Recovery Special Podcast: Ian Marcus on Lehman, “spreadsheet hell” and who read the cycle best

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Marcus Pic“The art of good banking isn’t lending money. It’s making sure it gets repaid.”

Those are the words of former Credit Suisse head of investment banking Ian Marcus, who spoke in a wide-ranging interview on the Property Week Podcast to mark the five-year anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ collapse.

Marcus, who was chair of the Bank of England’s Commercial Property Forum at the time, and is now a senior adviser to US bank Wells Fargo, said the industry had an “obligation” to see what lessons could be learnt from the downturn.

He said: “We’ll never get rid of the cyclicality, but hopefully we can avoid some of the excesses by smoothing it.”

Looking back at the culture of over-exuberant lending in the banking crisis, he said that that “there were words of caution and warning signs but it was in a typical low-key British way”.

“It was about being invited for cucumber sandwiches and maybe hinting that things were perhaps moving too fast,” he said.

Recovery Special Podcast: Brockton’s David Marks on HBOS, London pubs and “heroin-like” debt

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Marks PicBrockton Capital co-founder David Marks has spoken of the day he turned down a 99% loan-to-value deal before the market crashed, and the “heroin-like” debt that was fuelling the investment world during the 2006-07 boom.

In a 25-minute conversation at Brockton’s offices (listen below), the second in a series of Property Week Recovery Special podcasts, the former Blackstone investor (pictured) told presenter James Max (pictured, right) about how he was “absolutely staggered” by Lloyds Banking Group’s takeover of HBOS.

Former British Property Federation president Marks, spoke about the crucial differences between investing today in London and investing in the UK’s regions, plus he gave the lowdown on the deals he wishes he had done and those he was glad to miss out on.

He also explained the ins and outs of assembling a portfolio of London pubs in a “fun, profitable transaction” and much more besides.

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