Joseph Ficalora: The Loan Ranger

Yesterday, Crain’s New York Business ran an article on Joseph Ficalora, CEO of New York Community Bank, and on our on-going efforts to get NYCB to do the right thing: sell notes to responsible landlords for a price that reflects actual rents and building conditions.

Aaron Elstein debates the merits of Ficalora and NYCB, offering that he both is praised by investors and those in the industry, but that he has been the victim of a long and bitter fight with activists. Ficalora may have secured solid returns for his investors throughout economic downturn. But at what cost?

At The Surreal Estate, we believe that multi-family buildings are first and foremost homes for the families who live in them. The banking industry is sick; to praise Mr. Ficalora for being the best at banking is like praising Steven J. Baum for being the best at mocking the homeless (see NYTimes “What the Costumes Reveal” 10/28/11). In our opinion, being the best at banking – by the way the banking industry defines the best – is not something one should be proud of. What exactly are we saying about the banking industry if we put Mr. Ficalora on a pedestal?


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