helping us illustrate the diversity of this area. Today, we tell the story of a man who worked for Pep Boys, the auto-parts store, for 70 years.
It’s often discussed that employers can rarely expect anyone to stay on the job for a decade, let alone 30 years for retirement. This guy more than doubled any 30-year commitment. And he had an interesting sense of humor.
- The North County Times does something way too rare these days: The paper looked a major debate unfolding in Washington — whether to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” prohibition of gays in the military — and asked our local delegation how they stood on it.
Turns out three San Diego representatives are fine with the status quo and two are not. Take a guess which are which.
- The Union Tribune’s Jeff McDonald has been doggedly revealing more about the enormous contract awarded to the new investment guru for San Diego County’s pension system. Last week, McDonald wrote that the investment manager, who is replacing someone who made $209,000 a year, could be paid as much as $4.51 million over three years with performance incentives and at least $2.1 million no matter what happens. The Union-Tribune editorial board is not letting go of the issue either — saying the smell from it is “getting worse.”
- Finally, Michael Schudson, a professor who just left UCSD to go to Columbia University, teamed up with former Washington Post editor Leonard Downie Jr. to co-write a report on The Reconstruction of American Journalism for the Columbia Journalism School. It has already caused quite a bit of discussion.
Some San Diego efforts, including ours, are profiled. Downie Jr. and Schudson visited our offices and we sat down with them — along with Columbia’s journalism dean, Nicholas Lemann, at conferences in New York and Washington D.C.
Downie Jr. and Schudson also have an op-ed up today in the Washington Post about it.
— SCOTT LEWIS