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BW's Most Powerful People in Real Estate 2010

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By : Andy Denton    99 or more times read
Bloomberg BusinessWeek has come up with the Most Powerful People in Real Estate non-ranked list. But be warned though since you won’t be expecting an all-realtor crop. The report explains, “As scale and influence go hand and hand, many of the people listed run some of the country’s largest companies; others manage millions of acres of land. Yet power does not come only from size; it also comes from thinking—noted economists and academics, for example, provide critical intelligence and advice to policymakers. Of course, the government has expanded its role in homeownership and officials have tremendous authority. Some individuals on the list have been on the job for little more than a few months, while others have done it for decades. Still, all currently hold positions in which their decisions and actions will affect homeowners and real estate professionals.”

Here, we list four people worth mentioning and our favorite quotes from them that make these men and woman truly powerful real estate movers.

Karl E. Case
Finally, we get to put a face on one of the world’s most famous economics college textbook authors. But Karl E. Case is more than just your typical economist. He’s credit for developing the Case-Shiller Homer Price Index (yes, the one we constantly refer to every time home values are reported). But aside from that, he also serves as a member of the Boards of Directors of the Mortgage Guarantee Insurance Corporation ( reports he earned only more than $200,000 in 2008), Century Bank, The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the New England Economic Project.
He quips: “Housing just went crazy. If someone just found $100 billion, it would be fairly big news. I needed to explain it. I spent the next 30 years trying to figure it out”, when interviewed by the Boston Globe last December upon his retirement from Wellesley College.

Robert J. Shiller
The other half of the Home Price Index, Robert Shiller is credited for having collaborated with Case in determining home values in 20 cities. The International Monetary Fund’s Magazine, Finance and Development describes him as a visionary for “he has made the case for creating new financial markets in which individuals would be able to diversify away the most important risks affecting them, such as income or house prices.”

He writes : “So far, the measures we’ve taken to resolve this crisis have thrown the rational principles of finance out the window. We are going on a crash diet—contradicting mortgage contracts on an ad hoc basis and giving away handfuls of money—when we should be coming up with an eating regime we can live on indefinitely. Instead of making whatever short-term patches seem necessary, we might take a more systemic, market-based approach, such as stipulating that mortgage values always be linked to housing prices and adjusted each month.”

Vicki Cox Golder
The president of the National Association of Realtors faces a tough year considering that she’s only assumed the post recently. But Golder is no stranger to management. She’s been president of Arizona Association of REALTORS in 1994 and heads her own real estate company in Tucson for 38 years now. It’s a tough call but not necessarily impossible for her.

She says : “I jumped into real estate at the wrong time. It was the early ‘70s. We were in a recession, though we didn’t know it. I was so young I didn’t even know what ‘recession’ meant.” Here’s how Golder moved up the ranks.

Shaun Donovan
Donovan started in the Housing and Urban Development as a deputy assistant secretary in multi-family housing then became the secretary of the entire agency in 2009. Among his ongoing projects in HUD, Donovan states, “remaking our mortgage system; dealing with the persistent rental-housing crisis that far too many low-income Americans face; beginning to use HUD and our housing policy as a force for broader sustainability within our economy and within our country; re-energizing efforts around fair housing; and fifth, allowing HUD to become a leader on research and evaluation.”
Unachievable? Not if you ask a man who ran a housing program before that benefited 1.7 million families.

He says : “Subprime delinquencies are 240 percent higher than FHA’s for a reason. While others participated in investor-owned markets or were exposed to exotic mortgages … FHA stuck to the basics during the housing boom: 30-year, fixed rate traditional loan products with standard underwriting requirements.”
Andy Denton is the COO of is a real estate search portal, dedicated to connecting home buyers and sellers to trusting real estate services. Follow the blog for up to date housing news and trends. And monitor local mortgage rates at

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