Deeds and WeedsMarch 5, 2009

"It Was A Potent Machine"

Picture_3

There's quite a good story on Bloomberg.com today about the huge sums Credit Suisse lent to a number of now-struggling luxury resorts, including Tamarack,  Promontory, Yellowstone Club (pictured) and Lake Las Vegas.

The article details how the loans were conceived, how they were packaged and sold to investors, and ultimately how they came undone. Along the way, Credit Suisse racked up some impressive fees. It made $7.74 million in fees from its $375 million Yellowstone loan alone, the news service reports. "It was a potent machine that they had," Joseph Snider, a senior credit officer at Moody Investors Services, is quote as saying. "And it worked for a while."

Warning: If your stomach can't handle reading about excessive spending (for example, $19,000 griffins carved from marble or 20,000-square-foot homes with 15 bathrooms), you might want to avert your eyes.

-- P.F.