Many countries around the world rely on a steady influx of visitors in order to keep their businesses afloat. This, in turn, boosts GDP. Malaysia, for instance, is a place I personally visited, during Covid, and it was a desolate wasteland. Most shops had employees literally standing outside waiting for a single customer. It was like this for blocks and blocks. Huge tourist attractions were completely devoid of people. It’s only a matter of time before our lack of flying catches up to these already poor and extremely hard to maintain businesses. The country in Malaysia I visited had a notoriously low success rate for new restaurants, during the best of times. Now, they are lucky to get any customers. That affect will bleed into the second catalyst. More businesses going under, causing commercial real estate to lose tenants with no one to replace them, causing those buildings to go under, causing banks to be stuck with a boat load of vacant, unprofitable properties, causing them to go under.
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The eviction crisis is a real threat to our economy. It’s brushed under the rug pretty heavily, pointing to the home real estate market and its gains, but the damage is done. Most major commercial real estate buildings, especially apartments, are in disarray. Go look around and see the kinds of deals your local apartments are offering. Where I am, I’m seeing up to 2 months of free rent in some places. I’ve never seen that before. Everyone is desperate for paying tenants. Most commercial properties can weather a bit of this kind of thing, but we haven’t seen anything like this. Small businesses are shutting down, new businesses are not opening. No one is shopping. Who replaces those lost tenants? All these properties are heavily in debt. That’s how the industry works, for the most part. Entrepreneurs and builders finance all projects because they are seen as very safe and it’s a rule of thumb to never use your own money for investment. The margins had become abysmal before corona. I once looked into buying commercial real estate and found that I would only cover the expenses and have to solely rely on the property value increasing, to make anything worthwhile. This will cause properties to bleed out extremely fast. There is a commercial real estate collapse coming, likely within 6 months, and it will compound any damage the tech bubble has done. Don’t forget that this isn’t strictly a US problem. This is a worldwide problem.