Posted by Leonard Steinberg on December 5, 2011

Richard Le Frak, one of New York/New Jersey’s great developers and owner of some 16million square feet of property, not to mention his company’s stellar and consistent ranking in the Forbes Top 400 privately held companies, said to-day on CNBC with some conviction:

“As of to-day the future looks brighter than the past.”

Words like these coming from a guy who obviously sees the bigger picture sooner should be encouraging to all. This sentiment seems to be rising, with employment figures improving slightly, on-line retail sales surging last week to new records, and post Thanksgiving retail rising dramatically too. Consumer confidence spiked in the past few weeks, and in an economy fueled by consumer spending, these indicators should not be ignored. more importantly, Europe seems to be working on big solutions to their big problems, and even Italy, notorious for push-back on any form of  spending cuts, has not experienced and riots or craziness since its new prime minister instituted some rather severe adjustments since the departure of soap-opera-worthy Berlusconi. Maybe the end of this embarrassing politics-turned-reality-show in Italy signals a shift for all other countries to follow?

LeFrak is a big proponent of Senator Chuck Schumer’s push for the ‘BUY-REAL-ESTATE-FOR-A-VISA’ legislation….in fact it was his idea. This may be perceived by some as a easy immigration policy for the rich, but in reality it is legislation that would have positive practical consequences: Wealthy people buying up real estate, staying in the country for 180 days per year, spending, investing and being taxed here can certainly not do anything but benefit all. It appears their is bi-partisan support for this even from the Tea-partiers. Yikes! Could this mean some practical thinking is coming to Washington? Next should be automatic US citizenship to foreign students graduating with master’s and doctorates in maths and sciences! Its time for real, practical, smart solutions.

The importance of LeFrak’s comments are significant to the housing/real estate market especially: Remember that construction employed millions of Americans before the GREAT RECESSION. Returning just half of those jobs would create a significant dent in the still dismal unemployment figures, reduce the burden on states and the fed for support, boost consumer’s ability to spend, boost growth and tax revenues, and so on and so on…..

Fingers crossed Europe follows through on their plans and the local US politiking does not derail what could be the beginnings of a real recovery.